initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

AMC Theatres (AMC) began trading on the NYSE on 18 December 2013

AMC Theatres arrives at the NYSE to mark its first day of trading under the ticker symbol “AMC.” To celebrate the company’s debut, AMC brought the movie theatre experience to the NYSE by serving popcorn and soda to the trading floor community, and displaying its latest theatre seating on the trading floor. To top it all off, President and CEO Gerry Lopez, rang the NYSE Opening Bell to highlight AMC’s exciting IPO.

CEO and AMC President Gerry Lopez rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on December 18, 2013

The nation's No. 2 movie theater chain, AMC Entertainment, launched its initial public offering Wednesday, topping off a blockbuster year for IPOs.

The company raised $332 million by selling 18.4 million shares at $18 a share. That share price came in at the low end of the company's expected price range of between $18 and $20 a share. Shares closed higher by 90 cents, or 5.0% to $18.90 in their first day of trading.

Investors are encouraged by the company's trends to be more profitable. AMC reported net income of $84.8 million during the nine months ended Sept. 30, reversing a $43.0 million loss during the same period a year ago.

Growth is somewhat slow, though. During the nine months ended Sept. 30, AMC opened three theaters with 25 screens and closed four theaters with 29 screens. All told, the company has interests in 343 theaters with 4,950 screens. Only Regal Entertainment is bigger, with 7,334 screens at 575 theaters.

AMC's second biggest business driver is concessions. The company is trying to boost profit by increasing high-end food choices and introducing made-to-order beverages. AMC plans to invest $45 million a year on average over the next five years to upgrade the food options at 200 theaters.

The company also plans to upgrade the seating at many theaters. AMC has plans to invest $600 million to add recliners over the next five years starting in 2014.

IPO watchers see AMC as the closing act of what was a banner year for IPOs. All told, there were 222 IPOs to start trading in 2013, the best year since the peak of the dot-com Internet IPO bubble in 2000, says Renaissance Capital.

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