U.S.’ Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) posted record revenue in its Q4, reaching a record-setting $798.6 million. The number represents a 6.5% year-on-year improvement.
Earnings per share on a diluted basis reached 17 cents – thus majorly missing the mark set by Wall Street estimates. Analysts expected $0.4 EPS. In 2017, the company posted 82 cents of earnings per share over the same period. However, that was heavily influenced by a $45 million benefit stemming from tax reform.
Investors were pleased with the results despite the missed forecasts, and sent Cinemark shares up 3% in pre-market trading. The stock is now oscillating at the $38 price tag.
Attendance numbers for the last quarter rose by 2.1%, to 67.4 million with an average ticket price of $6.60. Concession expenditure per patron rose 4.0%, reaching $4.12.
CEO Mark Zoradi said that “the resilience of the exhibition industry was again demonstrated in 2018 as the North American box office reached another record high of $11.9 billion, driven by sizable year-over-year attendance growth associated with outstanding studio film content. And, through consistent execution of our strategic initiatives that focus on creating an extraordinary guest experience, Cinemark yet again outperformed industry results for the ninth time out of the past ten years with 7.7% domestic box office growth and a 6.3% increase in attendance.”
For the full year, attendance rose 1.8% to reach 282.1 ticket buyers, and ticket price grew to an average of $6.50
MKM Partners’ analyst Eric Handler praised the results in a letter to clients: “Our big picture view remains intact as we see Cinemark as the best in class operator and a solid free cash flow generator with a strong balance sheet,” he wrote.