AMC shares hunch as CEO Adam Aron, CFO Sean Goodman promote inventory

An AMC theater is pictured in Times Square in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, on June 2, 2021.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Shares in AMC entertainment collapsed nearly 7% on Friday after two company executives sold significant portions of their stock.

CEO Adam Aron sold an additional $ 9.65 million in AMC stock as part of his estate planning. a move he warned investors that he would be back in August. He sold 312,500 shares on Tuesday for an average of $ 30.86 apiece, according to a regulatory filing filed Thursday.

This sale comes a month after Aron sold 625,000 shares in the company for approximately $ 25 million. He still holds around 96,000 shares, excluding around 2.9 million shares to be issued in the future based on performance targets.

Separately, AMC’s chief financial officer Sean Goodman sold all of his 18,316 shares for approximately $ 565,000, according to a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This excludes approximately 296,000 shares that may be issued as a result of Goodman’s continued business for the company, or approximately 293,000 shares that are tied to performance goals and objectives.

Aron recently announced that the company’s board of directors has approved a new equity policy for the company’s executives that requires them to hold a certain number of AMC shares. According to the new guideline, the CEO must hold his own shares or shares that have been awarded for at least eight years’ salary. The CFO must keep the salary in reserve for six years. Goodman’s untransferred shares meet this requirement.

AMC representatives declined to comment.

“I think that while Adam Aron was clearly expressing his intention to liquidate some of his position in AMC stocks by the end of the year, many investors were surprised by the extent to which he sold stocks between early November and mid-December” said Alicia Reese, an analyst at Wedbush.

“Of course, Sean Goodman has more shares since he sold in November, and all executives will continue to accumulate more shares as part of their compensation packages, but they are walking a fine line by taking advantage of the increased share price, while” private shareholders have committed to hold on at all costs, “she said.

Eric Handler, media and entertainment analyst at MKM Partners, noted that the stock is currently trading 30 times its estimated Adjusted EBITDA for the next year and 22 times its forecast for 2023. AMC’s historic valuation peaked at 9 times the metric, he said.

AMC shares topped $ 72 in June, an all-time high when the company was supported by millions of individual retail investors. In the past few months, however, the share has more than halved. On Friday, the stock closed at $ 27.44, down 6.9%.

Before this surge in new investors, the company’s shares hovered between $ 5 and $ 10, but fell to just $ 1.91 per share in January when it looked like AMC would not avert bankruptcy.

The “meme shares” rally helped the movie theater chain hit hard by the pandemic and laden with debt from previous acquisitions. The rise in inventory allowed Aron to raise enough cash to pay rents and even add more theaters. But even with diversified content like soccer games and concerts and the company’s ability to accept cryptocurrencies for tickets and concessions, analysts don’t expect AMC stock to hold this high level.

“The current price does not appear sustainable on a fundamental basis,” said Handler.[It’s a] very opportunistic way for management to get paid. “

AMC executives and board members had previously has dumped more than $ 70 million in stocks Year, according to a report from Bloomberg. While many of these sales were planned ahead of time by management, it means a massive shift for these executives who sold only a fraction of that amount in previous years.

67-year-old Aron is very transparent with investors and has repeatedly advised them that his stock sales are part of an estate plan to diversify his portfolio. Other AMC executives were less vocal about the reasons for their sales.

These stock sales occur at a time when insider selling has accelerated. A recent study by InsiderScore / Verity found that InsiderScore sold more than $ 69 billion worth of shares that year – a record high. The changes occurred when stock assets were increasing and at a time when Congress discusses significantly higher capital gains tax rates and changes in inheritance tax policy.

How the CFO function is reworking media and leisure

The following is a contribution from Stephen Blume, Vice President of Finance at Symphony MediaAI. The opinions expressed are your own.

Historically, media and entertainment CFOs were seen as leaders who managed expenses and always looked for ways to cut overheads. But these views are becoming obsolete.

Media and entertainment CFOs today prepare for tectonic changes in consumption as the pandemic subsides.

The pandemic accelerated the trend towards convenient in-home streaming services that offered a variety of choices. Many media and entertainment companies have acquired new customers at little cost. However, new content and affordable pricing options are required to keep these viewers’ subscriptions.

Media and entertainment companies also need to make sure they define their streaming strategies. Not all of them will have the same reach as Netflix. It will be important to serve niches and develop unique offerings in order to stay competitive in this area.

Stephen Blume

Courtesy Symphony MediaAI

These shifts are why six out of ten CFOs report that the demands on their role have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, requiring real-time forecasting and predictive analytics capabilities.

Technology as a differentiator

The role of CFO in media and entertainment has become increasingly complex. Ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) and other direct-to-consumer models have complicated sales management and data analysis workflows designed for traditional license and sales revenue. Binge and churn subscribers and general customer churn have shifted the organizational focus to KPIs like Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

The good news is that as this complex ecosystem reacts to the end of the pandemic, revenues are unlikely to decline. They’ll grow at a much slower rate, however, as streamers gained so many subscribers last year. Unfortunately, that also means the cost of customer acquisition is likely to rise as media and entertainment companies compete for market share through promotions and prizes or through mergers and acquisitions, the latter of which have already started deals between them Amazon / MGM and Warner Bros. / Discovery.

This increasingly complex, competitive, and data-driven media and entertainment industry requires CFOs to take on more strategic roles in their companies. You can – and should – develop new skills to deliver strategic value in a landscape that changed dramatically just five years ago. This increasingly also includes a commitment to new technologies.

According to Ernst & Young, 58 percent of executives are from the media and entertainment sectors prioritize Process automation to optimize “low-value but necessary activities in labor-intensive corporate functions”. Gartner continues reported that 75 percent of CFOs expect to invest more time and effort into the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2021 than in previous years.

Much of the media and entertainment industry has already migrated their infrastructures to the cloud and integrated advanced analytics into their products. Think about streaming platforms, content algorithms, and subscriber behavior tracking. By using the same Skills can accelerate CFOs’ financial intelligence. Those who are able to navigate records for new perspectives and insights can identify revenue opportunities, risks, and operational efficiencies that might otherwise not be visible.

Finance teams can use AI to reduce operational overhead, scale data analytics, and improve decision-making quality with continuously available information. AI-powered insights also empower finance teams to deliver value to stakeholder functions such as marketing, sales, product development, and customer experience.

According to IBM, CFOs in the top performing companies are better at using AI and analytics to perform tasks like earnings analysis, planning, and reporting. The provision of real-time, predictive and highly accurate data greatly increases the value of the CFO when it comes to making strategic business decisions.

Disruption brings opportunities

According to a Financial Management Magazine surveyare turning CFOs from stabilizing companies during the coronavirus pandemic to rebuilding revenue streams. For many businesses, investments in technology and data are vital when they recover. Legacy systems need to be replaced allegedly the number one IT priority among M&E executives in 2021.

Subscriptions shifted from a primary source of income to one of many potential moneymakers. AVOD is projected grow by 11 percent CAGR by 2025. Streaming platforms compete with traditional studios, claiming three of the eight images nominated for best motion pictures at the 2021 Oscars.

At the same time, new challenges have arisen for media and entertainment CFOs in terms of customer loyalty and expansion, contractual and legal matters, and sales and license fees. The pandemic accelerated the social and economic trends that fueled these changes.

A Conviva study found Americans spent 44 percent more time watching streaming content in the fourth quarter of 2020 than a year earlier. And in late 2020, Netflix found that of its more than 200 million subscribers worldwide, 37 million had been added in 2020 – including more than 8.5 million new viewers in the fourth quarter alone. More recently, however Netflix reports weaker than expected revenue growth for the first quarter of 2021 due to the easing of bans and tougher competition in the streaming space. The numbers show that even the most successful media companies need every tool imaginable to keep fickle customers after the pandemic.

Data-driven insights enable CFOs and their companies to determine the content that the most viewers are getting and then analyze those viewers in-depth, such as how many viewers prefer which genres and leads, and other analysis. Equipped with AI to sort mountains of data and generate that insight, CFOs can take control of discussions about actor payments and royalties, license distribution, and advertising fees. Going a step further, these insights will make it easier for CFOs to track new growth indicators. In addition to churning rates, they can and should pay attention to customer lifetime value, average revenue per user, average revenue per content, and the total number of hours spent on their service offering.

time to act

Industry conditions have created immense opportunities for CFOs who can use their data to gain future-oriented insights. Incorporating the same analytical skills into the finance functions of media and entertainment companies will speed time-to-insight and ensure that revenue streams across the organization – marketing, content creation, product development, and more – are aligned. It also provides an opportunity to find growth opportunities.

CFOs still have to play the role of company resource allocation, but now they can have more meaningful investment conversations. You just have to employ the right technology to get them where the insight goes.

Trump Group CFO Allen Weisselberg will plead not responsible on indictment

Allen Weisselberg, Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, surrendered to the Manhattan Attorney’s Office on Thursday morning to an indictment also accusing ex-President Donald Trump of doing business.

Weißelberg, who served Trump as a loyal executive officer for decades, is expected to face criminal charges in a state court later on NBC News reports that it relates to fringe benefits granted by the Trump Organization. At about the same time, the indictment is unsealed.

The Trump organization is represented in the court proceedings by a lawyer.

Although the Trump organization is being charged as a company in the case, Trump himself is not being charged personally. The company faces possible fines and other sanctions if convicted.

Weisselberg 73, walked into the Lower Manhattan attorney’s office at 6:17 a.m. to handle the case.

His lawyers, Mary Mulligan and Bryan Skarlatos, said in a statement: “Mr. Weisselberg intends to plead not guilty and will address these allegations in court.”

The accusation was received by a grand jury on Wednesday at the behest of the DA office and the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr. refused to comment on the case as he passed reporters asking if he had anything to say.

“Just good morning and I’ll see you at 2:15,” Vance said, referring to the probable time of the indictment.

Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

Shortly after Weisselberg’s surrender, the Trump organization blew up Vance.

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“Allen Weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who worked for the Trump organization for 48 years,” a company spokesman said in a statement.

“He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president,” the spokesman said.

“The district attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution with employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other district attorney would ever think of. This is not justice, this is politics.”

Vance’s office has been investigating the Trump organization on various issues for several years.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York, United States, on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Visa needs to assist transfer cash abroad; ‘We’re moving into areas we by no means used to service earlier than,’ says CFO

A recovering economy and the reopening of the borders are fueling a new spending dynamic for Visa Inc., and could also support the company’s more recent efforts to facilitate inter-company payments.

During visa
V, + 0.89%
had already benefited from a rebound in domestic spending, now indicates an improvement in trends for its cross-border business as more travel corridors open. Cross-border transactions, or transactions made by cardholders who are spending money in a country other than the country where their card details originate, are a critical part of Visa’s business model as the complexity of the company allows the company to charge higher fees for these transactions.

The company is still hampered by restrictions on international travel, which is an important part of cross-border spending, although CFO Vasant Prabhu sees positive signs in areas where traffic between countries is more free. U.S. consumer spending in Mexico increased 70% in May over the same period in 2019, he said, with the two-year comparison intended to offer a perspective on business performance versus pre-pandemic times. In addition, Greece opened its borders in mid-April and Visa doubled its cross-border spending in the country in six weeks.

“Consumers are showing a real desire to get started,” he told MarketWatch. “Wherever borders open, we immediately see clear bumps.”

Overall, Visa’s cross-border business ran to around 85% of 2019 levels in May, Prabhu said, with no transactions between European countries. That was an increase of six percentage points compared to the quarter of April 2021.

The COVID-19 crisis has meant that Visa may no longer be so reliant on travel to fuel cross-border spending in the future. Before the pandemic, travel made up two-thirds of cross-border business, with e-commerce spending the rest. Now the balance is upside-down, in part because cross-border travel has still stalled, but also because shoppers, especially outside of the US, are more convenient to shop online from international sellers, Prabhu said.

In general, Visa relies on being able to participate more in the flow of money between countries. The company is best known for making card payments possible for consumers, but it has made greater efforts lately to get involved in the flow of money between companies, which is a lucrative but complex business, especially when it comes to companies that are international Operate commercially.

While companies in the past have not preferred to pay each other using traditional credit or debit cards, Visa has expanded its business beyond cards to capture new types of money movements. The company acquired Earthport two years ago, which enabled it to connect to additional card-based networks and domestic systems for automated clearing houses (ACH) while Visa itself was already bringing 5 billion cards and accounts to the table. The goal is to help businesses or people pay each other in a variety of ways, be it from a card to a bank account or from a bank account to a bank account.

“We are merging an extraordinary number of networks into a single network,” said Prabhu.

This wide presence in various payment networks is why Visa believes it can be an attractive option for companies looking to send money internationally, both to suppliers and to those who work for them in other parts of the world. The company sees a $ 10 trillion market opportunity in cross-border business-to-business (B2B) payments.

The process of sending money internationally has generally been complex, Prabhu said, as companies wishing to do so may have had to use different platforms depending on where they were sending funds, how large the transaction amounts were, or how often their payments would take space . Visa’s interactions with different types of networks mean that companies can use its B2B Connect platform for different types of transactions in a simplified manner and with more security in terms of exchange rates and security protocols, he continued.

Visa announced on Monday that it has entered into a new partnership with Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking that will focus on sending money internationally. Goldman Sachs has “a single connection for any type of cross-border payment” that it can use to help its customers get their money where it belongs.

Visa saw some negative impact on its B2B cross-border dynamics during the pandemic, particularly from smaller businesses hit by COVID-19, Prabhu said, but the company is now seeing that area come back. And in general, he sees an urge from companies to digitize more parts of their operations, including payments.

The company’s efforts to expand beyond card payments are also helping it enter other areas of international money transactions, including cross-border transfers. The remittance market is “as big as FDI,” said Prabhu, and Visa is “really for the first time in” [its] history ”, which enables this type of cash flow thanks to partnerships with major remittance providers.

“We’re moving into areas we’ve never served before,” he said, “and helping people move money across borders in ways that go beyond paying merchants.”

Boeing raises necessary retirement age for CEO Calhoun by 5 years, CFO to retire

Dave Calhoun, Boeing Chairman

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Boeing It was announced on Tuesday that the mandatory retirement age of the 64-year-old CEO will be raised from 65 to 70 as the company continues to face challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, production problems and the aftermath of two crashes on its best-selling plane.

Boeing CFO Greg Smith will retire in July, the manufacturer said. Boeing said it was looking for a replacement.

“Under Dave’s strong leadership, Boeing has effectively mastered one of the most challenging and complex periods in its long history,” said Larry Kellner, Boeing chairman, in a press release. “Given the significant progress that Boeing has made under Dave’s leadership and the continuity required to thrive in our long cycle industry, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders to the board of directors and Dave allow the flexibility for him to continue in his role beyond the company’s normal retirement age. “

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Riot Video games Hires Former MRC CFO DJ Jacobs As Leisure Head Of Technique, Enterprise Operations – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Riot games, the developer and publisher of League of Legends, knocked earlier MRC CFO DJ Jacobs as Head of Strategy and Business Operations for Entertainment.

“Riot’s commitment to delivering fun and memorable experiences to its players and fans has always impressed me,” said DJ Jacobs. “I’m very excited to be joining this team to bring our characters and stories to players in exciting new ways.”

Jacobs, who will lead group, content and product-level strategies for Riot’s new entertainment division, has more than 15 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry overseeing investments and acquisitions, new business initiatives, film and TV underwriting, strategic planning and financing.

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For Riot, he will work with key product leaders to lead commercialization, research and insights, and partnerships between film, television, music, consumer products, live experiences, animation and third-party game release.

“DJ’s extensive experience in both the creative and operational side of the media and entertainment business makes him an ideal leader to help us grow this new division,” said Shauna Spenley, global president of entertainment, Riot Games. “His track record of building teams and securing strategic partnerships will prove essential as we expand our popular intellectual property to include players around the world in new, innovative ways.”

Before joining Riot Games, Jacobs spent nine years at MRC, where he was CFO and Chief Strategy Office. He led efforts to raise debt and equity that raised over $ 2 billion, served on Greenlight’s film and television committees, and developed key strategic partnerships with agents, artists and distributors. He began his career at The William Morris Agency and in the production of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy before moving to Credit Suisse’s wealth management division. He has an engineering degree from Harvard University.