If AMC Stock Stays Cheap Like Now, Value Investors Will Keep Buying It

AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) has been falling for the past several months. This might make it appealing to value seekers. AMC stock is now down $22.78 per share as of Jan. 10. But this is down from its recent peak of $51.69 on Sept. 13. That gives it a tumble of 55% from the peak.

amc enertainment stocks
Source: QualityHD / Shutterstock.com

On the one hand, that might be pretty concerning to many investors. But to others, including value investors, it might just well be worth looking at again. That is especially the case for those who missed its move up earlier this year.

In fact, as I wrote last month, the world’s largest movie chain is now clearly in a turnaround situation. People are going back to see movies in a big way. AMC reported that it had record sales during the pre-Christmas runup. This is going to accrue to AMC’s fourth quarter earnings and cash flow situation and could help push up AMC stock.

Where Things Stand For AMC Entertainment

On Dec. 22, AMC reported that it set a post-reopening single-day attendance record in the U.S. In fact, based on the opening weekend strength of Marvel & Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man No Way Home,” AMC broke several post-reopening attendance records. For three days straight that weekend its opening attendance records were broken each day.

Moreover, AMC globally sold more than two million tickets on Dec. 21. This was the largest single-day record ever since Christmas Day 2019.

Anyone who goes to movies knows that AMC makes a lot of money not only from movies but also the concessions (popcorn, soda, candy, etc.) they sell. As a result, I suspect that the Q4 earnings statement will bring a good deal of cash flow to the bottom line. This may result in a surprise earnings result.

Where Things Stand With AMC Stock

For example, although analysts still expect negative earnings per share (EPS) this year, that may not mean that the company will have negative free cash flow (FCF). For example, the revenue estimate for Q4 2021 from seven analysts surveyed by Seeking Alpha is for $2.49 billion. But by the end of 2022, they forecast $4.57 billion, or 83.5% higher than 2021.

However, as it stands, the company’s third-quarter earnings report showed that its operating cash burn during Q3 was just $31.2 million. This improved significantly from the $127 million burned during the second quarter and $322 million during the first quarter.

As a result, I expect that by the end of Q4 2022, AMC will clearly be making significant amounts of FCF. I suspect that is FCF margin will rise to at least 10% and probably 15% on a run-rate basis by Q4. But just using a 10% FCF margin we can therefore forecast that 2022 FCF will be $457 million (i.e., 10% x $4.57 billion).

What AMC Stock Is Worth

The best way to value AMC stock is to use a FCF yield metric. For example, at a 3% FCF yield, the stock has a target market value of $15.23 billion. This is seen by dividing $457 million by 3%.

So now, AMC Entertainment presently has a market capitalization of $11.69 billion. Therefore, using a 3% FCF yield metric, which is very cheap, AMC stock has an upside of at least 30% (i.e., $15.23b/$11.69b -1).

And using a 2% FCF yield, the stock has an even higher upside. For example, dividing $457 million in forecast FCF by 2%, the stock has a target value of $22.85 billion. That represents an upside of 95.5% for the stock. Even if it takes two years for this to work out, the average annual return will be 39.8% for each year.

So, in just about any way you measure it, AMC stock looks like a pretty good bargain going forward. From my calculations, the upside ranges from 30% to 95%, with an average of 38% annually for the next two years.

On the date of publication, Mark Hake did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Mark Hake writes about personal finance on mrhake.medium.com and runs the Total Yield Value Guide which you can review here.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2022/01/amc-stock-could-have-an-annual-return-of-38-percent-annually-for-the-next-two-years/.

©2022 InvestorPlace Media, LLC