AMC Announces Bitcoin Payments While Fund Manager Jim Chanos Says There Is No Way AMC Can Be Profitable

Theater chain AMC has been struggling and seeking ways to boost its bottom line. The company is looking toward bitcoin as one possible solution. 

The largest movie theater chain in the world will soon accept bitcoin as payment from customers purchasing movie tickets and concession items online, the company said on a Sept. 9 earnings call. AMC will also begin accepting Apple Pay and Google PayCNet reported. 

In 2020, AMC Theatres operated 950 movie theaters worldwide. The company is a market leader in both the U.S. and Europe, and operated more than 10,000 screens in 15 countries, according to Statista.

“This increased knowledge has given me the confidence to tell you all today that AMC is hereby formally announcing on this call that by year’s end we will have the information technology systems in place to accept bitcoin,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said during the call.

Despite this, Jim Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates and an infamous short-seller, doesn’t see AMC being profitable. In an interview with CNBC, Chanos said he has a put position open on AMC stockInvestorPlace reported.

He told Insider that despite a relatively bright earnings report on Sept. 9, his firm had taken a small short position against AMC, due to deteriorating fundamentals.

The reality is that things have gotten worse at this company,” said Chanos. “So clearly something has changed. And that change is streaming.”

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Chanos’ firm had taken a small short position – less than 1 percent of net assets – against AMC. AMC box office sales have not totally recovered from the pandemic and the theater chain is still burdened by debt and expensive facilities, he said.

It’s been a tough AMC Theaters. The company “got swept up in a Reddit-fueled fight against Wall Street, and cinemas took a hit as movie releases were pushed back and people stayed at home amid the covid pandemic, CNet reported.

AMC’s stock was at $2.01 per share at the beginning of the year but went up to $19.90 by Jan. 27 as it became a focus of Internet traders.

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