Regal Beats Earnings Estimates as Average Movie Ticket Price Hits $9.76

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The exhibitor said it ended the quarter with 572 theaters operating 7,361 screens.

Regal Entertainment, the giant movie exhibition company, posted better-than-expected earnings in its fourth quarter even as revenue was slightly below expectations.

Regal credited a "strong film slate" — which included, for a few days at least, the latest Star Wars movie — for helping it obtain record revenue of $848.2 million in the quarter, though analysts were looking for an additional $400,000.

The company earned 35 cents per share, or 36 cents after some charges, while Wall Street was expecting 33 cents.

Admissions revenue was $545.6 million, up from $531.2 million a year earlier, and concessions revenue was $241.1 million, up from $222.1 million.

During the quarter, the average ticket price rose to $9.76, up from $9.12 last year, and the average amount spent per patron at the concession stand rose to $4.31, up from $3.82 last year. Both numbers were records.

Regal said it ended the quarter with 572 theaters operating 7,361 screens. The company also declared a cash dividend of 22 cents per share.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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