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Regal Entertainment Misses Quarterly Earnings Estimates

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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The giant movie exhibitor reported rising admissions revenue despite selling fewer tickets.

Regal Entertainment, the owner-operator of the nation's largest theater chain, said Thursday it earned 17 cents per share in the most recent quarter, missing the estimates of analysts by about 9 cents.

The company said revenue in the fourth quarter rose 3 percent to $739.9 million and for the full year, revenue was a record $3.04 billion.

Regal said admissions revenue was up 4 percent to $503.6 million in the quarter while concessions revenue rose 3 percent to $193.3 million.

STORY: Average Movie Ticket Price Rises to $8.13 in 2013 

Admission revenue rose even as attendance fell 1 percent to 54.25 million, the reason being the average ticket price was up 5 percent to $9.28.

The average patron spent $3.56 for concessions during the quarter, up from $3.44 in the same quarter last year.

The company ended the quarter with 580 theaters and 7,394 screens.

Also on Thursday, Regal said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 22 cents per share.

Shares of Regal were down fractionally to $19.52 on Thursday and sunk another 2 percent after the closing bell.