Strong Q1 maintains momentum for Carmike


Carmike Cinemas on Monday reported a narrowed first-quarter loss of $4 million, saying only a one-time charge related to its termination agreement with former CEO Michael Patrick kept the Columbus, Ga.-based company from turning a profit.

Carmike's revenue rose nearly 5% to $121.9 million. Admissions revenue was up 4%, and concession sales increased 6%.

"Carmike is off to a solid start in 2009, extending the momentum we established in last year's fourth quarter," chairman David Passman said.

Passman leads an exec team named to take control of the circuit after 20-year CEO Patrick was ousted in January over a sluggish stock price. A search continues for a new Carmike chief.

Excluding a one-time charge of $5.5 million for Patrick's severance agreement, Carmike marked a $1.5 million profit in the most recent quarter.

A boxoffice boom has lifted the exhibition segment since January. Those bullish on Carmike include billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who disclosed accumulating a 9% stake by the end of December.

On Monday, Carmike shares jumped 22% to close at $5.23 after a "buy" recommendation by Jefferies & Co. Carmike released its financial results after the close of market trading.

Carmike operates 249 theaters with 2,288 screens in small and midsized markets in 35 states. About 94% of its screens are outfitted for digital projection, and 22% boast 3-D capability. (partialdiff)