Industry News

Problems mount for MoviePass owners

MoviePass’ parent company’s share price bombed on Wednesday after a rescue plan did little to assure investors.

Helios and Matheson first received notice that it could be delisted from the Nasdaq in June, after failing to maintain a share price above the minimum $1 despite MoviePass having more than three million members.

After a series of worrying announcements about financial performance, the data company’s stock has witnessed a dramatic decline from its high of $38.52 less than a year ago to a record low of $0.09 on Monday.

It unveiled a plan for a 1-to-250 reverse stock split which dramatically reduced the number of shares outstanding on Tuesday. That move was approved by shareholders and artificially propelled the share price to around $20, but it fell by around 50 per cent on Wednesday as investors fled.

While Helios chairman Ted Farnsworth predicts by year-end MoviePass will control 50 per cent of all tickets bought in the US, its $10-a-month subscription model means it is locked into losses.

Helios bought MoviePass as a vehicle to monetise customer data, however Farnsworth admitted at a business conference earlier this week that revenue from the data is negligible so far and that meaningful non-subscription revenue still lies down the road.

“They just didn’t price it right,” said Ross Gerber, president of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management. He said the company needs to raise its fee to at least $20 or $25 to turn a profit, but accepted that would risk losing subscribers.

Earlier this month Helios said it is looking to sell up to $1.2bn in equity and debt securities over three years in an effort to finance operations and growth.