Shares of movie theater operators took a deep dive Monday, after the U.K.’s Cineworld Group PLC said it will temporarily suspend operations at all of its theaters, as the release of the latest James Bond film was delayed for a second time.
Cineworld’s move impacts its 536 Regal theaters in the U.S . and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K., from Oct. 8. Cineworld had acquired Regal Entertainment Group for $3.6 billion in a deal that closed in February 2018.
Cineworld’s U.S.-listed shares /zigman2/quotes/208174566/composite CNNWF +0.32% tumbled 25.0%, paring earlier losses of as much as 50%, while the U.K.-listed shares /zigman2/quotes/206525056/delayed UK:CINE +1.17% closed down 36.2% at a near six-month low.
That weighed on shares of other movie theater operators. Cinemark Holdings Inc.’s stock /zigman2/quotes/200040530/composite CNK -3.27% tumbled 17.4%, putting it on track for the lowest close since April 1. Trading volume swelled to 29.1 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 7.5 million shares.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. shares /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC -0.67% dropped 11.2%, and was headed for the lowest close since Aug. 4.
AMC’s stock has now lost 41.3% since its closed at a more than six-month high on Sept. 2, while Cinemark shares have shed 48.2% over the same time. Year to date, shares of AMC have shed 43.0% and Cinemark have slid 75.4%.
The U.S.-listed shares of Toronto-based Cineplex Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205690789/composite CPXGF -0.24% sank 26.9%, while the Canada-listed stock /zigman2/quotes/201832697/delayed CA:CGX -0.29% lost 28.4%.
BMO Capital analyst Tim Casey downgraded Cineplex to underperform from market perform, citing “elevated concerns” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, and particularly Ontario. Casey said release postponements warrant a reduction in financial forecasts for Cineplex “and highlight potential balance sheet risk” for the company in 2021.