While the rest of the world remains far from “open for business” due to continuing struggles with Covid-19 – especially in the face of concerns over the newly emerging Delta variant – the US and much of the developed world are in great shape as we near the close of Q2 and the first half of the fiscal and calendar year.
Q3 will be the quarter most powerfully marked by the concept of “the Great Reopening in the US”, which is fitting given that it will also kick off with the July 4th holiday. Q2 has been strong, and will no doubt represent peak earnings growth across the market on a year-over-year quarterly basis. But that is a consequence of the extreme lockdowns in place during April and May of 2020. Things were completely shut down.
But, if you recall, the economy roared back on a relative basis in Q3 of last year, with 38% annualized US GDP growth in the quarter.
That said, things were still bleak.
This time around, according to the New York Times, the first moment when the country will likely be entirely reopened, with eased social distancing and mask mandates will be next month. And the first quarter that will reflect a fully reopened economy will be Q3.
This has implications for investment strategies. The companies that may benefit the most from this shift in conditions will be those tied most to people gathering together in public to have fun, such as theme parks like Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and, to a lesser extent, cruise ships like Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL).
But theme parks and cruise ships aren’t the only big winners from reopening. Investors should also take a look at a basket of stocks that we might loosely group as “the Family Fun Plays”, including: Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK), Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:PLAY), Amfil Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:FUNN), and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC)
Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:PLAY) bills itself as the owner and operator of 141 venues in North America that combine entertainment and dining and offer customers the opportunity to “Eat Drink Play and Watch,” all in one location.
Dave & Buster’s offers a full menu of entrées and appetizers, a complete selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and an extensive assortment of entertainment attractions centered around playing games and watching live sports and other televised events. Dave & Buster’s currently has stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:PLAY) most recently announced financial results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2021, which ended on May 2, 2021, including notes that revenues totaled $265.3 million compared with $159.8 million in the first quarter of 2020 and $363.6 million in the first quarter of 2019, overall comparable store sales declined 35% compared with the same period in 2019, and comparable store sales at fully operational stores declined 17% compared with the same period in 2019.
Brian Jenkins, Dave & Buster’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “The strength and resilience of the Dave & Buster’s brand has never been more evident. We saw a significant improvement in demand across our store base in the first quarter, including at our recently re-opened New York and California stores. We generated $265 million in total sales, surpassing the top end of our expected range for the quarter, and established a new high-water mark in our post-Covid sales recovery. This strong sales rebound, coupled with our lean operating model, drove outstanding profit flow-through during the quarter, and generated $72 million in EBITDA, only 19% below the first quarter of 2019.”
It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark things. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -4%.
Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:PLAY) pulled in sales of $265.3M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 66%. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($20.2M against $279.2M, respectively).
Amfil Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:FUNN) is the parent company to three wholly owned subsidiaries: Snakes & Lagers Inc. holds the trade name and is the owner of Snakes & Lattes Inc. which currently operates 3 tabletop gaming bars and cafes located in Toronto, Ontario, 2 in Arizona (Tempe, Tucson) and 1 in Chicago, Illinois.
The company also owns FUNN Dispensaries, Inc., which is entering the Canadian cannabis dispensary market with its first dispensary expected to open by summer of 2021 and a goal of significant expansion throughout Canada, as well as Interloc-Kings Inc., a hardscape construction company servicing the Greater Toronto Area that the company plans to spin-off in the future. But its Snakes & Lattes business is the most dynamic at this point, and the most likely to benefit from the Great Reopening we are now seeing in North America.
Amfil Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:FUNN) is in the process of expanding its Snakes & Lattes brand throughout North America and was the first board game bar and cafe in North America. It is also believed to be the largest in the world and has the largest circulating public library of board games in North America for customers to choose from. The company also recently announced the hiring of its new Chief Operating Officer, Aaron McKay, who will support the company in executing its growth strategy and vision.
“As we shift our focus to reopening and expansion, we have a unique opportunity to help people connect with one another after the year we’ve had,” said McKay. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing a room full of people laughing, playing games, and connecting over terrific food and drinks. I’m excited to bring that feeling to as many people as possible by growing the brand and continually making ourselves better every day.”
FUNN shares have been pulling back to test key support following a sharp bullish breakout earlier this year. The stock is in a bullish trend following its lows in the penny area last year. Overall, shares are up nearly 200% in the past year despite the overwhelming challenges endured during the pandemic – a testament to the company’s ability to solve problems and demonstrate strong growth potential.
Amfil Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:FUNN) managed to rope in revenues totaling $736K in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data – a figure that represents the struggle of this industry during a pandemic. The whole point of this piece is to suggest that companies like this – and FUNN in particular – are likely to experience a radical expansion in performance given the shifting context we are now seeing in North America.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) frames itself as the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe and the largest throughout the world with approximately 950 theatres and 10,500 screens across the globe.
AMC has propelled innovation in the exhibition industry by: deploying its Signature power-recliner seats; delivering enhanced food and beverage choices; generating greater guest engagement through its loyalty and subscription programs, web site and mobile apps; offering premium large format experiences and playing a wide variety of content including the latest Hollywood releases and independent programming.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) most recently announced that audiences came roaring back to AMC movie theatres in post-reopening record numbers this weekend. AMC credits the opening of F9: THE FAST SAGA, as well as other movies also currently playing at its theatres, to AMC seeing its busiest weekend attendance numbers in more than a year.
According to the company, some 2 million people watched movies at AMC‘s United States theatre locations between Thursday, June 24 and Sunday, June 27. These are the biggest numbers recorded by AMC in the U.S. since closing its theaters in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 4% in that time. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 122% in that time on strong overall action.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) generated sales of $148.3M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -8.7% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($842.1M against $1.6B, respectively).
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) trumpets itself as one of the largest and most influential movie theatre companies in the world.
Cinemark’s circuit, comprised of various brands that also include Century, Tinseltown and Rave, operates 523 theatres (325 U.S., 198 South and Central America) with 5,872 screens (4,436 U.S., 1,436 South and Central America) in 42 states domestically and 15 countries throughout South and Central America.
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) recently announced it is further innovating its entertainment experience by expanding its in-theatre and online esports offering. This summer, Cinemark customers will have the ability to join drop-in games in select theatres, and a new partnership with Mission Control will offer online esports leagues. For all details how to participate, visit Cinemark.com/gamebig.
“At Cinemark, we strive to continually evolve as an entertainment destination, offering our customers the opportunity to have an entertaining escape into more than just big films,” said Justin McDaniel, Cinemark SVP of Global Content Strategy. “Our immersive environment lends itself particularly well to the gaming community, putting players in the universes in which they are competing. We are excited to bring big games to the big screen with our drop-in play as well as collaborate with Mission Control to offer online Cinemark esports leagues.”
Even in light of this news, CNK hasn’t really done much of anything over the past week, with shares logging no net movement over that period.
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) generated sales of $114.4M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 16.4% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($512.8M against $594.5M, respectively).