MoviePass Needs More Cash — or Else

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Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: HMNY), the majority shareholder of subscription movie ticket provider MoviePass, said Tuesday morning in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will need more cash starting this month. Otherwise, well, you know how that story ends.

In its filing Helios said the company had $15.5 million in cash on hand at the end of April and approximately $27.9 million accounts receivable for a total of about $43.4 million. The receivables are currently held by merchant processors of MoviePass subscriptions and Helios expects to receive them “during the course of 2018.” But the firm needs the money now.

MoviePass has burned through cash at an average monthly rate of $21.7 million since September of last year.

Here’s where things get messy, according to the filing:

[W]e will need proceeds from sales of our common stock pursuant to our Equity Distribution Agreement with Canaccord Genuity, or other sources of capital, starting in May 2018. Further, if we use all or a portion of the anticipated net proceeds from sales of our common stock pursuant to our Equity Distribution Agreement with Canaccord Genuity for acquisitions of other companies or financial interests in additional movies (through our subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures), we will need additional capital to offset our monthly cash deficit.

MoviePass took some steps to rein in its cash outflow by restricting the subscription to a single person and limiting a subscriber to just one monthly viewing of the same movie. According to the company, these moves resulted in reducing MoviePass’ cash deficit by 35% in the first week of May. The company also reinstituted its $9.95 unlimited subscription offer and it believes that “subscriber acquisitions and subscription revenues will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.”

The upshot, Helios says, is this:

If we are unable to obtain sufficient amounts of additional capital, whether through our Equity Distribution Agreement or otherwise, we may be required to reduce the scope of our planned growth or otherwise alter our business model, objectives and operations, which could harm our business, financial condition and operating results.

This not quite the typical “going concern” statement, but it is not many steps away from it. Investors are rushing to the exits, taking Helios and Matheson’s share price down 18% to $1.72, a new 52-week low. The stock’s 52-week high is $38.86, and the 12-month price target on the stock is $12.00.

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