MoviePass wants to prop up its stock price again

MoviePass, AMC, and the future of movie going
MoviePass, AMC, and the future of movie going

MoviePass is toying with yet another dramatic proposal to boost its cratering stock price.

Executives at Helios and Matheson (HMNY), the parent company of the movie subscription service, are asking shareholders to vote on a plan that could increase the stock by as much as 500-fold.

That plan was outlined in a new document filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The vote will take place at a shareholder meeting October 18.

If the plan is approved, stockholders would trade in as many as 500 shares for a single share worth about 500 times as much. The final ratio has yet to be determined, and will be laid out in a future announcement.

The change would be largely cosmetic for shareholders, since their stakes would be valued the same as before the split.

But the plan could boost the stock price from about 2 cents to as much as $10 — enough to possibly keep the stock trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Nasdaq has warned Helios and Matheson that its stock could be delisted because of its low price.

Whether the price would remain high after the reverse stock split is far from certain.

MoviePass tried to boost its stock from 8 cents to $21 with a similar move in July. But the new price plunged back below $1 within days.

The stock isn't the only issue that endangers the company's Nasdaq listing status.

After a board member resigned last month, Helios and Matheson fell out of compliance with rules that require the company to have another independent director. Carl Schramm, an economist and Syracuse University professor, quit his job and claimed that executives mismanaged the business and withheld crucial information from the board.

MoviePass burst onto the scene last year when it began offering customers the ability to watch as many movies in theaters as they wanted for $10 per month. But that business model proved unsustainable, and the company has since changed its subscription plans, pricing and movie availability.

Right now, MoviePass offers customers the ability to watch three movies per month for $10. The service also allows most users to only watch a handful of titles at any given time.

In the year since MoviePass first began attracting attention, several other companies have either launched or tinkered with their own services.

AMC Theaters, for example, created a $20-per-month service that allows customers to see three movies per week in AMC theaters.

Sinemia, another competitor, on Monday said it would start offering customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia the ability to see unlimited 2-D movies for a $30 monthly fee.


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