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One Year Later: The Rise And Fall Of Helios And Matheson

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One Year Later: The Rise And Fall Of Helios And Matheson
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Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ: HMNY) investors have endured one of the most disastrous years imaginable. The story begins with Helios’ decision to take a majority ownership stake in the subscription service MoviePass back in August 2017. Here’s a timeline of the drama that has unfolded since and left Helios stock down 99.9 percent.

  • Aug. 15, 2017: MoviePass announces it has sold a majority ownership stake to Helios and is dropping the cost of its basic monthly subscription from $14.95 to $9.95. The market initially cheered the deal, sending Helios stock up more than 5 percent to close at $2.95 following the announcement.
  • Oct.11, 2017: Helios stock hits an intraday high of $38.86, marking the ultimate high point for the stock based on MoviePass hype. The stock soon begins to give up those gains as more skeptics start question the MoviePass model.
  • Oct. 24, 2017: Helios announces MoviePass’ subscriber count has grown from 20,000 in mid-August to more than 600,000. The company says it expects to hit 3.1 million subscribers within a year’s time.
  • Nov. 17, 2017: MoviePass announces it has lowered its monthly subscription price to just $6.95 for customers who commit to a one-year plan. Maxim Group analyst Brian Kinstlinger praises the new promotion and says it will push MoviePass above the 1 million subscriber mark by the end of 2017.
  • Dec. 5, 2017: Helios stock falls another 25 percent in a week after Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) launches its own competing Movie Club subscription service priced at $8.99 per month. MoviePass bulls say its $6.95 service is a better deal for customers, while bears say MovieClub is actually designed to turn a profit and is a more sustainable model.
  • Dec. 13, 2017: Helios announces the details of a $60-million equity offering priced at $6.50 per share. The stock sells off by more than 30 percent after the price of the offering disappointed the market, but bulls maintain that the influx of cash gives Helios the financial flexibility it needs.
  • Feb. 8, 2018: Helios announces MoviePass has surpassed 2 million subscribers. Bulls such as Canaccord Genuity analyst Austin Moldow say MoviePass’s rapid growth and “considerable bargaining power” can help the company reverse its negative gross margins over time, but Helios stock is now under $3.50 per share.
  • April 5, 2018: Already strapped for cash, Helios announces an $8.6-million buyout of Moviefone from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Helios says it plans to convert a substantial amount of Moviefone users to MoviePass subscribers, and Helios stock gains 11.7 percent in premarket trading to around $3.30 per share.
  • April 20, 2018: In a new prospectus, Helios discloses that it has been losing an average of $20 million per month since September 2017. Helios’ auditor also issues a “going concern” statement about the company’s ability to maintain operations for another year, and Helios says it will raise more cash by selling shares at a steep discount to market price.
  • June 20, 2018: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC) announces its own monthly movie service priced at $20 per month. AMC also takes thinly veiled shots at MoviePass, claiming that $20 per month is the price point for profitability and “other discounters by contrast will continue to be hemorrhaging cash.”
  • July 25, 2018: Helios undergoes a 250-to-1 reverse stock split to maintain its listing on the Nasdaq exchange. At that point, Helios shares were down 97.1 percent in the previous 12 months.
  • July 26, 2018: A day after the reverse split, MoviePass announces it's raising its monthly price to $14.95 and restricting access to new release movies at more than 1,000 theaters. The company says the changes help reduce cash burn by 60 percent.
  • Aug. 6, 2018: Less than two weeks after announcing the price hike, MoviePass walks back the changes, saying it will maintain its $9.95 monthly price point and instead will reduce the total number of monthly tickets from 30 to just three. At this point, Helios stock is down another 86.4 percent since announcing the initial pricing change.
  • Aug. 14, 2018: Helios’ quarterly filing reveals the company is still in dire financial straits. Helios says it has “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue operating beyond Aug. 14, 2019 if it is unable to raise additional capital and reports a net loss of $132.47 per Helios share in the second quarter.
  • Aug. 30, 2018: Economist Carl Schramm resigns from the Helios board and says in an open letter that MoviePass withheld material information and made business decisions “without board knowledge or approval.” Schramm says he has often been unsuccessful when attempting to obtain information from the company regarding its financial status and explanations for the company’s strategy.
  • Sept. 17, 2018: Helios says it will propose another reverse split of up to 500-to-1 at an October shareholder meeting. In the filing, the company says the split was necessary not just to maintain its NASDAQ listing, but also because it "will continue to need to raise capital to fund MoviePass until MoviePass becomes cash flow positive or profitable (of which there is no assurance)."
  • Oct. 2, 2018: MoviePass sends out an email to former customers notifying them that they have been automatically re-enrolled and will be billed $9.95 per month unless they opt out by Oct. 5. Understandably, the automatic re-enrollment is met with public backlash on social media.
  • Oct. 4, 2018: Helios says in a filing that Canaccord Genuity has terminated its contract with Helios to sell shares of the company's stock to the public. Helios hired Canaccord back in April to sell up to $150 million in Helios shares, but Canaccord is ending the deal after selling just $126 million in stock.
  • Oct. 18, 2018: The New York Attorney General reportedly launches a probe into whether Helios management misled investors about the company's finances. In a statement, Helios management says it is cooperating with the investigation.

Adjusting for the 250-to-1 split, Helios stock has fallen from its 52-week high of $38.86 to its current share price of 0.000068 cents.

Related Links:

Helios And Matheson Again Warns There's 'Substantial Doubt' It'll Be In Business Next Summer Without More Cash

MoviePass Walks Back Subscription Price Hike, Limits Customers To 3 Movies Per Month

Photo courtesy of Helios and Matheson.

Posted-In: MoviePassNews Education General Best of Benzinga

 

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