The big question in the media world today is whether MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson can stanch the bleeding of its cash flows before it becomes insolvent.
In a new filing today with the SEC, Helios informed investors that it had $15.5 million in available cash, with another $27.9 million in accounts receivable from members of MoviePass on longer-term subscriptions. Under accounting rules, those dollars can’t be used to fund current expenses. The company said that it has lost $21.7 million a month between September and April this year.
Investors dumped the stock following the filing, and the stock was down 31 percent at the close of the equity markets today (TechCrunch parent company Verizon owns shares of MoviePass through its sale of Moviefone).
While linear math would seem to indicate that the company is on track for insolvency in a matter of days, the filing and its CEO are maintaining an optimistic line. The company said that following a series of product changes, including more verification that a subscriber actually watched a film themselves, it should reduce its cash loss on the service by 35 percent during the first week of May.
In an interview with TechCrunch, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe struck a positive view on the future of the business. He argued that unlike in the past, where a new app or service would raise venture capital and then invest it in the business, you can just handle capital concerns as you need them. “Today what you do is you raise enough money month by month to fund essentially that negative cash flow,” he said. “We are 100% confident that we have the committed funding to do it.”
In order for the company to avoid insolvency, the company will need to continue to sell its common stock to investors on a regular basis to fund that negative cash flow. The company said that sales of its common stock will need to begin this month in order to fund operations. If the company is unable to do so, “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,” it wrote in the filing.