Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. extended their gains for a second straight day Friday, providing the original meme stock’s investors with some respite after a poor run of losses.
which has hit a series of record lows recently, ended the session up 1.8%. The movie-theater chain snapped a six-day losing streak Thursday, registering its biggest gain in over a month. The stock has been down 11 of the last 14 trading days.
Three years ago, AMC transformed from a beleaguered pandemic victim to a meme-stock phenomenon. Boosted by the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit, AMC parlayed a steep rise in its share price to tap into equity and debt markets, raising $917 million in January 2021. In 2022, the company launched its AMC preferred equity unit special dividend, and in 2023 it completed the conversion of the APEs into AMC common stock, along with a reverse 1-for-10 split of common stock. The investors who turned AMC into a meme stock often refer to themselves as “apes” or “ape nation.”
In December, AMC completed its latest at-the-market equity offering, raising approximately $350 million. The move is part of the company’s push to reduce its debt burden, which stood at more than $5 billion in 2022. The latest equity offering, which launched Nov. 9, repurchased debt or exchanged debt for equity and reduced the company’s liabilities by around $62.3 million, AMC said.
AMC has rode the popularity of concert movies from big-name stars such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift in recent months, with “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” breaking box-office records after its opening on Oct. 12. During a conference call to discuss AMC’s third-quarter results in November, CEO Adam Aron said the success of those movies could pave the way for more concert films at AMC theaters.
Earlier this month, Aron expressed the company’s “eternal gratitude” to Swift as the singer-songwriter’s concert film broke another record.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on New Year’s Eve, Aron also slammed the “prophets of doom” who expected to see the company’s demise in 2023. “AMC is still here, still innovating, still blazing new trails,” he wrote.
AMC’s stock has fallen 90.7% in the last 52 weeks, compared with the S&P 500 index’s
gain of 21.8%.