AMC Rallies as Moviegoers Return and Meme Stock Disruption Persists
Movies appear to be making a comeback. AMC Entertainment today announced some good news that sent the meme stock soaring by a double-digit percentage at one point. The stock has since retreated slightly but remains one of the top meme-stocks today.
AMC attracted 2 million people to its U.S. theatres in the four-day period leading up to June 27, revisiting pre-pandemic visitation levels. Including international theatres, attendance was 2.5 million moviegoers.
Adam Aron, CEO of AMC, said that both attendance tallies set new records since the movie chain reopened its doors in a post-pandemic world. In particular, “F9: THE FAST SAGA” generated USD 70 million in ticket sales for AMC, and the summer blockbuster season is just kicking off.
What a weekend for the big screen! Due to a gangbuster opening of @UniversalPics F9, 2.0 million people watched a movie in @AMCTheatres Thursday through Sunday in the U.S., and 2.5 million people did so at our theatres globally. Both RECORD NUMBERS since re-opening our theatres. pic.twitter.com/Q6RrgHZNvc
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) June 28, 2021
AMC Stock Bump
AMC stock has been meandering below and above the USD 60 level all month and is currently within reach of the psychologically important threshold once again. At last check, shares of AMC are up 7% to just below USD 58 after surpassing USD 59 earlier in the session. If movie demand persists, the company has a shot at cleaning up its balance sheet, which is ridden with USD 5.5 billion in long-term debt.
Options activity is robust, with 221K contracts traded an hour into the session, close to three-quarters of which are calls with the balance being bearish puts.
Hedge Fund Executive Shuffle
Hedge funds have lost billions of dollars so far this year as retail investors have piled into meme stock names that sophisticated traders were shorting. Melvin Capital is one of the hedge funds that experienced major losses as a result of the run-up in meme stocks. The fund reportedly saw its fund shrink by approximately 45% this year as a result of its exposure to meme stock GameStop.
Melvin Capital was reportedly kept afloat thanks to a USD 2.75 billion capital injection by Point72 Asset Management and Chicago-based Citadel. As fate would have it, Citadel’s deputy global treasurer, Michael Kurlander, has left the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile, as of this month. He is now serving as the CFO at Pagaya, a fintech company with a focus on risk analysis.
While at Citadel, Kurlander was engaged with “risk management financial modeling.” Kurlander’s reasons for switching firms after almost four years at Citadel are unclear, but after the meme stock movement, risk analysis may have taken on a whole new meaning.