AMC opens at all-time high, as investors shrug off hedge fund’s stock sale

AMC multiplex movie theater.

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Shares of AMC Entertainment opened at an all-time high Wednesday after shrugging off a report that a hedge fund had sold its stake in the movie theater company.

The stock opened at $37.52, jumping nearly 20%. But has since climbed as high as $41.95, up more than 30%. AMC’s previous intraday high was $36.72, which occured on May 28. The current closing record is $35.86 on March 23, 2015, according to data from FactSet.

Shares were trading at a brisk pace. Only minutes after the market’s open Wednesday, AMC had already traded nearly 25 million shares. Its 30-day average volume is 143 million shares.

On Tuesday, AMC reported it had sold 8.5 million newly issued shares to Mudrick Capital, the latest in a series of capital raises for the meme stock. The hedge fund later turned around and sold all of its AMC stock for a profit, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

AMC said in a securities filing that it raised $230.5 million through a stock sale to the investment firm. The movie theater operator said it would use the funds for potential acquisitions, upgrading its theaters and deleveraging its balance sheet.

AMC’s business was effectively halted during the pandemic, as cinemas were shuttered in most of the country for months. With no money coming in from ticket sales and concessions, AMC fell behind on its rent. On the brink of bankruptcy, short sellers swarmed the stock.

Retail investors have used their growing numbers fight back. Last week, investors shorting the stock were estimated to have lost $1.23 billion as the shares rallied more than 116%, according to data from S3 Partners. The stock is up more than 1,400% year to date.

The company has been making special efforts to communicate with this new investor base. On Wednesday, it said said it launched a new portal on its website for its retail investors. The site includes special offers including a tub of free popcorn and exclusive movie screenings.

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