AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. experienced a noteworthy reversal in its stock performance as it concluded Thursday's session with a gain of 7.8%, putting an end to a six-day losing streak. This surge marked the largest single-day percentage gain for AMC's stock since December 4, 2023, when it recorded a 9.2% increase.
The movie-theater chain, once a popular meme-stock darling, had recently faced a series of challenges, reaching record lows. The stock closed at a new record low of $4.11 at the end of Wednesday's session and also hit an all-time intraday low of $4.01 on the same day, as reported by Dow Jones Market Data, with available data extending back to December 18, 2013.
Three years ago, AMC underwent a dramatic transformation from a beleaguered pandemic victim to a meme-stock phenomenon. Fueled by the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit, AMC experienced a significant surge in its share price, enabling the company to tap into both equity and debt markets. In January 2021, it raised $917 million, and in subsequent years, it executed financial maneuvers such as the launch of the AMC preferred equity unit special dividend in 2022 and the completion of the conversion of APEs into AMC common stock, accompanied by a reverse 1-for-10 split of common stock in 2023. Investors who played a pivotal role in turning AMC into a meme stock often refer to themselves as "apes" or part of the "ape nation."
In December, AMC concluded its latest at-the-market equity offering, generating approximately $350 million. This strategic move was aligned with the company's objective of reducing its substantial debt burden, which exceeded $5 billion in 2022. Launched on November 9, the offering involved the repurchase or exchange of debt for equity, resulting in a reduction of the company's liabilities by $62.28 million, according to AMC.
On New Year's Eve, AMC's CEO, Adam Aron, took to X (formerly Twitter) to address critics and skeptics, slamming the "prophets of doom" who had predicted the company's demise in 2023. Aron emphasized AMC's resilience, innovation, and trailblazing efforts, declaring that the naysayers had been proven wrong. He also extended New Year's wishes to the "Apes," a term often used by the investors associated with AMC's meme-stock saga.
Despite the recent uptick, AMC's shares have witnessed a significant decline of 90.9% over the last 52 weeks. In contrast, the S&P 500 index recorded a gain of 22.6% during the same period. The company continues to navigate challenges, and its stock performance remains closely scrutinized by both investors and market observers as it strives to overcome the obstacles in its path and chart a course for sustained recovery.
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