AMC Entertainment stock rocketed more than 50% higher on Thursday and is currently up almost 15% as of mid-morning Friday. AMC shares closed up 36% to $26.52, its highest close since May 12, 2017 and surged past $30 on Friday according to Dow Jones Market Data. GameStop stock (GME) was up 4.9%, to $254.13 while leveling out during early trading Friday.
Shares of GameStop and AMC are the most traded, and held, stocks among retail investors on Reddit and but have been the victim of highly shorted positions by various Wall Street funds. While movement has been tepid for the last few months they have both seen a resurgence together in recent weeks. On Wednesday alone, 225,000 GameStop calls were traded, while 1.1 million AMC calls were traded—second only to the 1.3 million that traded on Feb. 25
People watching AMC see June 2 as a key date. Shareholders of record as of then will be able to vote at AMC’s annual meeting in July. The meeting itself was delayed from May 4 because the company said it wanted to ensure its millions of individual shareholders had time to cast ballots. The company said last week that at last count, it had more than 3 million individual shareholders with not one entity holding more than 10% of shares.
Short interest in AMC is currently estimated to be 21% of freefloat and in GME it is estimated at 17% of freefloat, according to Refinitiv data.
Data shows short-sellers lost $618 million during Tuesday’s session, rising to $754 million if aftermarket trading were taken into account and that hurt on short sellers has continued all week. AMC stock has soared more than 170% in the past week with and assumption that Reddit and other social media platforms that have forced short sellers to start purchasing shares at higher prices to cover their position and attempt to cut their losses.
While its share price skyrockets, the underlying company continues to take massive COVID19 losses. In the first quarter, AMC posted a net loss of $567 million while revenues plunged by 84% to $148.3 million from the year-ago period. $4.6 billion is the loss AMC incurred in 2020 as the pandemic pulled the curtain on hundreds of theatres and revenues plunged 77.3% to $1.2 billion.
This doesn’t matter to retail investors though as data shows AMC been the most traded stock on brokerage Robinhood’s trading app, as well as on that of where buy orders have outnumbered sell orders two-to-one.