Theater chain AMC Entertainment has announced plans to sell 40 million new shares in order to raise funds, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news of the stock sale caused AMC's stock to drop by 23%. The company has not yet provided a timeline for when the offering will begin. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down the company's debt.
This announcement comes just weeks after AMC conducted a reverse stock split, which granted shareholders one share for every 10 shares they owned. AMC's stock has experienced significant volatility throughout the year, currently down approximately 70%.
AMC's stock gained attention earlier this year as part of the "meme stock" frenzy. The term refers to stocks that experience drastic price increases due to large-scale purchases by retail investors organizing online. In early 2021, a group of retail investors on the Reddit community r/wallstreetbets joined forces to buy shares of AMC and other heavily shorted stocks, causing prices to surge. In June, AMC reached an all-time high stock price of $72.62, enabling the company to raise capital and avoid bankruptcy. However, the company still faces financial challenges, leading to the current stock offering.
In addition to the financial difficulties, AMC continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily forced the closure of most theaters across the country. The industry has also experienced shifts as more films are released directly to streaming platforms. However, recent blockbuster releases and anticipated box office success from upcoming films, such as a Taylor Swift concert tour movie, have provided hope for the industry's recovery.
AMC's stock sale is aimed at addressing the company's debt and improving its financial position. The move is a response to the ongoing challenges faced by the theater chain, including the impact of the pandemic and changing industry dynamics.