Short Sellers Lose $1 Billion on AMC

AMC stock has doubled in just ten days, extending a 13-fold rally this year:

Investors shorting the meme stock AMC Entertainment are estimated to have lost $1.23 billion over the last week as the shares rallied more than 116% since Monday, according to data from S3 Partners.

AMC was the most active stock on the New York Stock Exchange by far on Friday as more than 650 million shares changed hands. Its 30-day trading volume average is just above 100 million shares, according to FactSet.

With 450 million shares outstanding, the entire company changed hands nearly 1.5 times during Friday’s trading.

More here.

Some of the interest in AMC may be coming from traders rotating out of cryptocurrencies as those markets have fallen:

Pierantoni observed that just as selling of bitcoin and ethereum picked up, retail purchases of AMC jumped — as did the number of people buying risky but bullish call options popular among Robinhood investors.

The rally isn’t tied to fundamentals: AMC’s business is still struggling, with a net loss of over $400 million in the first quarter of 2021 and rent nearly three times as high as ticket revenue. But in a market where armies of retail traders suddenly band together to push up heavily shorted stocks, shorting anything is a fool’s errand. If a trader wanted to express a negative view, put options, where the downside is limited, are likely to be a safer bet.

I do wonder how long it will take the hedge funds to absorb this lesson. Numerous funds got torched on GameStop, with some losing a majority of their capital. And yet others seem to be lining up to get punched in the face on AMC stock. They would do well to remember the (perhaps apocryphal) words of John Maynard Keynes:

The markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Happy Memorial Day to my US readers, and a thanks to our brave veterans!

Dig into these posts for more on AMC:

Photo: “Police Stationed outside AMC Theater showing Joker film 4573” by Brechtbug is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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