he AMC Empire 25 theater reopens after COVID-19 closures, Friday, March 5, 2021, in New York. Movie theater chain AMC is selling 8.5 million shares to investment firm Mudrick Capital Management, raising $230.5 million and cashing in on the meme stock frenzy that has helped boost its stock price in recent months.
Evan Agostini—Invision/AP

As theater chain AMC struggled amid the pandemic, internet-savvy investors last year turned the company into a “meme stock,” making it popular despite shaky fundamentals. By gobbling up shares, those traders boosted AMC’s price, squeezing traditional investors betting against the firm. CEO Adam Aron sold more stock to raise money and courted the meme-stock crowd via Twitter, thereby helping the company survive. “It’s pleasing to be their champion,” Aron says of the meme stockers, “because Wall Street has in the past thumbed its nose at these people.”

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