AMC stock (AMC) slid almost 8% on Monday, hitting the lowest level since the meme stock frenzy began in January 2021. Shares closed at $4.89 each.
The theater operator announced that it has so far raised $162 million through the sale of its APE (APE) units, a preferred equity program launched earlier this year, and has slashed its debt obligations by approximately $180 million this year through a combination of refinancing and repurchasing part of its debt at a discount.
AMC stock is down about 82% year-to-date, and APE shares are down 88% in the four months since their inception.
AMC debuted APE units on August 22nd. The name is a nod to retail traders, referred to as 'Apes'. At the time of the program's launch, existing shareholders were given an APE unit for every share of AMC they held. The new equity tool was seen as a way for the company to raise cash in the future.
“Even though the APE units and our common shares are economically equivalent, it is disappointing that the APE units have since inception consistently traded at a significant discount to the AMC common shares,” CEO Adam Aron said in a press release.
“While the trading prices of the two securities seem to reflect distinct market and trading dynamics, the APEs are serving precisely the purpose originally intended for them," he added. "At a time when one or more of our competitors have been facing potentially devastating liquidity challenges, by contrast during the past 90 days, AMC has been able to raise $162 million of additional cash through the sale of equity thereby improving our own liquidity position markedly."
Aron has leaned heavily into his shareholder base, speaking directly to them on Twitter.
Some Wall Streeters play such shameful games with AMC. Leak to the press AMC liquidity fear. Their FUD spreading is not illegal, but is evil & irresponsible. Challenges ahead still, but we announced today that having APEs let us raise $162 MILLION OF NEW CASH in the past 90 days! pic.twitter.com/JfTAiD55zw
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) December 19, 2022
AMC, the largest cinema operator in the U.S., also announced the acquisition of Arclight Cinema. The terms of the 13 screen theater buyout were not disclosed. The Boston-based Arclight is relatively new, according to AMC, having debuted in December 2019 and closed only three months later due to COVID-19.
In November, AMC reported third quarter sales rose 26.9% from a year ago as admission revenue and food and spending revenue rose. Attendance increased 32.9% compared to the same period in 2021.
AMC has 3 analyst Hold ratings, 6 Sells, and an average price target of $2.99.
Ines is a senior business reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre
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