AMC plans to reward retail investors with free popcorn and exclusive screenings

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When AMC Entertainment’s stock rose again on Wednesday, the company announced new perks for its private investors, including a free bowl of popcorn.

Shares of AMC opened at a record high of $37.52, then climbed to $41.95, up more than 30%. AMC’s previous intraday high was $36.72, reached on Friday. The closing record is $35.86, set on March 23, 2015, according to data from FactSet.

The cinema chain said it has launched a portal on its website for individual investors. The site, which requires shareholders to identify themselves and sign up for the chain’s loyalty program, features special offers and company updates.

AMC’s private investors have supported the company since January, pushing the stock up more than 1,400% over the past five months. The company, which had wavered on a bankruptcy filing during the worst of the Covid crisis, said it had 3.2 million individual shareholders as of March 11 and that they own about 80% of the 450 million shares outstanding. Many of them were inspired by the WallStreetBets Reddit page to buy the stock. The forum selected several companies shorted by major hedge fund groups and decided to take action.

CEO Adam Aron praised these investors for their support. The company postponed its annual shareholders’ meeting by more than a month to give these investors a chance to attend the event and “make their important voice heard.”

Aron and AMC plan to donate $50,000 to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund—an obvious nod to these new investors, who call themselves monkeys and call Aron “Silverback.” AMC has also changed its communication style to speak directly to shareholders through social media, including YouTube. Aron even has a renewed interest in Twitter, “following” hundreds of accounts linked to the “monkey army”.

AMC Investor Connect is the next step in the company’s strategy to connect with these investors. The platform offers shareholders exclusive promotions, such as free or discounted items and invitations to special screenings, as well as direct communication with Aron.

“During my five-year tenure as CEO at AMC, I have been very proud of the relationships I have forged with the owners of AMC,” Aron said in a statement Wednesday. “With AMC Investor Connect, those relationship building efforts will continue rapidly, even as our shareholders now run into the millions. After all, these people are the owners of AMC and I work for them.”

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