AMC Entertainment Holding (NYSE:AMC) is again making waves. In the past two weeks, AMC stock has more than doubled, including a 45% single-day jump today. It’s important to note that the recent rally is not because of fundamental strength, but rather because Reddit investors are actively trading the stock once again.
That is not to say the company hasn’t made some interesting moves recently. For instance, it invested in embattled gold and silver miner Hycroft Mining (NASDAQ:HYMC), which is also a Reddit favorite. And today’s blastoff followed a Reuters interview in which Chief Executive Adam Aron said investors should expect more “transformational” deals in the company’s future.
Meanwhile, a slate of superhero blockbusters has saved the day for AMC. However, barring a few tentpole releases, there is not much to see regarding box office numbers, and the company’s core business interests remain under pressure.
Reddit Gives Thumbs Up to Hycroft Mining Purchase
Reddit seems to approve of AMC’s foray into the precious metals market. For many analysts, though, the investment in struggling Hycroft Mining is a headscratcher. Management seems to believe they have become experts at navigating troubled waters and coming out on the other side leaner and stronger. However, their credentials are dubious.
Yes, the company is in a much better position than it was just a couple of years ago. However, this has little to do with fundamental strength. Instead, you can thank AMC’s fans on Reddit for helping it stave off bankruptcy. The same fans believe that AMC’s investment in a mining company makes sound financial sense since gold is a tried-and-tested store of value.
Interestingly, after the great escape, the company has launched several initiatives, the most fascinating of which have to be allowing cryptocurrency purchases and offering NFTs. However, its core business continues to struggle. As entertainment companies engage in streaming wars and fight for attention, there will be little to motivate the casual viewer to check out the latest releases in theaters outside perhaps the odd summer blockbuster.
Selling branded popcorn could become a great revenue stream. However, it cannot take the place of the movie theater business for AMC.
AMC Needs to Revamp Its Business
The story of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is a cautionary tale told in business classes worldwide. The company was the biggest cell phone manufacturer globally before being overtaken by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Nokia’s downfall came from its inability to keep up with competitors like Apple, which were making better products. Nokia also made the mistake of only focusing on one type of phone instead of differentiating its product lineup.
However, there should be another chapter in the works because Nokia is now a growing 5G enterprise with healthy financials.
AMC will need to similarly change its operations by offering a more immersive experience. This will require a lot of experimentation, but eventually could be successful.
Blockbuster releases like Spider-Man: No Way Home are becoming rare in the post-pandemic era, and AMC needs to account for this.
Launching a digital coin and investing in virtual reality could be catalysts for future growth. Imagine watching a great art movie with friends in an amazing AMC theater from the comfort of your home in the metaverse. AMC might struggle to get people into a movie theatre for a movie like The Last Duel, but in a VR setting, perhaps consumers will be willing to give it a try.
AMC Stock Is Still Too Volatile
Today’s action in AMC stock likely had more than a little to do with short-sellers covering, as the percentage of shares held short is around 20% of the float. Traders certainly can’t rule out another short squeeze in the stock’s future, but they also can’t rule out a sharp sell-off.
Reddit adds another dimension of volatility to stocks like AMC. Because retail investors own a majority of the shares, sentiment on Reddit will continue to be more important than sentiment on Wall Street. Therefore, normal market moves are not the norm in AMC stock.
With uncertainty so high, unless you are risk-tolerant, there are few incentives to invest in AMC stock.
On the publication date, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.