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AMC Entertainment Investor Wanda Converts Stock to Cash In on Short-Selling Mania

By Rich Duprey - Feb 8, 2021 at 10:56AM

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Wanda's ownership interest was tied up in the theater owner's Class B shares.

AMC Entertainment Holdings' (AMC 3.48%) investor Wanda Group may have missed out on the chance to score big from the short squeeze feeding frenzy in the theater owner's stock. 

With its ownership tied up in AMC's Class B shares, for which there was no market to speak of, it couldn't fully capitalize on the 800% spike in AMC's Class A shares. Wanda is rectifying that situation by converting at least some of its Class B shares to Class A shares, which will allow it to sell them on the open market.

Although most of the excitement surrounding AMC's stock has since subsided and it now trades 66% below below the $20 a stub it hit at the peak, the stock remains elevated compared to where it was before the mania struck.

Movie clapperboard stuffed with cash

Image source: Getty Images.

Follow the leader

While GameStop was the initial target of Reddit traders who wanted to realize a quick profit off hedge funds that over-shorted the video game retailer's stock, traders soon glommed onto other stocks in similar situations.

AMC Entertainment was another heavily shorted stock and investors quickly piled in. Since then, though, the theater operator's short interest has declined. Only about 38% of its float, or the shares available for trading, are sold short.

AMC didn't say how many shares Wanda converted, only noting the purpose was "In order to permit sales of its common stock." Since the conversion occurred on Feb. 1, however, it is possible Wanda did realize some sizable profits as the stock was trading at over $13 a share at the time. The next day it closed below $8 a stub and on Friday was just above $6 a share.

As of Oct. 30, 2020, Wanda owned almost 38% of AMC's Class B shares and controlled nearly 65% of its voting power.

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AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
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