It's probably safe to say that no one has seen a 13-month stock chart like that of AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC 1.11%). The struggling theater operator became a leading meme stock and rocketed up more than 2,400% in early 2021. And even though it has been down more than 70% from that June 2021 peak, the stock has still returned 711% since the start of last year.
Today, the stock is actually reacting to real company news, popping almost 14% in early trading after AMC provided investors with a good preview of its fourth-quarter 2021 financial results. As of 10:19 a.m. ET, AMC shares pared early gains but still remained 5.3% higher.
AMC reported that its 2021 fourth quarter was the strongest in two years. Its adjusted profits were the highest since the fourth quarter of 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic impacts. The company said revenue soared year over year from just $163 million in 2020 to $1.17 billion, which is slightly ahead of estimates.
But some of the early investor excitement this morning may have been tempered by AMC's income forecast. While net losses are significantly lower than the year-ago period, a loss of between $115 million and $195 million is worse than many analysts expected. The consensus is for a loss of $119 million, according to MarketWatch.
AMC CEO Adam Aron noted in a statement that the company's results improved as 2021 progressed. He also noted "a record year-ending liquidity position of $1.8 billion." Many investors that bet on AMC as the meme stock craze evolved are likely underwater on their investment. But there is some good news today as the company signals that its underlying business is slowly starting to meaningfully improve.