Retail Investor Love Is Not Enough to Keep AMC Stock Afloat

Stocks to sell

Clearly, global movie theater chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) has a CEO who’s not afraid to engage with his fans. Adam Aron’s investor outreach has been remarkable, and possibly commendable. Yet, holding AMC stock now would be a major gamble as the company’s lack of profits remains a concern.

Is it the company’s business to show films, or to be a meme-crowd darling? Aron doesn’t seem to mind blurring the lines a bit, and even shifting AMC Entertainment’s focus onto the “apes” who loyally stand by the company and its stock.

Whether this is a good thing or not depends on one’s perspective. Short-term trading is fine, but long-term investors should consider AMC Entertainment’s fundamentals — and not necessarily be encouraged by the CEO’s “ape logic.”

What’s Happening With AMC Stock?

Lately, the short-squeeze crowd has only managed to stage brief rallies, it seems. Long gone are the heady days of 2021, when AMC stock surged 500%. This year, the shares have gained 50% or 100% in value a couple of times, only to cough up those gains and plumb new depths.

Thus, the meme-stock crowd is a fickle one. That’s one of the reasons I view AMC Entertainment shares as vehicles for short-term trading, not long-term investing. Since mid-June of 2021, the overall trajectory has been to the downside.

Of course, this hasn’t stopped the company from throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the problem. For instance, in what was either a stunt or a brilliant move or both, AMC Entertainment issued AMC’s Preferred Equity (NYSE:APE) shares as a “special dividend.” Moreover, the company celebrated Sept. 3, or National Cinema Day, by offering $3 movie tickets.

Don’t Celebrate Until AMC Entertainment Turns a Profit

The point here is that serious investors shouldn’t get caught up in stunts and distractions. At the end of the day, AMC Entertainment’s fundamentals are, well, fundamental. Without proof of profits, it’s hard to invest in the company with confidence.

Just as a reminder, AMC Entertainment more than doubled its revenue on a year-over-year (YOY) basis in 2022’s second quarter. That’s great, but the company still posted a $121.6 million net earnings loss. This indicated a narrowing loss, but cautious investors should want to see AMC Entertainment close the profitability gap once and for all.

Meanwhile, there’s this highly unusual tweet from AMC Entertainment’s CEO:

“Cineworld/Regal just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its theatres in the U.S.and U.K. Fortunately, AMC is in a very, very different situation — because retail investors embraced us and let us raise boatloads of cash. Thank you to retail!”

Aron is referring to Britain-based Regal Cinemas’ parent company Cineworld (OTCMKTS:CNNWF), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection not long ago. Apparently, the apes have saved AMC Entertainment from suffering a similar fate.

You’re certainly free to decide whether that’s a good thing or not. Again, though, it should be emphasized that meme-stock traders are fickle — and if they’re the pillar that’s holding up AMC Entertainment, don’t assume that this movie will have a happy ending.

What You Can Do Now

None of this is to suggest that AMC Entertainment will file for bankruptcy protection. I’m rooting for the company to prevail, but that’s different from betting my hard-earned capital on it.

Unless you’re only holding AMC stock for a short-term flip, Aron’s tweet shouldn’t mean much to you. More important are the company’s bottom-line stats, which will need to improve before any careful investor should take a long position.

On the date of publication, David Moadel 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.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Motley Fool, Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, TipRanks, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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