Executives of entertainment firm AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC) have continued selling their shares during the first half of this week reveals data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). AMC and video game retailer GameStop Corporation came under the limelight last year when retail traders, irked by the consistent negative Wall Street sentiment against the companies, decided to purchase their shares in bulk to increase the share price. This intended to and successfully managed to, inflict heavy losses on the short sellers who had sold borrowed shares of the companies on the market with the hopes that the share price would drop.
Now, as we enter a new year, AMC’s executives, including its chief executive officer, chief marketing officer and general counsel have sold thousands of shares within days, in an occurrence unlikely to go unnoticed by the retail camp.
AMC Executives Sell Close To Half A Million Shares To Kick Off 2022
Data from the SEC lists down the share sales made by AMC’s CEO Mr. Aron Adam, its executive vice president, worldwide programming & chief content officer Ms. Elizabeth Frank and its senior vice president and general counsel Mr. Kevin Connor during the first two weeks of this month. It shows that cumulatively, the three executes have sold 460,184 shares so far, in the direct market, at an average price of $22.91. This results in $10.5 million of stock sales by the insiders since 2022 kicked off.
Additionally, these are not the only share sales made by the company’s executives. Other sales, classified by the NASDAQ as being made on the non-open markets reveal that AMC’s marketing strategy executive Mr. Stephen Colanero has also disposed off a significant number of shares.
Mr. Adam had previously defended his share sales during a quarterly investor call by outlining that the bulk of his compensation is tied into stock and investors should not read too much into such transactions. Out of the $10.5 million open market share sales made by AMC executives, the CEO has sold 70% or $7 million of shares during January.
The January sales follow insider transactions made during 2021, which saw the company’s executives collectively sell more than 50 million shares. As of its latest fiscal quarter, AMC had 513 million shares outstanding, so the 2021 sales mark for roughly 10% of the total share count at the end of the year.
AMC’s short interest, which details the number of shares that institutional investors have borrowed and sold short in the hops of the share price dropping, has been the center of interest ever since last year saw the short sellers take in heavy losses. Data compiled by the NASDAQ reveals that by the end of last year, 94.7 million shares had been sold short, which accounted for 18.4% of the overall outstanding shares. Additionally, the December 2021 figure itself marked for a 13.5% increase over the November-end figure, which had revealed that 83.4 million AMC shares had been sold short by then.
As investors, both retail and institutional start to settle in 2022, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether the battle between them will continue. The second half of 2021 was muted when compared to fireworks in early June, and AMC’s shares closed at a price of $27.20 in December, after losing 56% of their value since the June peak.
Commenting on his sale, Mr. Adams stated on Twitter that:
Back in August, I said that at age 67 I’d sell some AMC shares toward year-end, all trading decisions out of my hands, under guidelines of a Chase 10-b-5-1 plan spread over 3 months. Those sales are now all finished. I STILL OWN OR PLAN TO VEST IN 2,302,760 AMC SHARES. I am in!
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