In the early days of the pandemic, “meme stocks” were all the rage, with GameStop and AMC Theatres being the two companies most often associated with the trend. Since the peak of the pandemic, the share prices of both have collapsed. Both stocks, however, have seen their share prices surge again in the last week.
The stock price of GameStop jumped after the company announced its first quarterly profit in over two years. The stock of AMC also rose sharply yesterday, though for very different reasons. This is the information you require.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Over the past day, shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, the parent company of the AMC Theatres chain, have risen sharply. The price of AMC stock rose yesterday by over 13%, closing at $5.15. Additionally, as of this writing, AMC shares have risen as much as 1.2% in this morning’s pre-market trading.
WHY HAVE AMC SHARE PRICES INCREASED QUICKLY?
The Intersect claims that Amazon has approached AMC about purchasing the theatre chain, but has not yet made an offer. According to “multiple senior sources” who spoke with The Intersect, Jeff Bezos has personally ordered the exploratory talks.
Why Would Amazon Want To Buy AMC?
Amazon reportedly sees AMC’s thousands of theatres across the United States as “marketing way stations,” or public gathering places where it can advertise and cross-sell its other offerings like Prime Video and grocery delivery. The report further suggests that AMC theatres could be used by Amazon as “local distribution hubs” and, of course, as data collection points.
But Isn’t Amazon in a Cost-Cutting Mode?
Tens of thousands of jobs have been eliminated at Amazon in recent months. However, Bezos, who is now the executive chairman of Amazon after serving as CEO for many years, is never one to turn down a good deal. The financial situation at AMC is critical at this time. Since the pandemic destroyed audience foot traffic, the theatre chain has been struggling.
AMC’s stock price has dropped to near all-time lows, reducing its value to just $2.6 billion. (In comparison, Amazon spent nearly $14 billion on Whole Foods in 2017.) The Intersect also reports that while Amazon has had internal talks about acquiring AMC, the company has not yet made an offer. According to The Intersect’s hypotheses, the retail giant may be waiting for AMC stock to drop further, or for the theatre chain to even go into bankruptcy so that it can acquire the company at a fraction of its current value.
Should Amazon provide an AMC Subscription as a Prime Benefit?
Subscription film services have historically failed, but Amazon is the company that could make this work. An ex-Amazon executive speculated to The Intersect that Amazon might provide an AMC subscription option for Prime members. This is pure speculation, but it’s easy to picture a future where Amazon Prime members receive a monthly allotment of free theatre tickets.
In response to these rumors, what do AMC and Amazon have to say?
While Amazon has yet to comment on the report, AMC CEO Adam Aron told The Intersect, “we do not reply to rumors and speculation.” Fast Company has requested comments from both AMC and Amazon. If we receive a response, we will indicate that here.