AMC CEO’s Stock Gift to Sons Balloons to More Than $30 Million

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s chief executive officer, Adam Aron, gave his two adult sons 500,000 shares of the theater chain’s stock back in March, worth about $3.4 million each.

They’re the gifts that keep giving. The shares have ballooned almost fivefold thanks to an eye-popping rally this week, making each son’s holdings worth $15.6 million, assuming they’ve held on.

The figures show that the day-trader-driven surge in AMC shares has minted fortunes for legions of online traders devoted to the money-losing theater chain -- and the wealthy insiders running it. According to a March 17 filing revealing the gift, Aron himself has shares and longer-term grants that are now worth more than $260 million.

AMC CEO’s Stock Gift to Sons Balloons to More Than $30 Million

AMC has become the new king of so-called meme stocks -- shares that trade off of social-media buzz more than underlying fundamentals -- eclipsing GameStop Corp. Fans of the company have posted pictures and videos online promoting hashtags like #AMC2theMoon, with Aron stoking the excitement on Twitter.

The CEO has repeatedly stated that he’s thrilled with the online interest in the company, pointing out it’s a far cry from last year when the chain was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Aron has also suggested his sons have taken an interest in his work. In April, he told YouTube commentator Trey Collins that one son had seen a tweet from the online financial guru and suggested Aron agree to an interview.

The company has declined to comment on share price moves. The filing said the sons live outside Aron’s residence, but didn’t offer more details. In a 2012 interview, he reported having twin sons age 21.

AMC CEO’s Stock Gift to Sons Balloons to More Than $30 Million

AMC shares are up about 2,900% this year, closing at a record $62.55 on Wednesday. The company’s market capitalization sits at more than $31 billion, making it more valuable than ViacomCBS Inc. or Delta Air Lines Inc.

Still, the profit outlook for the theater chain remains dim, with theater attendance still crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic. None of nine analysts who follow the stock recommend it, according to Bloomberg data, and their average price target is just $5.11.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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