December 1, 2023

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron has surged more than $ 200 million in net worth since the start of the year thanks to a rally fueled by retail investors, according to securities documents.

The theater chain, which has become a darling of retail investors and social media message boards, rose its shares by more than 1,600% in 2021. AMC shares more than doubled in feverish trading on Wednesday. They also hit an all-time high of $ 72.62, well above their previous record price.

According to Equilar stock data, Aron’s shares were worth around $ 8 million in early 2021. Those stocks are now valued at over $ 220 million, meaning the rally has added more than $ 210 million to his net worth.

While Aron didn’t sell any shares, he gave his two sons 500,000 shares in March. Those stocks are now worth over $ 25 million.

While Aron may have “diamond hands” in relation to his AMC stock – to use a popular social media term for holding a stock – other company executives have cashed out a significant portion of their holdings. In total, AMC executives have sold more than $ 4 million worth of shares since early March.

The company’s chief content officer, Elizabeth Frank, sold 100,000 shares in March for a total of $ 1.1 million, according to records. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Connor sold more than 72,000 shares in mid-March for a total of $ 983,000. The latest filing shows that Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Colanero is selling 15,000 shares for a profit of $ 411,000.

The company did not respond to a request for comment. It is unclear whether any of the sales were part of a pre-planned stock sale program.

The stock sales and rampups show how the new generation of meme stocks – like GameStop, Koss, and BlackBerry – have created great wealth for insiders. It also shows that Aron’s strategy of wooing retail investors with memes, expressions of support on social media – not to mention free popcorn and movie screenings – has become hugely lucrative.

“Maintaining relationships with retail investors is smart,” said tech entrepreneur and Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff. “That’s one of the reasons many companies, especially consumer companies, go public in the first place.”