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AMC has a new legion of investors—and the CEO has a new lease on life

August 11, 2021, 10:34 AM UTC

Good morning.

Yesterday’s big news in the U.S. was the resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Senate passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. But I skipped both in order to read the transcript of Monday’s AMC earnings call, which was one of a kind. I’ve sat through a lot of these calls over the years, and find most to be dry, scripted affairs, with analysts trying to sound smarter than they are, and executives trying to sound more successful than they are. 

But AMC has crossed through to the twilight zone. It has a new set of retail owners who aren’t interested in GAAP accounting or discounted cash flow or IRR or even whether the company is ever going to make money. Their burning questions: Would AMC consider partnering with GameStop—the other favorite of the meme stock crowd? Would it consider a return to drive-in theaters? Would it soon start accepting cryptocurrency? And why doesn’t it sell more AMC merchandise to its growing fan base, or stream more live concerts to its theaters?

CEO Adam Aron was loving it. Aron is a “mature” CEO—which is to say he is two months older than I am. He formerly ran Starwood Hotels, Vail Resorts, and Norwegian Cruise lines. But the AMC fan-investors have given him a new lease on life. He is holding special screenings for them in his theaters and talked on the earnings call about how he is engaging with them on Twitter. “My tweets, which I write personally, so far have been read more than 72 million times,” he said. “In addition, I’m actively following almost 2,000 people, who appear to be interested in AMC, to get a better sense of what they’re saying and thinking.”

Aron’s message to the fans: “AMC crushed It in Q2.” Well, okay, actually the company lost $151 million. But never mind. Revenues are up, Aron is pumped, the fans are excited, and the future is bright. Welcome to the new world of investing.

One point to note: Aron said on the earnings call that with 85% of his net worth now in AMC stock, he needs to “diversify my assets a bit.” He’s putting a plan in place to start selling off “a small percentage of my owned or granted shares” every month. If I were him, I would do the same. The current market madness won’t last forever.

More news below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

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Yesterday's edition of CEO Daily incorrectly claimed that active duty troops would be required to be vaccinated by mid-August. They will be required to be vaccinated by mid-September. I regret the error!

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Katherine Dunn. 

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