Something really weird is going on in the world of theater chains and meme stocks. Today, shares of AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) are down nearly 3%, while shares of the company’s preferred stock AMC Preferred Equity Units (NYSE:APE) are up nearly 12%. This move in APE stock is one that has many retail investors intrigued, for good reason.
Notably, APE stock hit a new record low at the end of last week, dipping below $1 per share. This move came amid lackluster interest in the company’s stock, given previous equity issuances. Those concerned about the potential for future debt-for-equity swaps may be less interested in holding this stock in this environment.
That said, today’s rally appears to be tied to a catch-up trade to last week’s rally in AMC stock. The rise was due to renewed interest in theater stocks amid a bolstered movie slate. It’s the release of Avatar 2 that has many investors interested once again in taking a gamble on this stock.
Let’s dive into whether AMC, in either form, is worth a bet right now.
Is APE Stock a Buy Following Today’s Rally?
The past few weeks for most meme stocks have been extremely volatile. Indeed, the underperformance APE stock has shown relative to other meme stocks is notable. Accordingly, some sort of catch-up rally may be warranted, in this context.
That said, it’s clear that AMC is a company with some serious headwinds to contend with. Sure, this move slate may be better than the comparable quarter last year. Perhaps AMC will lose less money than expected, with retail investors expecting a boost.
That said, this is also a heavily indebted company that will need to see incredible margin expansion to show any profitability over the next few years. In this environment, investors are likely to shift their focus to more sustainably profitable companies. Thus, I think both AMC stock and APE stock are too speculative for most investors, even at these beaten-down levels.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.