AMC Entertainment said it has completed its new stock offering announced just Thursday morning, raising $587.4 million in additional capital.
The company said it sold 11.55 million shares at an average price of approximately $50.85 per share in an at-the-market equity program launched earlier Thursday.
When AMC announced the offering, it said in a filing it may sell some of the 11 million shares “from time to time.” Apparently, that time was now as it completed the offering in about three hours.
In a curious move typical of the meme stocks, the shares rallied off their lows on news of the completed sale as retail investors cheered the capital raised and looked past the dilution of their stakes.
Shares of the movie theater chain reversed 4 percent higher after shedding more than 30 percent earlier Thursday.
“Bringing in an additional $587.4 million of new equity on top of the $658.5 million already raised this quarter results in a total equity raise in the second quarter of $1.246 billion, substantially strengthening and improving AMC’s balance sheet, providing valuable flexibility to respond to potential challenges and capitalize on attractive opportunities in the future,” AMC President and CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.
AMC, the star of the show in Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, has soared more than 140 percent this week alone as retail traders continued to encourage each other to pile into the speculative name. The shares have skyrocketed more than 2,900 percent this year.
On Wednesday, the company announced a new portal to connect with individual investors and offered free popcorn, exclusive screenings and other perks to those who hold its stock. The shares rallied 95 percent that day.
So-called short covering could be contributing to AMC’s massive rally as of late. On Wednesday, short-sellers betting against the stock lost $2.8 billion, bringing their year-to-date losses to more than $5 billion, according to S3 Partners. Short sellers are forced to buy back the stock to cut their losses amid a sudden rally.
Google’s Shares Surge Over 5% as AI Model Gemini Challenges Industry Norms
Project Gemini Set to Propel Google into Intense AI Competition
Google shares experienced a 5% boost on Thursday following the announcement of the company’s latest artificial intelligence model, Gemini.
The surge marks the most favorable day for Google’s stock since August 29, positioning the tech giant to compete fiercely with AI models from industry heavyweights OpenAI, Microsoft, and Meta.
Project Gemini, unveiled on Wednesday, represents Google’s leap into the realm of advanced artificial intelligence.
The model, designed to emulate human-like behavior, is expected to fuel discussions about the potential benefits and risks associated with this cutting-edge technology.
While Google chose not to disclose Gemini’s parameter count, a key measure of model complexity, a white paper published on December 6 highlighted the superior performance of Gemini’s most capable version over GPT-4 in assessments like multiple-choice exams and grade-school math.
Despite this success, Google acknowledged the ongoing challenges in enabling AI models to attain higher-level reasoning skills.
Analysts from Wells Fargo’s trading desk noted that Gemini’s announcement should dispel concerns about Google’s position in AI, causing a positive response in the market.
However, questions lingered about Google’s monetization strategy for Gemini, emphasizing the need for the tech giant to prove its sustained relevance.
JPMorgan analysts expressed encouragement for Google’s strides in this significant technological shift but anticipate potential pushback due to uncertainties around Gemini’s monetization path in Search.
As Gemini enters the arena, the AI competition, marked by escalating rivalries with OpenAI and Microsoft, is set to intensify.
Nigerian Exchange Sustains Bullish Momentum, Adds N305bn to Investors’ Wealth
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) continued its bullish run on Wednesday as investors gained N305 billion.
The Exchange has now gained N471 billion in the last two trading sessions following a N259 billion decline recorded on Monday due to the plunge in the value of some medium-cap stocks.
At the close of trading on Wednesday, the All-Share Index and market capitalization rose by 0.78% to 71,808.64 and N39.294 trillion, respectively.
The year-to-date gains of the index rose to 40.11%.
A total of 34 stocks closed in the green against 22 that closed in the red as a total of 121 stocks exchanged hands during the day.
This positive momentum was primarily driven by share price appreciation from top gainers, including Thomas Wyatt (9.93%), FBN Holdings (9.91%), Multiverse (9.90%), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (9.88%), and Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank (9.70%).
However, some stocks experienced losses, including Axa Mansard Insurance, Guinea Insurance, and Oando Plc, with share dips of 9.69%, 9.68%, and 9.13%, respectively.
Sectorial performances varied with NGX Insurance, NGX Consumer Goods, and NGX Industrial Goods indices recording losses, while the Oil/Gas sector reported a lull performance.
Notably, tier I banking stocks fueled the Banking sector to a substantial 5.01% gain, with GTCO, United Bank for Africa, AccessCorp, and Zenith Bank leading in volume and value, contributing to the overall market bullishness.
Positive trading activity continued, with a 19.90% increase in total deals, 59.15% rise in volume, and an 8.88% uptick in value, totaling 8,412 deals, 690.01 million units, valued at N12.10 billion.
GTCO emerged as the most actively traded security in terms of volume and value, with 76.70 million units worth N3.04 billion exchanged in 260 deals.
Global Markets Face Headwinds as European Equities Drop Amid Economic Concerns
European equity experienced a decline following losses in Asian shares, the pressure created by weak oil prices and growing apprehensions about China’s economic outlook.
The Euro Stoxx 50 contract fell by 0.5%, mirroring a broader trend of cautiousness in the markets.
The drop in Asian stocks from Hong Kong to mainland China and Australia followed a third consecutive daily decline for the S&P 500 and contributed to a general atmosphere of market uncertainty.
Treasury yields rose after a previous drop, with the 10-year note experiencing its lowest levels since August.
The shift in sentiment was evident in a seven-basis-point jump, in tandem with a selloff in Japanese sovereign debt.
Energy producers faced declines due to oil reaching its lowest point since June amid oversupply concerns.
Also, Moody’s Investors Service’s downgrade of its outlook on several Chinese companies, coupled with worries about the nation’s debt burden, contributed to equity weakness.
A surprise contraction in China’s imports in November further fueled concerns about the economic slowdown.
Investors are now eyeing Friday’s US jobs report following private payrolls data that fell short of estimates, indicating potential softening in the employment market.
Meanwhile, oil stabilized after a five-day losing streak, and focus is on the upcoming OPEC+ production plans.
The dollar remained relatively steady against major currencies, and as markets await the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week, there is anticipation regarding potential shifts in market expectations based on quarterly forecasts.
In corporate news, Apple Inc. is preparing for new models and upgrades, aiming to reverse declining sales, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. targets the artificial intelligence market dominated by Nvidia Corp.
Gold extended gains and bitcoin traded below $44,000, a level not seen since June last year.
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