(Bloomberg) — AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and GameStop Corp.’s stock rallies Tuesday hammered short sellers to the tune of $591 million, deepening bears’ horrific 2021 losses.
The movie theater operator’s more than 18% surge handed shorts $373 million in mark-to-market losses, while the video-game retailer’s 9.3% rally dealt another $218 million blow at mid-day, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners. Their meteoric gains have squeezed short sellers with losses ballooning to $9 billion in total for investors betting against both companies this year, Ihor Dusaniwsky, S3’s managing director of predictive analytics, said in an email.
The two stocks, which have become icons for retail traders using social media platforms to power shares higher, came even after AMC sold $230.5 million worth of shares to Mudrick Capital. The money manager was said to then flip that investment at a profit just hours after unveiling the bet. Mudrick called AMC’s share price overvalued, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, as institutional investors continue to see the movie theater company as an easy stock to trade but not one to invest in for the long-haul.
Read more: Mudrick Said to Sell Entire AMC Stake, Calling Shares Overvalued
AMC short sellers have actually increased their exposure by roughly 3 million shares over the last month, according to Dusaniwsky, while GameStop shorts have slowly been covering their positions over that same time period. About a fifth of shares available for trading in each of the companies remain sold short, according to data compiled by S3 Partners.
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