KANSAS CITY, Mo. — AMC stock is shaking up Wall Street thanks to millions of individual investors.
The Leawood-based company's stock reached record highs Wednesday.
Just this week, AMC announced new perks, such as free popcorn and other offers, to its shareholders, 80% of whom are made up of individual retail investors.
Kansas City resident Brendan Roberts got in on the action in January after seeing talk of the company all over social media sites, specifically Reddit.
"To me, buying stocks is a safer return and then going out and buying a lottery ticket, honestly," Roberts said.
The company has become known has a "meme stock." Experts say the name comes from social media hype behind a company, often with memes and often on Reddit, that inspires people to purchase stocks.
Michael Edward, co-founder and head trader at True Trading Group, based out of Miami, calls it a 'David and Goliath' relationship between the retail investors and large hedge funds.
"You’ve seen a lot of hedge funds and a lot of these financial institutions come in and they'll short a stock like GameStop or AMC based on fundamentals, but this is a different world that we are living in right now," Edward said.
Edward said access to trading platforms combined with the pandemic created the perfect storm for new retail investors.
"They all were home, they were all trying to learn something new, trying to figure out a way to make money while maybe they were furloughed or their small business was suffering," Edward said.
After being on the brink of bankruptcy due to the pandemic, AMC said it's seen a growth of 3 million retail investors in the last few months. The company just announced a special site to communicate directly with its millions of new investors. It's the right move, according to Edward.
"You have a duty to your shareholders and the CEO of AMC is speaking directly to them and communicating with them and I think that’s a wonderful thing," Edward said.
EDITORS NOTE: an earlier version of this story identified Edward's company as True Trader Group. 41 Action News regrets the error.