AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron is planning to increasingly engage with the movie theater chain’s new-found backers, the retail investors, through Twitter.

What Happened: Aron took to Twitter earlier this month to say that he has started following “Apes” — a nickname for retail investors who are part of the WallStreetBets group on Reddit — to get a “first-hand sense” of what AMC’s retail investors are saying.

These investors have driven up the stock price of heavily shorted stocks like AMC Entertainment and GameStop this year.

Adam Aron

The CEO also recently updated investors on Twitter regarding the upcoming annual meeting of AMC stockholders on July 29 and the movie theatre chain’s planned new theatrical releases.

After Dalian Wanda Group — a Chinese conglomerate and formerly AMC’s largest shareholder — sold off nearly all its shares in the movie theatre chain last week, AMC said it has some 3 million individual shareholders and no single entity has an ownership stake above 10%.

Why It Matters: AMC had struggled amid the pandemic after the closure of theatres forced the company into a cash crunch.

The company, which reopened 98% of its locations in March, expects the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and the release of blockbuster movie titles in the coming months to boost sales this year.

AMC Entertainment and other heavily shorted stocks like GameStop stole the limelight earlier this year after a flurry of buying by amateur retail investors on Reddit. They buying pushed up the price of these stocks and caused huge losses among short-sellers, including hedge funds, which had bet against the stocks.

Retail investors are continuing to put short sellers in losses, which are estimated to have lost almost $930 million earlier this month over five trading days following the recent surge in shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment, according to data from analytics firm Ortex.

Price Action: AMC Entertainment shares closed almost 13.3% higher in Monday’s regular trading session at $13.68 and further rose almost 0.9% in the after-hours session to $13.80.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga. © 2021 Benzinga.com.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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