AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. has surged almost 20-fold this year after thousands of retail investors piled in to defend the stock against short sellers looking to profit from its decline. Executives and board members at the movie theater chain have unloaded shares worth more than $70 million in 2021 after selling a fraction of that amount in prior years, according to regulatory filings. Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron became the biggest seller of that group this month when he sold stock worth more than $25 million, saying it was prudent for estate-planning purposes. None have made purchases. Many of the stock sales, including Aron’s, were pre-planned. A spokesman for Leawood, Kansas-based AMC, declined to comment. AMC was struggling financially for years even before the pandemic pummeled the theater business in 2020, causing a sharp drop-off in revenue from which the industry still hasn’t recovered. But in January, fired-up retail traders rushed in, driving up the share price and helping rescue AMC from the brink of bankruptcy.
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