latest-news-headlines Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/amc-skyrockets-amid-retail-frenzy-palo-alto-soars-to-record-high-on-earnings-66276706 content esgSubNav
In This List

AMC skyrockets amid retail frenzy; Palo Alto soars to record high on earnings

Blog

Credit Risk Trends for Telecom & Tech: A Mid-Year 2021 Outlook

Blog

Summer box office rebounds in 2021

Video

S&P Capital IQ Pro | Powering Your Edge

Podcast

MediaTalk Episode 22: Privacy Concerns Grow As Lawmakers Stall On Federal Bill


AMC skyrockets amid retail frenzy; Palo Alto soars to record high on earnings

The stock market typically reacts to news, but exceptions can be made for so-called meme stocks.

Shares in theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. ping-ponged this week, with no apparent market events influencing its price.

The theater giant is one of a handful of stocks that have gained popularity in the retail trading space this year from investment communities such as Reddit's WallStreetBets. AMC shares skyrocketed Aug. 24, along with other popular meme stock GameStop Corp., as investors flocked to the two stocks and dealt massive blows to short sellers. The share price gains seen Aug. 24 in both AMC and GameStop resulted in losses close to $1 billion for short sellers, Peter Hillerberg, co-founder of the analytics company Ortex, told Reuters.

Earlier this month, the company's stock dove and then recovered after CEO Adam Aron discussed key measures the theater company was taking, including new windowing arrangements with studios, theater leases, new events and a new currency strategy. Aron, for instance, teased a potential esports agreement through talks with GameStop and others. He also said the company is in the "preliminary stage" for accepting cryptocurrency at theaters.

AMC shares closed at $40.31 on Aug. 26, up 17.2% for the week-to-date.

SNL Image

In cybersecurity, Palo Alto Networks Inc. shares reached record levels Aug. 24 after the company beat Wall Street expectations during its fiscal fourth quarter.

The cloud security company reached a record share price of $441.87 on Aug. 24, up from $372.57 at market close the previous day.

The company reported strong billings growth as global cyberattacks heighten. Billings revenue, defined as future business revenue secured from contracts, rose nearly 35% to $1.87 billion for the quarter, compared to $1.39 billion in the prior-year period.

Palo Alto's total revenue before billings was $1.22 billion, up from $950.4 million a year ago. The S&P Capital IQ consensus estimate for revenue was $1.17 billion.

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill in an Aug. 24 note maintained the company at a "Buy" rating and upped his price target to $450 from $420.

Palo Alto shares closed Aug. 26 at $457.44 apiece, up 24.5% for the week-to-date.

In other earnings news, enterprise software giant salesforce.com inc. beat Wall Street expectations with its fiscal second-quarter 2022 earnings result.

Salesforce's quarterly revenue was boosted by reliance on cloud platforms as work-from-home conditions continued amid COVID-19 delta variant concerns. The company reported revenue of $6.34 billion, up from $5.15 billion a year ago. The S&P Capital IQ consensus estimate for revenue was $6.25 billion. Executives also said the company is seeing success following its acquisition of Slack Technologies Inc., which was completed in July. Slack's revenue grew by 39% on a stand-alone basis, said Salesforce CFO Amy Weaver.

The company will continue acquiring other companies to help spur growth, though its next acquisition likely will not be for at least a year, said Scott Kessler, global sector lead for technology, media and telecommunications at investment research company Third Bridge.

Shares of Salesforce closed Aug. 26 at $267.79, up 4.6% for the week to date.

In music streaming, Spotify Technology SA shares were up this week following the company's announcement of a $1 billion stock repurchase program on Aug. 20.

"This announcement demonstrates our confidence in Spotify's business and the growth opportunities we see over the long term," said Spotify CFO Paul Vogel in an Aug. 20 statement. "We believe this is an attractive use of capital, and based on the strength of our balance sheet, we continue to see ample opportunity to invest and grow our business."

The company launched its paid podcast subscription service in the U.S. on Aug. 24, in an effort to compete with Apple Inc.'s Apple Podcast Subscriptions, which launched in June. Spotify will open access to the podcasting service's subscriber-only content to international listeners beginning Sept. 15.

Shares of Spotify closed Aug. 26 at $224.62, up 3.7% for the week to date.