AMC Rally Accelerates as Stock Price More Than Doubles

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A dizzying run for meme stocks including

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

AMC 95.69%

continued Wednesday, putting the movie-theater chain’s stock on track for a closing high.

AMC shares more than doubled and are poised to notch their first record close since 2015.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

surged 45%, on track for its biggest one-day advance on record.

GameStop

added 10% in recent trading.

Their rally is reminiscent of late January when individual investors banded together on social-media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit in a bid to drive the stocks higher.

Individual investors have continued to tout AMC on Twitter in recent days, vowing not to sell their shares. AMC recently said individual investors hold 80% of the company.

The latest leg of the rally in AMC has coincided with enthusiasm that a big investor,

Mudrick Capital,

was buying a large chunk of the company’s shares, though it sold out shortly after.

Additionally, the company said Wednesday that it would reward the loyalty of individual investors who had bet big on its shares this year, giving them special benefits at theaters.

“We start with a free large popcorn on us, when they attend their first movie at an AMC theatre this summer,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

There also have been some unexpected beneficiaries from the rally in meme stocks: GameStop and AMC are part of the Russell 2000 value index, and one big exchange-traded fund tracking the gauge, the

iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF,

has jumped 29% this year through Tuesday, far outperforming its growth counterpart’s 4.3% gain. That is the biggest outperformance through June 1 of any year going back to 2000, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The inclusion of meme stocks in the gauge has been surprising to some professional investors because value investors typically hunt for bargains in the stock market, wagering that they will appreciate.

GameStop and AMC already have soared more than 1,300% this year, and many professional investors looked to profit from any declines in the shares by shorting them, confident that they are overvalued.

Write to Gunjan Banerji at Gunjan.Banerji@wsj.com

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