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GameStop stock sank Tuesday morning but rebounded during the afternoon. While some short sellers appeared to cover their bearish bets in recent weeks, a short-selling expert says he still sees plenty of squeeze potential.
The stock (ticker: GME) closed down 5.4% to $208.17, compared to an intraday low of $172.35. The stock is up 6606% from its one-year low of $2.57, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director at short-selling analytics firm S3 Partners, told Barron’s on Monday that his firm estimates about 8.98 million GameStop shares were recently sold short, about 16% of shares available for trading.
Dusaniwsky said over the last month, his firm has seen about 7.5 million shorts covered, meaning bearish investors bought shares to cover their bets. The bulk came over the past week, when 4.6 million shares were covered.
“GME shorts are going through a short squeeze, and the stock continues to be on of the top stocks in our short squeeze potential metric, which means the squeeze is probably going to continue if its stock price remains at these levels or higher,” Dusaniwsky added.
The company’s shares rocketed higher last week following a company announcement that Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen has been chairing a board committee aimed at transforming the retailer into a technology business. Cohen joined the board with two associates in January, kicking off GameStop’s parabolic ascent.
GameStop said it will report fiscal fourth-quarter results on March 23. Analysts expect adjusted earnings of $1.35 a share, up from $1.27 a share in the prior fiscal fourth quarter, according to FactSet. Of course, analysts are far more bearish on GameStop than the retail investors posting on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum. The highest price target listed by FactSet is $33, while the mean target is $14.64.
While near-term results could cool off the GameStop rally, those excited about the stock are looking far into the future. If the company provides upbeat color on its e-commerce efforts and the impact of the new gaming consoles, it could make a quarterly miss more palatable.
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