Even as The Show Goes On, Just Say No to GameStop Stock

It may have slumped right after its most recent earnings call. But so far, disappointment around its quarterly results and guidance has only done minimal damage to the price of GameStop (NYSE:GME) stock. The “meme stock” that started it all trades for slightly below $200 per share as of this writing.

GME stock
Source: Shutterstock / mundissima

For now, it still seems the Reddit trader army’s support of it is enough to keep it falling to a price more in line with the value of its business. Or is it? The chances of its eventual collapse in price remain very high. At the same time, there’s little out there to help it move higher.

The possible increase in the videogame retailer’s underlying value from its planned e-commerce transformation is already factored-in. Those who have held it with “diamond hands” since January may be still refusing to sell. But the pool of investors willing to buy it with little regard for its fundamentals is still failing to expand. A possible catalyst many were talking about a few weeks back is no longer on the table (more below).

With the risk/return proposition not in your favor, your best move remains the same: just say no.

GME Stock and its Recent Earnings Call

So far this month, this biggest news with GameStop has been about its most recent quarterly results. Specifically, what happened with the conference call that followed its earnings release on Sep 8. On the call, the company’s management went over its numbers for the quarter ending June 30, 2021. Revenues rose year-after-year, and beat estimates.

However, its updated guidance (or lack thereof) caused a brief drop for GME Stock. Providing few updates about its e-commerce pivot, and declining to hold a Q&A session, shares initially fell on disappointment over their decision to keep things close to the vest.

Yet, this didn’t last long. On Sep 9, shares recovered from their one-day losses, and in fact closed higher ($199.18 per share) than they did on the preceding day ($198.80 per share). The takeaway? Despite so-so results, and a lackluster update from management, meme traders have yet to give up. As they continue to maintain their positions, the madness can continue, and the show will go on.

For how long? Again, it’s tough to forecast when exactly it’s the beginning of the end for this “king of meme stocks.” But given that its recent results took a possible needle-mover off the table? There’s even less reason to risk holding the bag by buying into it today.

Without S&P 500 Inclusion Catalyst, Upside Potential Even Lower

Admittedly, there was until last week a catalyst that could have helped send GME stock on one last big rally: inclusion in the S&P 500. Index inclusion would have likely given it a nice boost. Index funds would be forced to buy it, no matter how inflated its price.

Yet, given it posted another quarterly loss, this is no longer in play. Not only did it need to post positive earnings to get included within the next few months. It would’ve had to report earnings high enough to counter losses from some of its preceding four quarters.

With the loss of this long-shot but in-theory attainable catalyst? The chances of GameStop experiencing another pop appear slim. It’s questionable whether success in e-commerce will push the stock higher. Shares at around $200 per share trade for two to four times the company’s underlying value as an online retail pure play.

As mentioned above, few are joining the existing legion of “meme stock” traders willing to trade on factors outside of its fundamentals. With short interest now at just 17% of outstanding float, bullish traders that believed it can get short-squeezed “to the moon” again appear to be grasping for straws. No matter how you slice, there’s very little out there to send it higher.

The Verdict: Avoid at All Costs

Wall Street strategists in greater numbers are anticipating a decline in stock prices by year’s end. The risk of a market correction continues to climb. As I’ve talked about before with this stock, and similar meme favorites, a market correction could be a “game over” moment for those who are still in them.

Why? If there appears to be a tougher time ahead for equities, those still holding it with “diamond hands” may quickly change their tune. This may result in shares taking a sharp drop lower in a short amount of time.

Bottom line: With even one of its more long-shot catalysts (S&P 500 inclusion) off the table, there’s even less to gain, but still a lot to lose, when it comes to GME stock. Avoid it at all costs.

On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Thomas Niel, a contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.


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