It goes without saying that the appeal of Camber Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:CEI) stock has nothing to do with its fundamentals. As I discussed earlier this month, there’s much to back up the bear case made by vocal short-seller Kerrisdale Capital. Since that article published, CEI stock has lost a further 20.3%.
Putting it simply, this oil and gas company is your garden variety penny stock. Low quality assets, shareholder dilution and an attempt to ride the coattails of trends (in its case, clean energy) to drive up the stock? That’s all here with Camber. So, if not for the strength of its underlying business, what’s the appeal of it?
As a meme trade, pure and simple. Meme stock madness is what put it on the map among retail traders between late August and early October. During that time frame, shares soared nearly ten-fold, from around 50 cents a piece to a 52-week high of $4.85.
But since the Oct. 5 Kerrisdale “short report,” enthusiasm for it has cooled considerably, with CEI falling 42.4% to below $1 per share in the following two days.
To be sure, it’s attempted to make a rebound. So far though, it’s only made it back to between $1 and $2 per share. Before, I said there was a chance the meme crowd could send it back “to the moon.” Yet given the fading interest in it specifically, plus the fact we’ve haven’t seen another widespread “meme wave” in months? Don’t give up on your hopes.
CEI Stock Had Its ‘Flavor of The Month’ Meme Moment
In the world of meme stocks, there are two categories. In column A, you have your more perennial meme stock names. Think GameStop (NYSE:GME) or AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Both were the initial stocks moved higher by this trend. Even as the overall “waves” have come and gone, both have managed to stay at inflated prices, levels that are not reflective of their respective underlying values.
Column B has your more “flavor of the month” names. These are the ones that became meme stocks, but only briefly, sort of their “15 minutes of fame.” For example, Clover Health (NASDAQ:CLOV) during its early June short-squeeze. Or, Support.com, right before it completed its reverse merger with crypto miner Greenidge Generation (NASDAQ:GREE).
In which column should one place CEI stock? Simple, column B. It had its brief moment as a hot meme stock. That time has now passed, and it’s not coming back for an encore. Sure, this time, it could be different. After all, unlike Clover, this is a much smaller stock, and much less liquid.
True, as a microcap stock, it could be easier for the meme crowd to bid it back up. Yet take a look at where it ranks in terms of conversation on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets subreddit. The Reddit set has moved on, and is buzzing about new “flavor of the month” names. Admittedly, something like another overall “meme stock wave” could be the ticket to send Camber on one last spike. Unfortunately, even that shows little sign of making a return.
Don’t Count on a Rising Tide to Save The Day
If the situation with CEI stock was playing out earlier this year, I would say there was a chance of it going on a second strong run. For instance, many of the column B meme plays that went up (then down) in the winter’s first meme stock wave, shot up again (albeit partially) during the second wave.
Yet today? The odds of a third widespread wave lifting its boat seem slim. Individual stocks continue to benefit from the trend. Most recently, Digital World Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:DWAC), up more than eight-fold on news of merging with the privately held company that owns former President Trump’s planned social media platform.
However, meme stocks as a whole aren’t moving up higher at the same time anymore. Traders are honing in on specific plays (today, DWAC; tomorrow, who knows), at the expense of the ones that have become old hat.
Yes, you may think, “what about its squeeze potential?” After all, the short side seems crowded here, with nearly a quarter of outstanding float sold short. But unless the meme crowd hops back in, a squeeze back to $4 or $5 per share isn’t going to happen. Instead, as those holding it just on the squeeze appeal, grow tired of waiting, they’ll cash out, sending it on its way back toward prior price levels.
What’s More Likely, 50 Cents or 5 Bucks
CEI stock may not head back to 50 cents a share, but $5 isn’t likely, either.
Despite my bearishness on it, I will concede one thing. Camber Energy may at least be able to hold onto a portion of its meme-fueled gains. Many other column B penny meme stocks, like Naked Brand (NASDAQ:NAKD), have pulled this off.
Yet while residual meme stock status could keep it between $1 and $2 per share, with little signaling one last move toward $5 per share is in the cards? There’s little reason to roll the dice with CEI stock.
On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.
Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Gettting Scammed
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.