Corsair Gaming (NASDAQ:CRSR) stock is a trader favorite that has fallen from grace.
CRSR stock has dipped from a high of $51 a year ago to around half that today.
Given all the excitement with GameStop (NYSE:GME) this year, Corsair might seem like a natural pick. After all, GameStop is up 960% year-to-date despite its business continuing to not make much progress operationally. Why shouldn’t fellow gaming company Corsair enjoy a similar push from the meme trading community given its stronger fundamentals?
A Gaming Components Retailer For Now
The first big difference between GameStop and Corsair is that GameStop is a consumer-facing brand. Most meme traders have been to GameStop stores and have an affinity with the concept. Indeed, a big part of the Reddit push was to “save” GameStop from the hedge funds that were purportedly trying to drive it out of business.
Corsair, by contrast, is a much more niche gaming operation. You don’t see Corsair in malls, or its name on top gaming titles. Rather, Corsair is largely behind the scenes. It sells things such as video streaming equipment, wireless keyboards, RAM, storage, cases, CPU coolers and power supplies. This is all integral to the furthering of the competitive video gaming industry, but it doesn’t necessarily generate the same level of branding as a GameStop would.
That said, Corsair is making some progress on this front. Its gaming chairs are noteworthy and eye-catching. With the popularity of video streaming services such as Twitch – owned by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Corsair is getting its name out there more and more. It has also taken an active role in esports and other adjacent fields that could establish a more direct connection with the consumer.
Being a computer parts seller is a low-value business. Being a video gaming culture and lifestyle company, by contrast, can level up the company’s valuation dramatically.
What Corsair hasn’t quite achieved GameStop levels of branding, it more than makes up for in revenue growth and sales. Taking advantage of the video game boom during the pandemic, Corsair grew revenues from $1.1 billion in 2019 to $1.7 billion in 2020. Analysts see that jumping by a double-digit amount this year to around $1.9 billion.
Corsair also does a great job of converting that revenue into profits. The company is set to generate an estimated $1.53 per share for full-year 2021. Analysts see that jumping to $1.72 per share in 2022, putting the stock at just 14x forward earnings. That’s a bargain in this market for any company with double-digit top and bottom line growth. It’s especially cheap for a company in a hot sector such as video gaming.
Why Isn’t Corsair Getting More Respect?
The success of GameStop might, ironically, be a negative for Corsair. After all, if people think of a meme stock in gaming, GameStop is pretty much the beginning and the end of that discussion. Reddit traders haven’t shown much focus on underlying business quality metrics, such as profitability, and so Corsair’s robust strength there has been discounted.
On another note, there’s a bit of a tendency to fade the pandemic winners right now. Analysts are looking at the huge 2020 gains and wondering if we will naturally see a dip as life returns more toward normal. As folks go back to the office or university or whatnot, they may spend less time gaming. The growth of online esports may also slow as traditional sports and other in-person entertainment options reopen.
So far, Corsair’s earnings continue to be strong, so there’s little evidence of a big business slowdown. However it’s something to watch for. Another potential concern is supply chain issues. With the global semiconductor shortage and the international logistics issues, Corsair could face an unexpected earnings shortfall this holiday season if it can’t keep goods in stock.
CRSR Stock Verdict
Normally, meme stocks require a strong belief in the narrative or a turnaround story. A chain of struggling retail stores or movie theaters or something is going to get nursed back to life. Or a little-known penny stock will take off because of high short interest or some other novel Reddit thesis. Usually these meme-based stock pitches have fairly little in immediate fundamentals to justify their cause; it requires belief in a brighter future.
Corsair, however, is a strong and compelling value play right here and now. Aside from Rocket Mortgage (NYSE:RKT) and UWM Holdings (NYSE:UWMC), it’s hard to think of many other meme stocks that have had such robust profitability as Corsair in 2021. In a way, CRSR stock is even more attractive than those other two since it’s in a fashionable sector: video games. It certainly beats mortgages.
The bears leaning heavily on their short positions in Corsair may just end up with a painful surprise this holiday season. This a meme stock with the underlying business strength to prove the skeptics wrong. If you own just one meme name heading into 2022, strongly consider making it Corsair.
On the date of publication, Ian Bezek 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.
Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.