Meme stocks, Reddit stocks — call them what you want, but they are back in action. This group has seen plenty of wild price action already, with more ongoing.
Now, most traders aren’t strangers to a good old-fashioned short squeeze. But the price movement in 2021 has been nothing short of breathtaking, making wild entertainment for armchair analysts.
The novel coronavirus wreaked havoc on the economy, supply chains and to an extent, our stock market. But coming into 2021, the market had actually done quite well. It shrugged off a global pandemic and made it through a hostile presidential election. It didn’t even flinch during the early January drama in Washington, D.C., when rioters stormed the Capitol.
All of that helped lead to the massive rally we saw later in the month and into February. High-growth stocks, SPACs, IPOs and these new Reddit stocks were all the rage.
Call them what you will, but these stocks have the potential to go on torrid rallies. Some rally hundreds of percent, others can jump thousands of percent over the course of weeks or months. Conversely, many see large gains that evaporate within a few days.
That price action has gone from one or two stocks and has now spilled into dozens of different names. AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) has been the recent leader. Here are eight others that may try to lead as well.
- GameStop (NYSE:GME)
- Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY)
- BlackBerry (NYSE:BB)
- Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE)
- Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN)
- Rocket Companies (NYSE:RKT)
- ContextLogic (NASDAQ:WISH)
- Palantir (NYSE:PLTR)
These companies span industries, but the investing thesis is all the same: These names gain traction on online forums as traders hunt for the next candidate to go up 40%, 50% or more in a single session. Then we see all sorts of epic short-squeezes higher.
Reddit Stocks to Watch: GameStop (GME)
Can we even talk about Reddit stocks without talking about GameStop? Shares are trading well lately, but they haven’t soared like some of these other names. That said, GameStop is roughly a $250 stock — not a single-digit or sub-$20 name, like many others on this list.
The company just reported earnings, beating both top- and bottom-line expectations. However the reaction was pretty tough, with shares tumbling on the report. Given its size, it may be difficult for investors to bid GME stock significantly higher, particularly now that its short interest has dropped to a more reasonable level.
Still, GameStop has been one of the leaders of this short-squeeze movement and that means it could take off at any time.
The company’s chairman is Ryan Cohen, co-founder and former CEO of Chewy (NYSE:CHWY). He’s looking for a new CEO who can lead the company’s e-commerce strategy.
The valuation is high, but good news could trigger more upside. Keep an eye on this one.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)
I actually nominated Bed Bath & Beyond as my pick for the Best Stock of 2021. However, I didn’t do it under the assumption that “Reddit traders” and “meme stocks” would become a thing. When I initially covered this stock, it was all about the company’s transformation.
Okay fine… part of the thesis was the massive short interest in BBBY stock coming into 2021. Still, I didn’t think we’d see such epic short squeezes across the board.
Bed Bath & Beyond still has about 65% of its float sold short, although that figure is smaller vs. shares outstanding. Still, the company has turned things around as it focuses on e-commerce and omni-channel solutions. That’s helping fuel BBBY’s free cash flow and earnings and has allowed management to initiate a rather large share repurchase plan.
With its low price point and legion of loyal bull traders, BlackBerry has found its way onto the list of traders’ favorite short-squeeze stocks.
Seriously, there are some dedicated investors in this name. Some have been waiting for years. Others are new to the party. But both groups — and everyone in between — are looking at the bullish potential with BB stock.
While BlackBerry may not have its smartphone in every business-person’s pocket anymore thanks to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), it does have good software. It also has strong security.
Interestingly, the automotive industry has become a big contributor to BlackBerry’s business, thanks to all the software, security and interconnectivity of today’s vehicles. Again, good news could create a nice pop in this one if the bulls maintain momentum.
Virgin Galactic (SPCE)
Virgin Galactic has been a short-squeeze favorite for a while now. It’s simply too juicy of a stock not to trade when the environment is right. But let’s not miss Virgin for what it is — this is a speculative stock holding.
The company doesn’t generate any meaningful revenue and currently operates at a loss due to development and operational overhead. Understandably, short-sellers like to lay into this one as a result. I mean, with no real revenue and an $8.5 billion market cap, who can blame them?
However, when the short interest gets high (as it often does for SPCE stock), buyers can’t resist the urge to squeeze.
Virgin hopes to become a space tourism company and is well on its way with its flight milestones. Additionally, it’s working with NASA on high-speed technology. The company recently filed for a shelf registration to sell up to $1 billion in stock, which only makes sense amid the current rally.
While this would usually sap some of its momentum, a stock offering may trigger more upside in this crazy climate.
Wendy’s has suddenly found itself with a chair at the short-squeeze table. And honestly, this is a fascinating one for me.
Shares were trading in relatively normal fashion and Wendy’s was never one of the big Reddit stocks back in January. But that didn’t stop the stock from surging more than 25% in a single day. This one is puzzling.
Wendy’s stock doesn’t have a high short interest (less than 5%). It does have solid growth expectations, but that’s mostly due to a post-coronavirus rebound. However, revenue is forecast to grow 6.7% this year and 2.5% in 2022.
Where all the hype is coming from, I’m not sure. But if the stock can hold up around $24 to $25, maybe it can retest its highs.
Rocket Companies (RKT)
Rocket Companies has taken the shorts to task before and I’m sure its investors would love nothing more than to do it again. That’s particularly true as shares fell 30% from the May high to the May low. And that doesn’t include the beatdown that Rocket Companies suffered from its first major squeeze higher in March.
For the record, shares fell more than 60% from that peak to the May trough.
Since then though, Rocket has found its footing. Unlike Wendy’s, this one does have a higher short interest, although at around 14%, it isn’t exactly high compared to previous Reddit stocks.
But management has taken its own shots too. When the company reported earnings in February, it announced a special dividend of $1.11 per share. When holding short, short-sellers have to pay the per-share dividend out of their holdings. Further, the company announced a $1 billion buyback in November.
ContextLogic came public at the end of 2020 in mid-December. So I don’t know that I would classify it as one of the original Reddit stocks based on its rally in the first quarter. But the recent price action has “meme stock” written all over it.
Its rally in Q1 did take ContextLogic north of $30. However, that was likely due to wider market trends, as growth stocks, SPACs, IPOs and other speculative holdings were surging higher.
This time around though, WISH stock is clearly in focus. With a short interest over 15% and a cheap share price (it was near $7.50 a couple days ago), this one was ripe for some attention. It helps that the stock fell almost 80% from peak to trough.
It also has solid growth estimates, with revenue expectations of 20% in each of the next three years. The company operates a global e-commerce platform that helps connect users to merchants, while providing various services to the latter.
Palantir has somewhat fallen by the wayside lately. While the bulls still love the company’s long-term prospects and as the company continues to add more contracts, the stock price has struggled.
Like Rocket, shares fell more than 62% from peak to trough, although that’s also counting from the stock’s short-squeeze fueled rally a few months ago. Since then, investors have seen a 40% rally from last month’s low.
The analyst community is pretty optimistic on this one. They expect 35% revenue growth this year, then 28.5% growth in each of the next two years. That’s pretty darn good and helps justify that 23 times forward revenue valuation it currently commands.
While it doesn’t have huge short interest at the moment, Palantir is a momentum favorite. If the other Reddit stocks are taking a break from the rally, this one may find itself as the next bid-up stock making headlines.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell 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.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell.
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