GameStop Stock Is Tumbling
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GameStop Stock Is Tumbling

Because its earnings report mattered after all.

By Connor Smith
Thu, Mar 25, 2021 4:42pmGrey Clock 3 min

GameStop stock was falling fast on Wednesday after the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter results disappointed analysts. There’s also another elephant in the room: The company is considering selling more stock, which could dilute its shares.

GameStop stock (ticker: GME) closed down 33.8%, at $120.34. The S&P 500 index fell 0.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, GameStop said it has been evaluating whether or not to increase the size of its previously announced $100 million at-the-market stock-sale program. The company had announced the ATM program in December, with Jefferies acting as the sales agent. The company said it didn’t sell stock as its valuation surged.

GameStop stock received a mix of downgrades, price target cuts, and raises from analysts following the report. “Many on Wall Street have wondered why GameStop has not done an ATM transaction to take advantage of the elevated share price,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman wrote. “The answer may be that its balance sheet is in great shape, with cash and cash equivalents of $635MM (incl. restricted cash of $110MM) and debt of $363MM at the end of 2020. The new commentary seems to be a signal that an ATM transaction could be on the way.”

Heading into Tuesday, Feldman had the highest price target listed by FactSet. He lowered his to $30 from $33, calling the event “anti-climactic.” On the flip side, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink raised her target by 1,066% to $175. That’s the new Street-high, in case there was any doubt.

Wissink argued the moves by Chewy co-founder and GameStop board member Ryan Cohen to transform the company into more of a technology firm warrant a completely different valuation method. The company’s earnings release was paired with another trio of hires with e-commerce backgrounds, including Amazon alum Jenna Owens as its next chief operating officer.

Wissink wrote that she moved from basing her target on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or Ebitda, to a sales multiple that factors in a shift to e-commerce.

She also makes the point that GameStop has the potential to participate in the rise of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and the hosting of shoppable content streams.

“As a result, we expect store closures to persist & sales to transfer to dot com,” Wissink wrote. “Total revs may come down, but value per dollar of sales should increase if non-retail streams are realized.”

S&P Global Ratings analysts Mathew Christy and Andy Sookram wrote in a note on Wednesday that they believe the turnaround will involve sizable execution risks and possibly a material increase in its capital investment.”The recent increase and volatility in GameStop’s share price have not affected our fundamental view of its business or the risks the company faces,” they wrote. “However, we note the potential financial flexibility afforded by its improved equity market standing if it chose to raise additional capital to reposition its business or reduce its debt.”

BofA Global Research analyst Curtis Nagle maintained his $10 price objective and Underperform rating. He notes that while GameStop’s adjusted earnings per share of $1.34 beat his estimate for $1.22, he notes that the beat was driven by a large tax credit during the quarter. The company’s Ebitda came in short of his expectations by 66%.

“We continue to be very sceptical on GME’s efforts to address its long standing issue of digital disintermediation and the fact that its core market in new and pre-owned physical console gaming is shrinking at a rapid pace,” Nagle added. “GME also called out leveraging its existing digital assets like its PowerUp rewards program but this has seen declining engagement for years.”

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter lowered his rating on GameStop to Underperform from Hold, but raised his price target to $29 from $16. While he still thinks GameStop is well-positioned to benefit from the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, he says the short squeeze has spiked the stock to “levels that are completely disconnected from the fundamentals of the business.”

“Our downgrade isn’t a reflection of our opinion of company management, which remains very high; rather, it appears that the ‘real’ value of GameStop shares (the price willing buyers are prepared to pay in the open market) vastly exceeds the ‘fundamental’ value we believe investors expecting a financial return can reasonably expect,” he wrote.

 

Reprinted by permission of Barron’s. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: March 24, 2021



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These stocks are getting hit for a reason. Instead, focus on stocks that show ‘relative strength.’ Here’s how.

By KEN SHREVE
Wed, Jun 12, 2024 4 min

A lot of investors get stock-picking wrong before they even get started: Instead of targeting the top-performing stocks in the market, they focus on the laggards—widely known companies that look as if they are on sale after a period of stock-price weakness.

But these weak performers usually are going down for good reasons, such as for deteriorating sales and earnings, market-share losses or mutual-fund managers who are unwinding positions.

Decades of Investor’s Business Daily research shows these aren’t the stocks that tend to become stock-market leaders. The stocks that reward investors with handsome gains for months or years are more often  already  the strongest price performers, usually because of outstanding earnings and sales growth and increasing fund ownership.

Of course, many investors already chase performance and pour money into winning stocks. So how can a discerning investor find the winning stocks that have more room to run?

Enter “relative strength”—the notion that strength begets more strength. Relative strength measures stocks’ recent performance relative to the overall market. Investing in stocks with high relative strength means going with the winners, rather than picking stocks in hopes of a rebound. Why bet on a last-place team when you can wager on the leader?

One of the easiest ways to identify the strongest price performers is with IBD’s Relative Strength Rating. Ranked on a scale of 1-99, a stock with an RS rating of 99 has outperformed 99% of all stocks based on 12-month price performance.

How to use the metric

To capitalise on relative strength, an investor’s search should be focused on stocks with RS ratings of at least 80.

But beware: While the goal is to buy stocks that are performing better than the overall market, stocks with the highest RS ratings aren’t  always  the best to buy. No doubt, some stocks extend rallies for years. But others will be too far into their price run-up and ready to start a longer-term price decline.

Thus, there is a limit to chasing performance. To avoid this pitfall, investors should focus on stocks that have strong relative strength but have seen a moderate price decline and are just coming out of weeks or months of trading within a limited range. This range will vary by stock, but IBD research shows that most good trading patterns can show declines of up to one-third.

Here, a relative strength line on a chart may be helpful for confirming an RS rating’s buy signal. Offered on some stock-charting tools, including IBD’s, the line is a way to visualise relative strength by comparing a stock’s price performance relative to the movement of the S&P 500 or other benchmark.

When the line is sloping upward, it means the stock is outperforming the benchmark. When it is sloping downward, the stock is lagging behind the benchmark. One reason the RS line is helpful is that the line can rise even when a stock price is falling, meaning its value is falling at a slower pace than the benchmark.

A case study

The value of relative strength could be seen in Google parent Alphabet in January 2020, when its RS rating was 89 before it started a 10-month run when the stock rose 64%. Meta Platforms ’ RS rating was 96 before the Facebook parent hit new highs in March 2023 and ran up 65% in four months. Abercrombie & Fitch , one of 2023’s best-performing stocks, had a 94 rating before it soared 342% in nine months starting in June 2023.

Those stocks weren’t flukes. In a study of the biggest stock-market winners from the early 1950s through 2008, the average RS rating of the best performers before they began their major price runs was 87.

To see relative strength in action, consider Nvidia . The chip stock was an established leader, having shot up 365% from its October 2022 low to its high of $504.48 in late August 2023.

But then it spent the next four months rangebound—giving up some ground, then gaining some back. Through this period, shares held between $392.30 and the August peak, declining no more than 22% from top to bottom.

On Jan. 8, Nvidia broke out of its trading range to new highs. The previous session, Nvidia’s RS rating was 97. And that week, the stock’s relative strength line hit new highs. The catalyst: Investors cheered the company’s update on its latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Nvidia then rose 16% on Feb. 22 after the company said earnings for the January-ended quarter soared 486% year over year to $5.16 a share. Revenue more than tripled to $22.1 billion. It also significantly raised its earnings and revenue guidance for the quarter that was to end in April. In all, Nvidia climbed 89% from Jan. 5 to its March 7 close.

And the stock has continued to run up, surging past $1,000 a share in late May after the company exceeded that guidance for the April-ended quarter and delivered record revenue of $26 billion and record net profit of $14.88 billion.

Ken Shreve  is a senior markets writer at Investor’s Business Daily. Follow him on X  @IBD_KShreve  for more stock-market analysis and insights, or contact him at  ken.shreve@investors.com .