AMC, Nokia and other “meme stocks” targeted by Reddits Wallstreetbets – CBS News

An online community of retail investors, powered by Reddit and the ease of online trading, has spent the final week of January snapping up shares of struggling companies en masse, sending prominent hedge funds into a tailspin. The frenzy has turned struggling companies such as GameStop, Blackberry and others into what some are calling “meme stocks,” as crowdsourced investment drives their shares up sharply.

Here are other companies seeing an explosive jump in their stock prices.

AMC

Boosted by attention on Wallstreetbets, the Reddit group fueling the GameStop mania, the movie theater chain has seen its stock price ricochet from $5 on Monday to more than $20 and then back down to $12.30 ahead of trade on Friday.

That’s not the kind action investors would normally expect from a company that has been pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic. In its most recent quarter, AMC lost $906 million. The company also reported a 92% drop in U.S. attendance in the fourth quarter, compared to the year-ago period, according to an SEC filing.

Earlier this week, AMC said it secured almost $1 billion in new funding through stock offerings and a new line of credit, but its future will ultimately be determined by the speed at which COVID-19 vaccinations are distributed across the country.

Blackberry

Shares in the Canadian company, which now focuses on selling cybersecurity software, began the new year trading around $7. By Wednesday the stock had rocketed 255% to roughly $29 before falling back to $17 before U.S. markets opened on Friday.

The vertical rise is in stark contrast to Blackberry’s earnings for 2020. In its most recent quarter, Blackberry reported $794 million in losses. Once a top seller of mobile phones, Blackberry last year exited the market last year after its supplier announced it would no longer make or sell Blackberry devices.


GameStop value plunges as trading app limits …

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Blackberry said in a statement this week that it doesn’t know what’s causing its stock to rise, adding that the company has made “no material change in its business or affairs that has not been publicly disclosed that would account for the recent increase in the market price or trading volume.”

Bed Bath & Beyond

The home goods retailer saw its stock price climb from $18 a share at the beginning of January to as high as $53 a share on Wednesday. But behind the bubble, the New Jersey-based company has been severely challenged by the pandemic due to store closings as well as ongoing competition from the likes of IKEA and Target.

The retailer’s sales began plummeting during the first wave of COVID-19 infections last year, with the company temporarily closing 90% of its U.S. and Canadian stores between March and June. A month later, the company said it would permanently close 200 stores and transition into a “digital first” operation. Some of those closed stores are being turned into fulfillment centers — physical locations where online purchases can be picked up or packed for shipment.

In its most recent quarter, Bed Bath & Beyond reported a net loss of $75.4 million. Still, CEO Mark Tritton said in an earnings call earlier this month that the company’s “buy online and pick up in store” strategy is showing promise in 2021. 

“I think in a total industry level, BOPIS as a muscle and a new methodology that’s very accepted by the customer, and we’re benefiting from that as well,” he said.

Naked Brand

Shares of the Australian lingerie seller started the week trading at 40 cents and then surged to $3.50. Striking while it’s hot, the company announced on Thursday that it was selling millions of new shares in a move to raise $50 million.

Naked now joins a short but growing list of companies that Robinhood on Thursday has restricted users from buying. Would-be investors are irritated, Naked CEO Chris Tyson told the Wall Street Journal. The company has “seen an elevated theme of frustration regarding their ability to freely trade shares of NAKD,” Tyson said. 

Prior to this week’s unaccountable surge, Naked was in danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq because it spent much of 2020 trading for less than a dollar. Nasdaq officials in November granted the company a 180-day extension to raise its price, a deadline that expires March 24.

Nokia

Cellphone throwback Nokia had a one-day rise and fall in its stock price Wednesday, opening the day at almost $5 a share and growing almost to $10 a share around noon. The last time Nokia had a $10 stock price? December of 2010.

The Finnish electronics company released a statement this week saying that it didn’t know what caused its stock to surge. Nokia is also on the current list of companies Robinhood has blocked its customers from buying. 

Nokia is currently entrenched in several partnerships with various mobile technology companies including Google Cloud and T-Mobile to help build and expand upon 5G technology. However, the company faces fierce competition in the U.S. and abroad with Huawei of China and Ericsson of Sweden. Nokia’s new CEO Pekka Lundmark said in October that the company will do “whatever it takes” to be the global leader in 5G.

Commodities and cryptocurrencies

A “short squeeze” on the silver bullion market became the hot topic of discussion on the subreddit Wallstreetbets, after which stocks related to the precious metal saw their value spike suddenly Thursday morning for no apparent reason.

First Majestic Silver, a Canadian silver-mining company with the ticker symbol AG, maintained a stock price of around $14 a share for most of this month, but then shot up 21% on Thursday. Fortuna Silver Mines saw its share price rise 14% Thursday to $7.62. iShares Silver Trust, an exchange traded fund that tracks silver prices, rose almost 6% Thursday to nearly $25 a share. 

“$AG is essentially $GME for Silver,” a Reddit user posted Thursday, comparing First Majestic Silver stocks to GameStop, adding “Highest short float in the sector, nice leverage to silver, and just broke out above 10 year resistance too.”

Silver is used heavily in the production of jewelry and solar panels, one of the reasons why some analysts expect it to outperform gold in 2021. 

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency Dogecoin is trading at an all-time high of $.08, according to the largest U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase. The historic boost comes one day after subreddit SatoshiStreetBets, which labels itself the Wallstreetbets of crypto, coordinated an effort to buy Dogecoin. 

“The world held Dogecoin for us between $.05 and $.06,” one user posted. “Now the USA is waking up. Time to buy and continue this rocket ship ride to the moon.”

Dogecoin started in 2013 and is based on a popular meme of a Shiba Inu dog named Doge. Dogecoin is not as popular as bitcoin or ether, but it has a loyal following. Dogecoin is now valued at $5.8 billion, according to Coinbase.

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