GameStop’s Most Loyal Shareholders Are in It for the Long Haul, Not the Memes

GameStop has been around for almost 30 years, and it’s been a tough industry to survive in. With the emergence of online gaming and streaming services, and even the rise of the “gotta catch ‘em all” phenomenon, it’s no surprise that GameStop is facing some serious competition. In a recent survey, the company found that only 25% of GameStop’s investors are the average retail investor, and are instead its most loyal shareholders, which means the company is relying more and more on institutional investors to keep things running.

Every year, GameStop’s Board of Directors nominates a number of shareholders as deserving of special recognition for their loyalty and support of the company over the past year. 2015’s annual shareholders’ award winners include a long list of GameStop’s most loyal shareholders, as well as a few celebrities who have found a unique way to use their stock.

A quick glance at the number of people still waiting for a refund from GameStop after trying to get one for over a month suggests that the days of the rogue gamer are long gone. For better or for worse, gamers no longer have the luxury of being anonymous. If you’re over 18, the gaming industry has your name, and it knows where you live.

By the time Robert Mizener learned of the fact that GameStop Corp. GME -3.80 In January, at a wild rally, meme actions were already becoming a national sensation. For this 50-year-old Florida resident, it was an incentive to buy. Mr Mizener, who has invested mainly in blue-chip companies in the past, was gripped by the fear of missing out on something and got excited when the rumour mill started talking about hedge fund involvement. He pulled the trigger at the top and bought the shares for $349.48 each. Then the video game vendor’s stock collapsed, and hard. A few days later, it became clear that Mr. Mizener’s hopes for a big win had been dashed. Mr. Mizener’s story could have ended here. Instead, Mr. Mizener in February when GameStop’s shares dropped toward $40, which at the time seemed unthinkable: He kept buying. Amid the rubble, he says, he began to realize that GameStop has a lot of things he likes. He kept buying because he saw it as an investment in the future of the company. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Mizener earned more than $18,500 in paper profits today with his position in GameStop, helped in part by the unexpected resurgence of meme stocks over the past two weeks. GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMK -6.68%. and other stocks popular with individual investors on social networks have risen sharply in recent sessions, with wild swings even as the broader stock market has frozen. Last week, the S&P 500 index rose a modest 0.6% and GameStop gained 12%, building on the previous week’s 26% rally. Many individual traders say that with such superiority it is hard not to be loyal. Mr. Mizener is one of many traders who have come to believe in GameStop, holding large positions in the stock with no intention of selling it quickly. Some, like Mr. Mizener, have never set foot in a GameStop or spent much time playing video games. Not a day goes by without thinking about GameStop. The individual investor bet on GameStop earlier this year is often described as an adrenaline-fueled, impulsive bet led by hordes of online traders in the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit. Many do not deny that at least some of this is true. But many also say they’ve made their job a chance to get into a business early that they think will be very different in a year’s time. Tesla had skeptics and Amazon Some people were against it, but it was those two companies, and now GameStop, that changed the whole mindset and way of doing business, he said. Mizener, managing director of the technology services company. This could be big. At the heart of this theory for many retailers is someone who quickly moved up at GameStop: Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy Inc, a pet products retailer, who went from an activist investor in GameStop to a candidate for the company’s CEO position in a matter of months. Although Mr. Cohen is only 30 years old, he was dubbed the e-commerce golden boy after selling Chewy to PetSmart Inc. for $3.35 billion, the largest e-commerce deal in history at the time. Many individual investors are betting that Cohen can repeat that success at GameStop and bring the company into the digital age, away from years of declining sales and failed experiments. Some point to GameStop’s recent hiring of e-commerce-related employees, as well as Cohen’s November letter to the GameStop board. He stressed that GameStop should become a technology-driven company that offers competitive prices, a wide selection of games, fast delivery and reliable customer service. word-image-5347

Ryan Cohen in 2019; investors hope Cohen can repeat at GameStop the success he had at Chewy, the company he co-founded.

Photo: Mark Abramson for The Wall Street Journal In a recent impact statement, GameStop acknowledged the need to respond to the changing landscape. However, this transition will not be easy, especially in an increasingly competitive sector. Like other companies, including AMC, which has become a meme, GameStop is emerging from the pandemic problems of Covid 19 with a group of loyal shareholders it didn’t have a year ago – and some of whom may become buyers. AMC in particular tried to capitalize on this by announcing last week that it would reward investors with free large popcorn if they attend their first movie at an AMC theater this summer. However, a day later, the cinema chain warned investors of the possibility of significant losses due to the stock’s volatility. Both companies took advantage of the meme-mania and sold more shares to strengthen their balance sheets. GameStop also recently announced that it was taking steps to reduce its long-term debt.


Have you bought or sold GameStop stock recently? Share your stories with us. Many skeptics in the market warned that a sweeping transformation would take time and that the company had not yet disclosed much about the specific next steps in refocusing its operations. They also warned that GameStop was not worth the current action from a fundamental standpoint. GameStop shares closed Friday at $248.36, up more than 1,200 percent from 2021, giving the company a market value of about $17.5 billion. In contrast, analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities has a $39 price target and a sell recommendation for the stock. There is a gap between fundamentals and valuation, Pachter said. And Ryan Cohen still hasn’t told us what his strategy is. This activity is totally different from the manufacture of dog food. According to Pachter, video game buyers do not buy with the same regularity, unlike pet product buyers, who often buy repeatedly. In addition, GameStop still has an extensive network of about 4,800 stores and recently announced the upcoming departure of its CEO. George Sherman, that came from other retailers with a physical store. The CFO and other executives also left the company this year. Many individual investors say Mr. Cohen’s bold approach to leading GameStop has earned him trust. At the same time, he has gained celebrity status on forums like WallStreetBets. Users often call him Papa Cohen and exchange thoughts on the meaning of his cryptic tweets. One of the tweets, written in late February, includes a frog emoji and an image of an ice cream cone from McDonald’s Corp. This sparked individual investors into a frenzy and sent GameStop shares soaring 104% overnight. He’s clearly on Reddit and social media, which shows he deals with investors and knows what they want, said Tushira Kumaraj, a 21-year-old Edinburgh student who bought GameStop shares in January on the recommendation of friends. He has about 180 GameStop shares in his portfolio and adds new shares from time to time. Retail investors say they will keep a close eye on Wednesday’s first-quarter earnings report. GameStop is expected to sell more than last year, thanks in part to the release of new game consoles late last year. Many say they will also be watching for messages at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which will be held on the same day. Some investors said they expected GameStop’s stock price to be volatile based on Wednesday’s events, especially after last week’s swings in the $227 to $294 range. I love the company, said John Evans, 21, who first bought GameStop stock in December for about $14 on the recommendation of other UC Santa Barbara students. Since then, he has strengthened his position, even on volatile stock market days, and plans to hold some stocks – perhaps forever – for sentimental reasons. In the end, he says it was a dud and that he raised nearly $40,000 with his GameStop posts. I’ll be sure to keep in touch. Evans. I think it’s safe to say that this captain is going down with this ship to a fair degree. The hype surrounding GameStop has drawn attention to a growing group of investors who seek out and share company information on social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Three investors explain how these online communities are helping them capture the market. Illustration photo: Adam Falk/The Wall Street Journal Email Caitlin McCabe at [email protected]. Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8GameStop is continuing its long-term battle to rebound from its disastrous foray into the used game market. Last week, the company revealed that its new loyalty program, GameFly, would change its members from shareholders to “frequent flyers,” and it just announced that it would be expanding its store base in the United States in 2018.. Read more about chewy stock and let us know what you think.

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