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GameStop (GME) stock price as of February 2021

Stocks of video game retailer GameStop exploded in January 2021, effectively doubling in value on a daily basis. At the close of trading on January 27, GameStop Corporation's stock price reaching 347.51 U.S. dollars per share - or +134 percent compared to the day before. On December 30, 2020, the price was valued at 18.84 U.S. dollars per share. The cause of this dramatic increase is a concerted effort via social media to raise the value of the company's stock, intended to negatively affect professional investors planning to ‘short sell’ GameStop shares. As professional investors started moving away from GameStop the stock price began to fall, stabilizing at around 40-50 U.S. dollars in mid-February. However, stock prices unexpectedly doubled again on February 24, and continued to ruse, reaching 101.74 U.S. dollars at the close of trade on February 26. The reasons for this second increase are not fully clear.

Who are GameStop?

GameStop are a retailer of video games and associated merchandise headquartered in a suburbs of Dallas, Texas, but with stores throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. As of February 2020 the group maintained just over 5,500 stores, variously under the GameStop, EB Games, ThinkGeek, and Micromania-Zing brands. The company's main revenue source in 2019 was software. While the company saw success in the decade up to 2016 (owing to the constant growth of the video game industry), GameStop experienced declining sales since because consumers increasingly purchased video games digitally. It is this continual decline, combined with the effect of the global coronavirus pandemic on traditional retail outlets, that led many institutional investors to see GameStop as a good opportunity for short selling.

What is short selling?

Short selling is where an investor effectively bets on a the price of a financial asset falling. To do this, an investor borrows shares (or some other asset) via an agreement that the same number of shares be returned at a future date. They can then sell the borrowed shares, and purchase the same number back once the price has fallen to make a profit. Obviously, this strategy only works when the share price does fall – otherwise the borrowed stocks need to be repurchased at a higher price, causing a loss. In the case of GameStop, a deliberate campaign was arranged via social media (particularly Reddit) for individuals to purchase GameStop shares, thus driving the price higher. As a result, some estimates place the loss to institutional investors in January 2021 alone at around 20 billion U.S. dollars. However, once many of these investors had 'closed out' their position by returning the shares they borrowed, demand for GameStop stock fell, leading to the price reduction seen early in early February. A similar dynamic was seen at the same time with the share price of U.S. cinema operator AMC.

Daily stock price of GameStop Corporation from December 30, 2020 to February 26, 2021

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Source

In cooperation with
Benzinga
Release date

March 2021

Region

United States

Survey time period

December 30, 2020 to February 26, 2021

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