GameStop (GME) – Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report shares surged higher in pre-market trading after an investment group lead by chairman Ryan Cohen unveiled a purchase of around 100,000 shares in the money-losing video game retailer.
Securities and Exchange Commission filings late Tuesday showed that Cohen’s RC Ventures LLC, which has also built stakes in Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) – Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report, now owns around 9.1 million GameStop shares representing an 11.9% overall stake in the Grapevine, Texas-based group.
Cohen’s RC Ventures also owns a 10% stake the home furnishings retailer, with the former Chewy.com founder pushing for the group to “narrow its focus” and consider an outright sale of the Union, New Jersey-based company.
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GameStop shares, which soared 30.7% yesterday, were marked 11.2% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $136.90 each.
Short interest in the shares remains elevated, however, with data from S3 Partners showing just under $1.2 billion in bets against the group, a figure that represents around 12.66 million shares, or 20.1% of the stock’s outstanding float.
GameStop reported a wider-than-expected loss of $1.86 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter last week, and managed to record negative free cash flow of $131.6 million even as revenues rose 6.2% to $2.25 billion.
The group, which has put in place a new management team under Cohen, has yet to fully articulate its new strategy and has largely kept its post-earnings updates limited to a brief statement on customer trends and the state of its balance sheet.
That said, GameStop confirmed reports that it plans to develop a market for so-called NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, related to its video game products, following a tie-up with Australian blockchain startup ImmutableX last month and the launch of a dedicated website last year, and plans to launch its NFT marketplace by the second quarter of the current fiscal year.