GameStop collapses on stock sale plan as Gill makes YouTube comeback

(Bloomberg) — Shares of GameStop Corp. fell further Friday after Keith Gill’s highly anticipated return to YouTube, as well as the video game retailer’s unexpected earnings release and announcement that it plans to sell up to 75 million more shares earlier in the month. day.

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The stock fell 39% following Gill’s appearance on the “Roaring Kitty” stream, where he reiterated his views on the stock and confirmed that the massive positions posted to his Reddit account were his own. The investor, who has driven up shares in recent weeks, praised Ryan Cohen, GameStop’s chief executive and largest shareholder, and expressed confidence in the management team’s ability to rethink its business.

At one point, the stream courted over 600,000 viewers. Popular X accounts like Dave Portnoy and WallStreetBets also featured livestreams surrounding Gill’s return that each attracted over 100,000 viewers. GameStop shares were halted nine times due to volatility between noon and 1:10 p.m. in New York, as Gill’s live broadcast progressed.

The event alternated between the bizarre and the serious. It started with a video of feisty kittens and eventually showed Gill sitting in a gaming chair wearing sunglasses, face stickers and an arm sling that he apparently didn’t need. He was drinking beer and commenting on viewer comments at times when he wasn’t discussing GameStop’s potential.

“It’s a weird sight,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers. “At least he seemed to respond that the positions really belonged to him and that he was still Roaring Kitty.”

The stream lasted about 50 minutes and ended with a montage of sleeping kittens. In total, more than 40 million shares were traded between the planned start of the flow and its conclusion. With more than 274 million shares traded on Friday, the stock had its most active day since March 2021.

GameStop options had their busiest session since 2021, with one of the most popular options being a call that required the stock price to triple by the end of the session to be worth anything. This follows an active Thursday which saw the highest number of contracts move in a single session since 2022.

GameStop’s first-quarter results, originally scheduled for Tuesday, showed slowing sales and a wider loss than analysts expected. The new shares, which can be sold on the market at prevailing prices, add to GameStop’s sale of stock worth nearly $1 billion last month.

Gill, who first rose to fame in 2021, returned to X with a cryptic message on May 12. That fueled a 167% rise in GameStop shares through Thursday’s close, adding $11 billion to its market value over that period.

GameStop’s lackluster first-quarter results were revealed last month, on the eve of the company’s decision to sell 45 million shares. This program was also a market offering, in which its investment bank creates shares and sells…

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