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Andrew Left, burned in 2021 meme mania, is short GameStop again

In Business
June 03, 2024

(Bloomberg) — The latest GameStop Corp. frenzy has coaxed a big critic of the meme-stock craze – and a notable loser back in 2021 — off the sidelines with a new short position.

Andrew Left, the founder of Citron Research, placed a new bet against the video-game retailer whose stock price soared as much as 75% Monday after Keith Gill, an investor and meme stock influencer who goes by DeepF—ing Value on Reddit, showed a stake of five million GameStop shares. In May, Left also announced a short position in the company’s shares.

“I have covered my short from May, and then I re-shorted it today,” Left said in an interview with Bloomberg, while noting that the position is smaller than his previous ones without disclosing its size.

GameStop’s leap at the start of trading added about $6 billion to its market capitalization and triggered a trading halt for volatility. The stock pared a chunk of the gain after it resumed trading, but was still up more than 30% in the early afternoon on Monday. The shares remain far below their closing peak of $86.88 on Jan. 27, 2021.

Meme stocks have been a stock market fascination for a few weeks once again since the return to social media of Gill, who goes by “Roaring Kitty” on X. Gill rose to fame in 2021 by rallying retail traders on Reddit. Indeed, it was a June 2 post on Reddit that fueled this most recent trading flurry in shares of the beleaguered video game retailer.

“He might as well be a hedge fund manager,” Left said.

For his part, Left was hit hard in the previous meme stock saga, as a bearish bet on GameStop led to staggering losses for Citron Research. His firm has also been at the center of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into short selling by hedge funds and research firms.

In early 2021, Left announced that the firm would no longer publish short selling research, ending a two-decade-long practice. He has since returned to writing them, albeit less frequently.

“I don’t have any ill will towards the company,” Left said. “It’s not even a company, it’s a trading vehicle.”

—With assistance from Sam Potter and Bailey Lipschultz.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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