GameStop shares fall 12% as company says it may sell stock to fund transformation

Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investors are finally getting a look at GameStop‘s fundamentals following a Reddit-fueled trading frenzy earlier this year.

Here’s what the company did after the bell Tuesday.

  • It released quarterly results that missed Wall Street’s estimates.
  • In its latest executive shake-up, the company named former Amazon and Google executive Jenna Owens as its new chief operating officer.
  • And in a hint of the transformation that’s got some investors excited about the stock, the company said global e-commerce sales jumped 175% last quarter and accounted for more than a third of its sales in the period.
  • GameStop also acknowledged in a filing that it was considering selling additional equity shares.

The stock traded initially higher after the bell, but was last down about 7% with traders likely reacting to news of the potential share sale, an action many investors and analysts thought would be prudent given the Reddit-fueled run-up in the stock.

“Since January 2021, we have been evaluating whether to increase the size of the ATM (at-the-market) Program and whether to potentially sell shares of our Class A Common Stock under the increased ATM Program during the course of fiscal 2021, primarily to fund the acceleration of our future transformation initiatives and general working capital needs,” a filing from the company said. “The timing and amount of sales under the ATM Program would depend on, among other factors, our capital needs and alternative sources and costs of capital available to us, market perceptions about us, and the then current trading price of our Class A Common Stock.”

For the period ended January 2021, GameStop earned $1.34 per share on revenue of $2.12 billion. Wall Street was expecting GameStop to report earnings per share of $1.35 on revenue of $2.21 billion, according to Refinitiv’s average of the six analysts that cover GameStop.

This marks GameStop’s first quarterly adjusted profit since the fourth quarter of last year. GameStop’s fourth quarter earnings typically make up the majority of the company’s yearly earnings, boosted by holiday sales. GameStop’s same-store sales rose 6.5% last quarter.

“We are off to a strong start in 2021 as February comparable store sales increased 23%, led by continued strength in global hardware sales. As we look ahead, we are excited by the opportunities that are in front of us as we begin prioritizing long-term digital and E-Commerce initiatives while continuing to execute on our core business during this emerging console cycle,” GameStop CEO George Sherman said in the earnings release.

Tuesday’s earnings mark GameStop’s first quarterly report since the GameStop trading mania in January.

In January, an epic short squeeze in GameStop’s stock shocked Wall Street and drew attention to an emerging class of retail investors on social media platforms like Reddit. GameStop’s share price skyrocketed to $483 per share, and subsequently lost 90% of its value. The controversy drew the attention of Wall Street and Washington.

Since GameStop’s rise and fall in January, the stock has continued to trek higher, with shares up nearly 70% this month. GameStop’s stock is up more than 860% in 2021.

GameStop has a market capitalization of nearly $14 billion, more than 10 times the $1.3 billion market value the stock had at the end of last year. A year ago, GameStop’s market capitalization was $245 million.

GameStop’s stock has traded positively on new developments for the company in the past five months like the appointment of Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen on GameStop’s board and a focus on GameStop’s technology and e-commerce transition.

GameStop said it continues to seek out executive talent with e-commerce, retail and technology expertise to bolster its turnaround.

Earlier this month, GameStop announced it tapped Cohen to lead its shift to e-commerce. Cohen is serving as chairman of a special committee formed by GameStop’s board to help its transformation. Board members Alan Attal, Chewy’s former top operations executive, and Kurt Wolf, chief investment officer of Hestia Capital Management, also serve on the committee.

The committee has already appointed a chief technology officer, hired two executives to lead customer services and e-commerce fulfillment, and begun a search for a new chief financial officer with tech or e-commerce experience. GameStop previously announced that current CFO Jim Bell will resign on March 26. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Business Insider reported that Bell was pushed out by Cohen.

GameStop said Tuesday its chief customer officer Frank Hamlin will step down.

The company said it is continuing to suspend guidance, but is updating its fulfillment operations to boost speed of delivery and service.

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