The trading frenzy in shares of GameStop and now AMC Entertainment looks familiar to Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy.
Already in 2018, shortly after the IPO, the Canadian pot manufacturer’s portfolio was caught in a wild short squeeze and rose by around 1,400% over the course of the day between July and September of this year.
“I’ve had a bit of PTSD the past few days,” Kennedy said on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Wednesday. “I remember getting five different calls from Nasdaq in a single day about our stock being halted because the short sellers were under so much pressure.”
With the CEOs of GameStop and AMC in a similar but strange position to what they were a few years ago, Kennedy offered a cautionary prospect.
“My advice to these CEOs would be that at times like these, your company is not your stock and your stock is not your company,” he said. “Keep an eye on everything as this very unusual market dynamic is taking place.”
In July 2018, Tilray shares hit an intraday low of around $ 20 before skyrocketing. The stock hit an intraday high of $ 300 per share in September this year.
“I think the short sellers lost about $ 600 million that day, September 19, 2018, which actually pales in comparison to what I’ve read about GameStop,” added Kennedy.
Tilray hit its all-time high of just under $ 150 in October 2018, but those massive stock gains didn’t last. The company’s shares were trading around $ 19 on Wednesday – however, they were down single digits during the coronavirus-induced market dip last year.
GameStop shares rose again on Wednesday, up 135%, despite some high profile short sellers claiming to have pulled out of their positions. The video game retailer’s stock is being hyped by investors on online forums on sites like Reddit, causing it to climb from around $ 6 just four months ago to Wednesday’s close of $ 347.51 on Wednesday. That’s a gain of almost 5,700%.
The GameStop rally has put short sellers under pressure to sell the borrowed stocks in hopes of buying them back in the future. You return the number of shares borrowed and pocket the price difference.
AMC shares rose 301% to nearly $ 20 apiece on Wednesday. In November, the stock traded below $ 3 per share as the cinema industry continued to be ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company announced in an SEC filing on Monday that it had raised $ 917 million in new equity and debt since December. This is sufficient funding to keep the company running well into 2021.