GameStop Shares Fall 15% After Hours; CCO resigns
GameStop Corp.’s fourth-quarter earnings call for shareholders proved to be as tumultuous and newsworthy as the stock has been in 2021. With announcements of new executives and stock sell-offs, GameStop (NYSE: GME) shares plummeted to close at $181.75 following the earnings call. The stock dipped 12.74 points for the day and lost another 27.72 points, or 15.25%, in after-hours trading.
For a stock with a 52-week low of $2.57 and a 52-week high of $483, what makes the day’s fluctuations so noteworthy is the number of retail day traders and hedge-fund short sellers who seek to win or lose big with every move GameStop makes.
So what happened on the earnings call?
New Executives Come Onboard
After GameStop Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell resigned in late February, the retailer has done some reshuffling of its executive board. For starters, chief customer officer and executive vice president Frank Hamlin resigned Tuesday, reported in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing released prior to the earnings call. He will depart on March 31, and although the company refused to disclose the reasons for departure, Hamlin will receive the “payments, rights and benefits associated with a ‘good reason’ resignation,” Business Insider reported.
The same day, the company appointed Jenna Owens, former Amazon director and general manager for distribution and multi-channel fulfillment, to the role of chief operating officer. She previously held senior operations roles at tech innovators Google and Honeywell, according to a press release issued by GameStop. GameStop eliminated the COO position after Rob Lloyd stepped down from the role in 2019, according to Gamasutra.
GameStop also announced in the press release that it has named Neda Pacifico, former Chewy vice president of e-commerce, as the new senior vice president of e-commerce for GameStop. Prior to joining Chewy, she served in several marketing and customer insight roles at Amazon. Ken Suzuki also joins the GameStop team as the vice president of supply chain systems. The former vice president of supply chain technology for online clothing retailer Zulily will manage GameStop’s supply chain systems, including order management and warehouse management.
Earnings Fall Short
Wall Street analysts predicted GameStop to show earnings per share of $1.35 on revenue of $2.21 billion, CNBC reports. But the company only showed earnings of $1.34 per share on revenue of $2.12 billion. Although same-store sales rose 6.5% last quarter, the company reported an overall loss of $215 million for the fiscal year, Business Insider reports. Same-store sales dropped 9.5% for the year, and net sales fell from $6.46 billion in FY 2019 to $5.09 billion in FY 2020, according to the annual report GameStop filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
GameStop Announces Stock Sell-Offs
In the same filing, GameStop revealed potential plans to sell equity shares this year “to fund the acceleration of our future transformation initiatives and general working capital needs.”
Combined with bolstering the executive board with a team of tech industry and e-commerce talent, the news foretold of the brick-and-mortar retailer’s goals for digital transformation. GameStop CEO George Sherman said on the call that for the next year, GameStop leadership will focus on “improving our e-commerce and customer experience, increasing our speed of delivery, providing superior customer service and expanding our catalog,” Fox Business reports.
Some Redditors Buy the Dip
Even with a dismal quarterly earnings report, a stock sell-off on the horizon and the company’s refusal to answer questions following the call, GameStop shares remain up more than 700% for the year.
A Redditor contributing to the famous stock-trading forum r/WallStreetBets analyzed the news in a positive light: “Taken in the context of the pandemic shutting the world down and the company pivoting to a new, better business model, these ‘slight miss’ numbers actually seem pretty damn good to my smooth brain,” he wrote. “But Wall Street didn’t like the numbers… and so we’re down big time. [It] makes no difference to GME – they’re in it for the long haul. They don’t care if there is a 3rd ‘short squeeze’ tomorrow, or any other day for that matter. They want the company to succeed, which will ultimately reward shareholders (you and me) in the form of sustained share price appreciation.”
Even with a few positive pundits, other Redditors, like Daddy-OH-77, pointed out that the high stock price is still not based on fundamentals.
Similarly, a contributor known as Flyryfly shared common sense thoughts for those ready to continue holding or buying the dip: “They want you to buy cause they are currently bagholding and want other people to help them out of a bag hold. Gme tanked 30% this week and 20% AH today. Do your own research.”