GameStop finally announces a share sale

by Joseph K. Clark

GameStop says it’s selling up to 3.5 million of its shares, a move that will allow the video-game retailer to take advantage of the big surge in its stock price this year

Two months after a market phenomenon took shares of GameStop to the moon, the video game retailer said Monday that it would sell up to 3.5 million of its shares, with the price still vastly elevated.

The company said the shares will be sold through an “at-the-market” offering, which lets a publicly-traded company raise capital over time. A bizarre standoff between hedge funds that had heavily shorted GameStop, betting that the price of shares would fall, and smaller investors who challenged them, sent shares of the beleaguered company soaring early this year.

Market pundits had urged the company to put more shares on the market as the claim price, which had hovered around $20 each, spiked close to $500. Such a stock sale would have allowed to company to pay down hefty debts that it had accumulated as a technology shift led gamers to spend money online rather than in GameStop stores.

And two weeks ago, GameStop disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it actually had been considering such a sale since January.

Shares skyrocketed 1,625% in January as bands of more minor, and novice investors communicating on social media hyped up the retailer’s stock, putting pressure on hedge funds to sell in a “short squeeze” that only sent the stock price higher.

Share typically slides when a share sale is announced because it can water down the value of shares already in investors’ hands. That happened before the opening bell Monday, with claims sliding almost 16%. But a share still costs more than $161, meaning prices are still up more than 900% this year.

Based in Grapevine, Texas, the company also said Monday that preliminary fiscal first-quarter to-date global sales are up about 11% from a year ago when the pandemic slammed the U.S. and retailers like GameStop were forced to close its stores.

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