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Bed Bath & Beyond slides after investor Ryan Cohen files for stake sale

Stock Markets Aug 18, 2022 09:08
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© Reuters. A person exits a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
 
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By Medha Singh and Aishwarya Nair

(Reuters) -Bed Bath & Beyond Inc shares nosedived late in the session on Wednesday from a 45% surge earlier after investor and GameStop (NYSE:GME) Chairman Ryan Cohen filed for a proposed sale of his stake in the struggling home goods retailer.

The highly shorted shares continued their fall after the bell and were down more than 15% as Cohen's venture capital firm RC Ventures, the second largest investor, said it intends to sell 9.45 million shares, including options, through JP Morgan Securities.

The company said it reached an agreement with RC Ventures in March and is working with financial advisors and lenders to strengthen its balance sheet as it struggles with declining revenue and liquidity concerns.

It will provide more information in an update by the end of this month.

Cohen did not respond to a request for comment. His venture capital firm had on Tuesday bought call options expiring in January 2023 on 1.67 million shares with a strike price ranging from $60 to $80.

Cohen's bets led to the highest single-day purchase of the BBBY shares in at least five years, with individual investors dabbling in highly shorted shares buying $73.2 million worth of the company's shares in the previous session.

On Wednesday too, Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) was the most actively traded single stock option, far ahead of popular options trades including Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc, data from Options Clearing Corp showed.

The resurgence in retail trading comes after a rebound in U.S. stocks that helped the S&P 500 recoup more than half of the benchmark index's losses since its June low.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been gaining in 14 out of the last 15 sessions, helping its market value rise fourfold to more than $2 billion.

On Wednesday, the shares rose up to $30 and closed down at $23.08. The stock had lost more than 60% of its value in June and July.

"It truly is a quality company (but) shares are probably overvalued in the low teens and it is ridiculously overvalued at high $20s," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive at Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

About 55% of Bed Bath & Beyond's free float is shorted, an increase of 19% in the past 30 days despite the price surge, according to S3 Partners.

"It's possible for the meme rally to spread since there is a lot of short-term capital entering the market. We've seen the same with Chinese meme stocks over the past few weeks," Siddharth Singhai, chief investment officer at New York-based hedge fund Ironhold Capital.

Bed Bath & Beyond slides after investor Ryan Cohen files for stake sale
 

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