What happened

Shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) have been hammered this year, falling from January highs approaching $16 to a new number about 75% lower -- $4. But the video game retailer's stock is getting a lift today, rising 13.4% as of 12:10 p.m. EDT, apparently boosted by two positive news items.  

First, details are filtering out about a round of layoffs at GameStop -- more than 120 workers, or about 14% of the company's corporate staff. Second, Barron's reports that subprime mortgage shorter Michael Burry is taking a shine to GameStop stock, and believes the company has a "very good" balance sheet and "cash flow [sufficient] to justify a much higher share price."  

Rising orange and blue stock chart on LCD screen

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In a statement, GameStop explained that it's doing the layoffs "to reduce costs and better align the organization with our efforts to optimize the business." At the same time, Burry seems to think the business doesn't even need all that much improvement.

Seventy-five percent cheaper than it cost at the beginning of the year, GameStop shares could be a buy already.

Now what

Not that this will be immediately obvious. Analysts who follow GameStop expect the company to report a massive $673 million net loss this year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. It's only next year that analysts think GameStop will resume growing. But if it does, its P/E ratio will be a rock-bottom 2.5.

Unless you think GameStop is going bankrupt -- the fact that the company remains free-cash-flow positive and has more cash than debt on the balance sheet suggests that's unlikely -- now might be a good time to take a shot at catching this falling knife.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.