What happened

Shares of Genius Brands (NASDAQ:GNUS) climbed 11.2% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The children's entertainment company is heavily shorted, and it appears to have gotten a boost from a short squeeze in the lead up to content distribution and partnership announcements. 

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts

When stocks with high short interest start posting positive momentum, short-sellers can be forced to buy back the stock to close out their position -- pushing share prices higher and creating additional squeeze momentum for share price gains. Genus Brands' stock currently has a roughly 31% short volume ratio, a very high level, and it appears that anticipation for potentially market-moving announcements helped create a small short squeeze and move the company's share price higher last month. 

A boy using a laptop in front of a wall of screens.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Genius Brands announced Kartoon Classroom!, a new stand-alone segment of its Kartoon Channel! streaming platform, on Sept. 10, but it doesn't appear to have had a big impact on the company's share price last month. The stock appears to have seen significant movement in relation to other announcements later in September, however. 

Genius published a press release on Sept. 21 announcing that the third season of its Rainbow Rangers series would be broadcast on ViacomCBS's Nickelodeon network, and short-squeeze action may have been at play in the lead up the announcement. The company's share price also got a boost after a press release published on Sept. 25 revealed that Genius had signed a deal with Samsung to feature Kartoon Channel! to the Korean hardware giant's smart televisions. 

Now what

Genius Brands stock has given up some ground early in October's trading. The company's share price has dipped roughly 2.5% in the month so far. 

GNUS Chart

GNUS data by YCharts

Genius Brands has a market capitalization of roughly $250 million and is currently seeing low trading volume. This dynamic paves the way for volatile stock swings on earnings, product news, and other catalysts. Genius Brands' share price has skyrocketed this year thanks to excitement surrounding its ad-supported streaming platform and some of its in-development content offerings, but the company's future remains highly speculative. 

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.