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Were You Really Surprised by GameStop's 27% Drop on Thursday?

By Rick Munarriz - Jun 11, 2021 at 8:15AM

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The video game retailer has now fallen sharply in 10 of the past 11 quarters the day after it reports earnings.

GameStop (GME 3.27%) delivered better-than-expected financial results after Wednesday's close. The stock still tanked on Thursday. It poached the world's most successful online retailer for its new CEO and CFO, but selling was the new buying for investors. 

The video game retailer did announce that it would be selling more stock, and ramping up the float is one surefire way to nip bullish momentum. However, it's not as if adding 7% more to the share count -- and raising a ton of dough in the process -- is worthy of Thursday's 27% plunge. 

The drop is easier to explain than you might think. As I warned earlier this week, GameStop has historically been a dud the day after it reports earnings. It doesn't matter that the meme stock has been a bottle rocket for months. Trends are there for a reason. 

Seven friends gathering to play video games.

Image source: Getty Images.

The 91% failure rate

If I told you that something happens 90% of the time -- and now 91% of the time -- you might think it's a large enough probability to at least pay attention. In GameStop's case it's all pretty straightforward. In 10 of the last 11 times the specialty retailer posted quarterly results, the stock has fallen the next trading day.

It's pretty grim. Here's a list of the dates that GameStop has delivered its quarterly financial update, followed by what the stock did the next time it traded. 

  • Nov. 29, 2018: down 6.7% the next day
  • April 2, 2019: down 4.7%
  • June 4, 2019: down 35.6%
  • Sept. 10, 2019: down 9.8%
  • Dec. 10, 2019: down 15.1%
  • March 26, 2020: down 4.3%
  • June 9, 2020: up 2.2%
  • Sept. 9, 2020: down 15.2%
  • Dec. 8, 2020: down 19.4%
  • March 23, 2021: down 33.7%
  • June 9, 2021: down 27.2%

It's not even close. Even if you tack on the outlier -- that glorious day last month when the GameStop shares squeezed out a 2.2% uptick -- we're still taking about an average 15.4% decline. 

None of this means that GameStop is a bad investment. The stock tripled last year. It has obviously fared even better in 2021. Two of its biggest belly flops -- 27.7% on Thursday and 33.7% three months earlier -- happened while GameStop was in full-on meme stock mode. GameStop has a funny way of bouncing back. It's only trading 11% lower this week despite Thursday's 27% haircut because it took big steps up in each of the three previous days.

All of this leads one to wonder who was bidding up the stock this week. Did someone really think that things would be different time? It should've been fairly obvious that even a reasonably strong report wasn't going to be enough to justify GameStop's heady gains. 

We'll see if investors learn. We'll meet back in three months to see if one of the market's best performing retail stocks can break out of its grim routine during earnings season. 

Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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