The Motley Fool's chief growth officer Anand Chokkavelu and Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, recently ranked 11 of the most popular "meme stocks," and to the surprise of many, it wasn't GameStop (NYSE:GME) or AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) at the bottom of the list. Find out which stock was their least favorite meme stock in this Fool Live video clip, recorded on June 25.
Matt Frankel: So, Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA), I'm going to give a few stats about each of these that are pretty common. All of these have pretty high short interest with a couple of exceptions. Nikola's is one of the highest, they've 32% of their float is sold short right now. That just generally one of the big telling signs of a meme stock in general, before we really get into it.
Anand Chokkavelu: 32 is big. Anything over 5%, right is pretty-
Frankel: I think the S&P average is right around 3%. The whole initial premise with the meme stocks with WallStreetBets, was that so many short-sellers were betting against GameStop. They created a lot of hype on the Reddit boards and sent a bunch of new money flowing in and it set off this chain reaction where shorts were forced to cover. That was the GameStop initial thing, but then it trickled down to all these other heavily shorted stocks. Nikola has a market cap of about little over $7 billion right now. The stock is up about 20% year to date, which doesn't really sound like a meme stock. When I get to AMC's return, that's going to seem like nothing. But it has been a very wild ride. Nikola trades for about $18 a share as I write this a little bit more than that, its peak is almost $75 a share. Nikola has been kind of a scandal-plagued company. If you want to go back and listen to our EV show, you'll hear about some of the scandals, so I'm not going to get too much onto that. But they focus on developing battery electric vehicles, fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, with a particular focus on trucks. There's some impressive partnerships. TravelCenters of America had them install a couple of hydrogen fuel stations. My biggest concern with Nikola, and I think it was Jason who covered this on the first show, so unfortunately, he's not here. But one of his major problems is that not only was it very scandal plagued, this is a very competitive space, and this is a pre-revenue company, and it's really tough to identify the competitive advantages over some of the incumbents. GM and Ford could easily use some of their $30 billion or whatever of EV spending in the truck market to build that up. GM was partnering with Nikola somewhat for a little while, but they backed away after all the scandals came out. Proterra is a company that we talked about on The Rank a few weeks ago that is developing really impressive technology for commercial vehicles and could potentially steal some thunder from a company like Nikola. Then you have the big EV leaders like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla's been interested in getting into the truck market for years, so it's really tough to identify their competitive advantage. Big short interest and with all the kind of short-seller attacks and scandals we've seen in the stock, it's really not surprising that it's 80% off the highs right now. This was my No. 11. This was my clear No. 11.