The Ratings Game


Videogame retailer and meme stock darling GameStop reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange FTX after market close on Wednesday.

People enter a GameStop store in Alhambra, California on January 27, 2021. The videogame retailer reported its second-quarter results after market close on Wednesday. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Shares of GameStop Corp. surged Thursday after the videogame retailer and meme-stock darling reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange FTX, but not everyone on Wall Street was so pleased with the news.

GameStop Corp. GME, +11.96% shares gained rose 4.4% Thursday, putting them on track to snap a six-day losing streak in which they tumbled 23.8%.

The company said late Wednesday that it lost $109 million, or 36 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $62 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 42 cents a share.

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GameStop reported quarterly sales of $1.136 billion, down from $1.183 billion in the prior year’s quarter and below the FactSet consensus of $1.266 billion.

“GameStop’s revenue results were largely in line with our expectations, but the company managed operating expenses and free cash flow better than we modeled,” wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, in a note released on Thursday. “[Free cash flow] improved by over $150 million sequentially, as expense control allowed management to limit cash burn to ‘only’ $124 million for the quarter.”

However, the results marked GameStop’s sixth consecutive quarterly loss. “Fundamentally, GameStop remains a mess,” wrote Pachter. “The company has lost money for the last six consecutive quarters, and has lost over $700 million since January 2019.”

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“The company’s cash position has dwindled to just under $3 per share, its going concern value is on the decline, and its NFT Marketplace has yet to show sufficient traction to warrant a large valuation,” Pachter added.

Set against this backdrop, Pachter lowered his GameStop price target to $6.00 from $7.50 and maintained its underperform rating. The new price target implies about 76% downside from current levels.

In a separate release late Wednesday, GameStop announced a partnership with Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX US that aims to introduce GameStop customers to FTX’s marketplace for digital assets. “In addition to collaborating with FTX on new ecommerce and online marketing initiatives, GameStop will begin carrying FTX gift cards in select stores,” GameStop said.

Last year, fellow meme stock phenomenon AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC, +12.50% began accepting crypto payments. Nonetheless, Wedbush analyst Pachter is not convinced that the FTX deal will move the needle for GameStop. “Financial terms were not disclosed, though we are skeptical that the partnership will drive meaningful revenue or profit contribution,” he wrote.

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GameStop shares have fallen 32.8% this year, compared with a 49.9% plunge in AMC shares and the S&P 500 index’s SPX, +1.53% fall of 16.6%.