Retail

A New Day, a New Meme, a Newegg

Trading in shares of internet retailer Newegg Commerce Inc. (NASDAQ: NEGG) was halted for more than 10 minutes Wednesday morning due to volatility. Since its initial public offering on May 20 in a reverse merger with another Beijing-based company owned by its previous owner, the stock is up nearly 300%, with most of the gain coming on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Company insiders held more than 60% of the shares outstanding (368.2 million), and as of early May, just over 1 million shares of restricted stock had vested. About 551,620 shares of a rough estimate of 150 million floated shares are short. That means that less than 1% of the shares are sold short. Even if this estimate is off by more than an order of magnitude, the stock still seems like an unlikely candidate for a short squeeze.

So what gives? Over at The Motley Fool, Rich Smith notes that on Tuesday the company was having a sale on some hard-to-find Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card, and today’s news is that the company is expanding its build-to-order business to offer professional assembly of shoppers’ custom-designed PCs. Because these custom-built machines generally fall into the category of “price doesn’t matter,” this development is viewed as a big plus for the company.

Both those developments may be true, but that hardly seems to warrant a tripling of the share price in just one and a half trading sessions. The stock closed at $19.20 last Friday and traded at a new high of $70 Wednesday morning. Nearly 37 million shares had traded thus far Wednesday, compared with a daily average volume of around 1 million.