By Wallace Witkowski
Weber Inc. shares enjoyed their biggest daily bounce ever Thursday, on record volume, as investors seemed to bet on the grill maker becoming the next meme stock.
Weber /zigman2/quotes/203784864/composite WEBR +2.20% shares finished the day up 27.2% at an even $10, easily their strongest percentage gain for a single session. About 20 million shares changed hands Thursday, roughly 31 times the stock’s average daily volume of about 640,000 over the past year, and also a record high.
Shares are still 45% below the stock’s closing price of $18.07 on its first trading day a little more than a year ago. They sold for $14 in the company’s initial public offering last August.
Weber has been mentioned as a potential meme stock, with high short-interest and a small stock float, a setup that traders who gather on Reddit have been known to target. Shares have been pummeled this year as Weber’s pandemic sales surge cooled down — the company reported an unexpected quarterly loss earlier this month and plans to cut costs, including layoffs and a suspension of its dividend.
Weber shares show a short position of 18.4% of shares outstanding, according to FactSet data, though some have claimed that the percentage is actually much higher .
“Meme stocks, and the retail long shareholders who have created them, continue to agitate, and confound the market, moving stock prices based on momentum and not necessarily on fundamentals,” S3’s Managing Director of Predictive Analytics Ihor Dusaniwsky wrote recently. “Meme stocks have not only been profitable for retail long shareholders but also for momentum and quant hedge funds who have also joined the fray.”
Dusaniwsky summed up the current state of the “meme troika” in a note late Wednesday on Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209801102/composite BBBY +0.16% . He described the king of meme stocks as a “troika” with the “O.G. meme stock Tesla Inc.” /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +2.51% sitting at the head of the table, along with GameStop Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME +6.74% and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC +9.08% .