Sometimes I really question why we’re still talking about meme stocks. When will investors learn that the unpredictable nature of meme stocks nearly always makes them a bad investment choice?
Meme stocks really took off during the Covid-19 pandemic. Investors had nothing else to do except stay home and play around on their phones and computers.
Meanwhile, economic stimulus checks and inflated unemployment payments designed to keep the economy from tanking meant that many people had plenty of disposable income.
Most commonly, meme stocks are those that get their energy from social media and online communities. Retail investors coordinate buying and selling hoping to initiate a short squeeze that forces short sellers to buy more shares to cover their positions, driving up the stock price.
Meme stocks are almost always volatile and unpredictable. But I also don’t like them because there’s nothing about a meme stock’s rise that involves the company’s performance, earnings potential, growth or other metrics that the Portfolio Grader considers.
Instead, a meme stock is entirely reliant on the whims of the collective on an online community that is trying to boost a stock price artificially.
That’s not investing. It’s gambling. And the odds are tremendously long.
These popular meme stocks should be avoided at all costs no matter what you may see in social media.
Mullen Automotive (MULN)
Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ:MULN) trades on the Nasdaq composite, but you probably shouldn’t get used to it. Mullen has until Sept. 5 to regain compliance with the Nasdaq by getting its stock price over $1. And I don’t think it’s going to make it.
Mullen’s most recent effort to boost its stock price was on Aug. 11, when it executed a 1-for-9 reverse stock split. At the time of the decision, Mullen stock was trading at roughly 10 cents, so the 1-for-9 reverse stock split would go a long way to getting it to the promised land.
But Mullen has been unable to hold on to even that meager momentum. The stock is continuing to fall and currently trades close to 50 cents per share again. I guess Mullen should have done a 1-for-30 split or something to boost the price.
Mullen also bought back 2 million shares of stock last month as part of a corporate effort to raise the stock price, but that’s also not helping. So far, Mullen’s bought back 3.7 million shares of stock.
Maybe investors should realize that this meme stock isn’t worth the effort. The electric vehicle company can’t make headway. MULN stock is down 92% this year and has an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Bionano (NASDAQ:BNGO), is a California company that does gene mapping and provides analysis tools to help researchers working with gene structures. It completed a 1-for-10 reverse stock split in August to boost its stock price.
Unlike Mullen, this tactic will probably work to keep the company’s stock over $1. Currently, it’s close to $4.
Revenue in the second quarter came in at $8.6 million, but the company’s loss of $1.24 per share was much larger than the $1.05 that analysts expected.
Bionano also announced that CFO Christopher Stewart was stepping down in September when he will be replaced by Gulsen Kama.
BNGO stock has an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
ContextLogic (NASDAQ:WISH) operates the Wish.com e-commerce platform, connecting users to merchants in Europe, North America and South America.
Wish specializes in offering inexpensive products, but quality is apparently a problem–a review calls it a “gimmicky approach to e-commerce.”
The second-quarter earnings report was just ugly. Revenue of $78 million was less than estimates of $94.61 million and a drop of 42% from a year ago. The company also posted a loss of $3.34 per share.
Guidance for the third quarter was for a range of $55 million and $65 million, while analysts were looking for something closer to $102 million.
Is it any surprise that WISH stock is down 62% this year? It gets an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Plug Power (PLUG)
Investors once had high hopes for Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) to make its mark in the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Hydrogen energy is a promising alternative energy that has zero emissions, an appealing proposition if you’re worried about global warming.
But Plug Power could not turn the corner in making the technology profitable. It’s built up a deficit of $3.3 billion since its inception and had a gross margin of -28% last year.
Earnings for the second quarter included revenue of $260.18 million, but the company continued its run of losses by posting an EPS loss of 35 cents per share – 10 cents per share worse than analysts expected.
PLUG stock is down 31% this year and it gets an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
If you’re an investor in Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS), you probably still think about what could have been.
When it seemed all but certain that Workhorse’s electric vans were a perfect fit for the U.S. Postal Service, which was looking to upgrade its fleet of 60,000 mail trucks and was seeking a green alternative.
But it didn’t work out. The Postal Service shocked everyone (including Workhorse) by choosing defense contractor Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK) for the work. Workhorse stock dropped 80% in just a few weeks.
Now the company’s operating on a much smaller scale. It received orders in the second quarter for a scant 62 vehicles and delivered 42. Sales for the quarter were $6.4 million, while the company’s net loss for the quarter was $23 million.
WKHS stock has an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
WeWork (NYSE:WE) may just be a victim of bad timing. The company offers shared workspaces for people who don’t have an office to go to and want to have a professional workspace.
After the Covid-19 pandemic that completely normalized working from home, WeWork lost much of its appeal.
Today WE stock trades at barely a dime a share (and that’s after a 1-for-40 reverse stock split this summer). The shares are down 91% so far this year.
Even though retail traders keep trying to push WeWork up, such as a brief 40% gain on Aug. 14, there’s really nothing worth seeing here.
The New York Stock Exchange has started the process of delisting WeWork warrants in preparation for removing it from the exchange. And Wall Street firms are looking for bankruptcy options for the company.
WE stock has an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) is a North Carolina-based clothing manufacturer. Its signature Hanes line of clothing includes underwear for men and kids, T-shirts, socks and women’s underwear.
The company also has several other brands, including Champion sports apparel and several brands for women’s undergarments, including Bali, Playtex, JMS, Bonds and WonderBra.
But the company has been slow to come out of the pandemic. Demand for its products is down and inventory levels remain high, which affects Hanesbrands’ bottom line. The company saw revenue in the second quarter drop 5% from a year ago to $1.43 billion. Profit of $87 million was down from $154 million a year ago.
Hanesbrands suspended its dividend earlier this year and it doesn’t look like it’s coming back soon. The company lowered its 2023 guidance, now projecting sales in the range of $5.8 billion and $5.9 billion. Previously the company guided sales of $6.05 billion to $6.2 billion.
HBI stock is down 17% this year. It gets an “F” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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