CEOs are joking about GameStop, worrying it signals a bubble, and preparing for the next meme-stock boom

gamestop line

The GameStop saga is still sparking conversations across corporate America.

Executives continue to marvel at the surge in the video-game retailer’s market capitalization to over $30 billion at one point. They’re questioning whether mass speculation among amateur investors is a bubble about to burst. At least one is ready to cash in if the meme-stock frenzy has a second act.

Here are the best comments from CEOs to date, drawn from earnings-call transcripts on Sentieo, a financial-research website. The quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. “We can just change our name to GameStop.” – Mark Costa, CEO of Eastman Chemical, when asked if he would consider a SPAC spinoff to boost his company’s valuation.

2. “You have to pause and wonder, when GameStop is the most valuable company in the Russell 2000, that the world has certainly changed.” – Frank Gasior, CEO of BankFinancial.

3. “On GameStop and bitcoin, there are definitely bubbles out there.” – Scott Hartz, CIO of Manulife Financial Corporation.

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4. “GameStop required a very unique set of circumstances where the asset had been oversold. It’s not so much a GameStop movement. It’s a unique series of events that allow for a short squeeze.” – Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO of Bursa Malaysia Berhad.

5. “When you start looking at some of the alternative-energy stocks, you start looking at some of the small speculative stocks, what’s happened in the last several days with GameStop – there is an area that I think is overheated.” – Mark Stoeckle, CEO of Adams Diversified Equity Fund, highlighting bubbles in the market.

6. “The GameStop fever – we did see Japanese retail customers trading those shares a lot as well. It used to be when we talk about Japanese retail customers buying a US equity, it’s Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, something like that. But now they play around with the smaller stocks as well. Before the global financial crisis and before the internet bubble burst, we saw similar kinds of phenomena.” – Oki Matsumoto, CEO of Monex.

7. “The other problem is the GameStop thing that’s going on out there. We have a better feel for what’s going on right now, and I don’t see a dot-com bust.” – David Farr, CEO of Emerson Electric, comparing his current level of concern to his fears during the internet bubble and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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8. “The craziness in the market has very little impact on us, because we just don’t have any exposure to any of these kinds of companies. The high-flying growth stocks, the items that have caused the market to have these giant dislocations where you stare in amazement, we’re not in those. I wish I could tell you that we owned some in advance, and we benefited from them.” – Richard Pzena, CEO of Pzena Investment Management, asked about Tesla, GameStop, and bitcoin.

9. “We did that deal right at a time, where GameStop and AMC were destroying some hedge funds who got into a jam. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them were in our stock and had to raise capital and just sold our stock.” – Ted Karkus, CEO of ProPhase Labs, discussing the downward pressure on  his company’s stock after it raised $37.5 million in a public stock offering.

10. “I don’t think we anticipated the spike related to GameStop. It got us thinking and we said, ‘Hey, it’s a good tool. We might as well have it back on the shelf.’ And so that’s why we renewed it.” – Thomas Hern, CEO of Macerich, explaining the shopping-mall owner renewed its at-the-market stock offering after watching its share price surge during the meme-stock frenzy.

Read the original article on Business Insider