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It’s impossible to know which stock will be next, but the meme stock frenzy appears to be far from over.
What is a Meme Stock?
The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins popularized the term “meme” in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.
The book described how ideas and behavior spread by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carry symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme.
This includes stocks — internet platforms like Reddit and Twitter (TWTR) allow trading information to spread more rapidly and to a larger audience than ever before, at least for the retail investor.
Those select stocks chosen to embody the meme can take on a life of their own.
The Best Meme Stocks (Ranked)
Before we jump into the best meme stocks, we must clarify the title of this article.
The word “best” does not speak to the company’s quality, financials, or potential — it speaks to the names that Reddit has chosen and may choose again.
While history is not indicative of the future, sometimes it rhymes. This includes the free-fall that meme stocks have experienced following a run-up.
Trading meme stocks on short-term time horizons is pure speculation. Others call it gambling. Meme traders should be more than willing to lose every dollar they put forward.
#1. GameStop (GME)
GameStop is a brick-and-mortar retailer that sells video games, consumer electronics, and gaming merchandise.
These brick-and-mortar stores made most Wall Street analysts bearish on the stock, causing it to fall as low as $3 per share.
GME rallied in late 2020 but couldn’t get Wall Street to change its mind — short interest in the stock rose significantly as analysts believed the company was overvalued at $20 per share.
A popular Reddit board, WallStreetBets, noticed the uptick in shorts and created a “short squeeze,” an event where a stock’s price increases to the degree that shorts are forced to cover at the same time (buy back at a higher price), which causes the stock to increase even more.
Shares of GME reached as high as $483 before Robinhood (HOOD) halted its trading on March 28th.
Robinhood has since been fined $70 million by FINRA for its systemwide outages and misleading communication and trading practices.
Regardless, GameStop took advantage of the spotlight and signed new talent. The company recently announced the appointments of Matt Furlong as CEO and Mike Recupero as CFO, both joining from Amazon (AMZN).
#2. AMC (AMC)
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. is the largest movie theatre chain in the world. It was founded in 1920 and has the largest U.S. theater market share ahead of Regal and Cinemark Theatres.
Shares in AMC are up over 2500% in 2021, but not because it’s a “reopening play” on the recovering economy.
Like GameStop, Reddit discovered a large short interest in AMC and responded accordingly, causing an AMC short squeeze that sent shares flying.
In January 2021, shares increased from $4.96 to nearly $20 in just a few days.
After trading between $8 and $10 for three months, shares jumped to $62 per share in June.
However, AMC is pretty much-telling investors not to buy its stock.
“Under the circumstances, we caution you against investing in our Class A common stock unless you are prepared to incur the risk of losing all or a substantial portion of your investment,” the company said in a recent filing with the SEC.
Even AMC is selling — the filing indicated that the company plans to sell 11.55 million of its shares at an average market price of $50.85.
#3. BlackBerry (BB)
Before Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), BlackBerry was the most prominent smartphone brand globally, amassing a peak subscriber base of 85 million users in 2013.
The company has pivoted into the intelligent security space in an attempt to be the “world’s leading provider of end-to-end mobility solutions.”
It uses artificial intelligenceand machine learning to deliver solutions in cybersecurity, critical event management, and the Internet of Things.
In fact, BlackBerry recently landed a deal with Amazon Web Services to collect and share vehicle sensor data with car manufacturers.
However, it’s unclear that these were the initiates that caught the attention of WSB.
It’s possible that WallStreetBets applied the GME algorithm to BB — a “value” stock with plenty of name recognition.
#4. Tilray (TLRY)
Tilray is a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company that trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Tilray recently merged with its main competitor, Aphria, to become the largest cannabis company in the world by revenue.
Additionally, Tilray is the leading cannabis-focused consumer packaged goods (CPG) company with the largest geographic footprint in the industry.
The 2016 surge in cannabis rocks returned (briefly) in 2021 as more states began to legalize marijuana.
Tilray shot up 231% in the first two weeks of February before falling 50% in a single day.
#5. Lemonade (LMND)
Lemonade is trying to redefine the traditional insurance model.
It uses a subscription-based model that charges customers a flat monthly fee based on the insurance package of their choosing, such as renters, homeowners, or pet insurance.
Lemonade’s selling point is speed — its AI bot “Maya” can settle claims in as little as 90 seconds and issue payouts in three minutes.
Lemonade falls into the newly-IPO’d tech bucket of meme stocks.
It went public in July 2020 at around $29 per share and finished its first day of trading at $69.
LMND reached as high as $188 per share in January due to non-memetic forces but has since been cut in half.
#6. Palantir (PLTR)
Palantir is a software company that lets organizations integrate their data, decisions, and their operations into one platform.
It uses AI/ML algorithms for predictive analysis in areas like supply chain management.
Palantir was a private company for seventeen years before its public offering last year — it was founded by Peter Thiel and Alex Karp and was venture-backed by the CIA.
Palantir exclusively served government organizations for most of its lifespan. However, it’s beginning to aggressively seek adoption in the commercial sector.
Critics argue that there isn’t a market for the products that Palantir builds. CEO Alex Karp has responded to these remarks, saying, “I know this looks like something no one needs, but they’ll need it in ten years.”
Retail investors appear to agree with Karp and have been willing to buy PLTR at a premium. PLTR’s trailing 12-month price to sales ratio is 42.
#7. Clover Health (CLOV)
Chamath Palihapitiya-backed Clover Health went public via SPAC in January 2021.
Clover Health is a Medicare Advantage insurer that combines technology and preventive care to lower costs and increase the plan’s quality.
Those enrolled in Clover are covered by any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare but do not pay monthly premiums or copays to see a primary care physician like they would with a traditional plan.
However, the short-seller firm Hindenburg isn’t buying it.
Hindenburg published a report called Clover a “broken business,” alleging that the company charges the Medicare system more than necessary, a practice referred to as “upcoding.”
The shorts also said Clover was under investigation from the Department of Justice, a piece of news that Clover decided to keep to itself.
Following the Hindenburg report, the SEC launched an investigation into Clover’s business, which stirred up some short interest on Wall Street — a perfect storm for WSB.
We can’t cover meme stocks and not mention Dogecoin, the open-source, peer-to-peer digital cryptocurrency that’s become the internet’s latest obsession.
Dogecoin initially launched in 2013 and is actually an extended fork of bitcoin.
Dogecoin is a fork of luckycoin, which forked from litecoin, which itself is a fork of bitcoin.
Elon Musk — CEO of Tesla (TSLA), SpaceX, and Starlink— has grown an affection for Dogecoin and has a major influence over its price.
A tweet or SNL appearance from Elon sends Doge flying in either direction. This pump-and-dump is unfolding in the open for all to see.
What Will Be The Next Meme Stock?
As previously mentioned, it’s impossible to know which stock will become the next meme stock, but this doesn’t stop institutions from allocating millions to find out.
However, there are common threads amongst the stocks mentioned in this article.
These stocks generally fall into two buckets:
#1. Undervalued Companies with Name Recognition
There’s a social aspect to the name recognition component. People may be more willing to rally around a company that is familiar to them.
Also, the media is more inclined to cover stock manipulation stories on companies that are common to viewers. Additional media coverage is gas on a fire.
“Undervalued” might be the wrong word — having a low P/E, or P/S ratio does not make a stock undervalued in and of itself.
Sometimes stocks with low valuations actually deserve them because they’re failing businesses.
#2. “Disruptor” Tech Companies that Just Went Public.
Companies like Lemonade, Palantir, and Clover Health are trying to disrupt some major industries.
They were also picked up by the retail crowd shortly after their public offerings.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation, especially given the sample size, but the idea of David versus Goliath might be subconsciously running in the background.
Bottom Line: Best Meme Stocks
This is not the same meme market that existed during the first GameStop squeeze.
Hedge funds are using algorithms to scrape Reddit boards for sentiment and front-running retail. Score one for Goliath.
However, the days of activist funds publishing their short reports and positions might be over. Score one for David.
One thing’s for certain… meme stock behavior isn’t going anywhere.
This article is for informational purposes only, and it is not intended to be investment advice. Read our editorial guidelines and public equities research methodology to learn more about how we selected the best meme stocks.