GameStop mania unfolded: Key milestones in meme stock frenzy

(Reuters) – GameStop is back in the limelight after a hiatus of three years with the return of social media influencer “Roaring Kitty” Keith Gill, a key figure in the Reddit-driven “meme stock” rally of 2021.

Here is a timeline of the key developments for the struggling video game retailer:

July 27, 2020- “Roaring Kitty” starts posting YouTube videos and posts on the Reddit forum, WallStreetBets, under “DeepF***ingValue” on GameStop. Gill noted he sees value in the highly shorted stock that he had been investing in the early stages of the pandemic.

Dec 8- GameStop misses Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue as pandemic-led store closures and intense competition from digital-game sellers hit sales, driving its shares sharply lower.

Jan 11, 2021- The struggling videogame retailer appoints Ryan Cohen, now the company’s CEO and founder of Chewy, and two other e-commerce veterans to its board as it doubles down on digital sales during the COVID-19 era.

Jan 19- Short-seller Citron Research takes aim.

Jan 20- Citron delays negative report.

Jan 26- Top short-seller Andrew Left reiterates that GameStop is a dying business whose stock price will fall sharply some day.

Jan 27- Hedge fund Melvin Capital closes out its short position, Citron covers majority of its short positions.

Jan 27- The White House and Treasury Department are monitoring the situation involving GameStop and other companies that have seen sharp gains.

Jan 28- Online brokerages restricted purchases of GameStop and other red-hot stocks. Robinhood restricted trade in about 13 highly volatile stocks such as GameStop and AMC.

Feb 3- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing social media posts for signs of potential fraud behind the GameStop euphoria.

Feb 10- Massachusetts securities regulators issued a subpoena seeking the testimony of Massachusetts financial adviser Gill.

Feb 17- “Roaring Kitty” hit with lawsuit for violating securities laws.

Feb 18- U.S. House panel holds hearing titled: “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide”.


May 13- Gill posts cryptic memes and movie clips on after a three-year hiatus, triggering an over two-fold rally in GameStop shares in just two days.

May 17- GameStop slumped 20% after laying out plans to sell up to 45 million shares, taking advantage of the meme-stocks euphoria.

May 24- GameStop said it raised $933.4 million via a share sale program.

June 2- “Roaring Kitty” comes back to Reddit with a post showing a $116 million bet on the embattled videogame retailer.

June 3- E*Trade considering telling Gill he can no longer use its platform due to his recent GameStop purchases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)