Beware of Meme Stocks

BVResearch Pro
American Society of Appraisers Business Valuation Review™
Spring 2022 Volume 41, Issue 1 pp. 14-22
Joseph W. Thompson, CFA, ASA
appraisal standards and regulations
beta, valuation multiples, guideline public company method (GPCM), public company comparables, public company comps


Starting at the end of 2020 and continuing through 2021, numerous publicly traded companies saw their shares became “meme” stocks often related to trading activity sourced to the Reddit board WallStreetBets. Most market observers think of the GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) saga as the most infamous example of a meme stock, but many other stocks have been come to be known as meme stocks. If not careful, appraisers can encounter issues in both the income approach and the guideline public company method if they were to include a meme stock in developing an estimate of beta or selecting valuation multiples. This article covers an overview of the GameStop saga and illustrative issues using GME stock prices in an appraisal, a discussion regarding testing the efficiency of GameStop shares using the Cammer Factors, listing and returns analysis of other stocks labeled as meme, and discussion of various methods for appraisers to identify whether a stock has become a meme stock and suggestions on how to minimize the impact.
Beware of Meme Stocks
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