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Why one Wall Street analyst doubts GameStop's e-commerce turnaround plan, even with Ryan Cohen set to become chairman (GME)

Submitted by Tech Insider on April 8, 2021 - 12:50pm

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Summary List Placement

  • GameStop's plan to elect activist investor Ryan Cohen to become its chairman isn't winning over Wall Street analysts.
  • CFRA Research reiterated its "sell" rating on GameStop and said plans to make Cohen chairman don't change the fundamental story of the video game retailer.
  • Here's why CFRA is still bearish on GameStop despite its e-commerce turnaround plan. 
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

GameStop is moving ahead with its turnaround plan to shift its selling strategy to e-commerce from physical stores, and its recently announced plans to elect activist investor Ryan Cohen as board chairman is part of that.

But one Wall Street analyst remains unconvinced that shares of GameStop present a good value for investors at current prices, and that GameStop can even pull off its turnaround plan.

CFRA Research analyst Camilla Yanushevsky reiterated her Sell rating on GameStop, arguing that the stock's fair value is $16 rather than its current price of $177. That $16 price target represents 91% downside potential from its current price.

Yanushevsky was not surprised by GameStop's decision to elect Cohen and said "little has changed in the fundamental story."

The fundamental story, according to Yanushevsky, is the fact that GameStop was the only member of its peer group to post negative sales growth in its fiscal year 2020 despite the backdrop of thousands of dollars in stimulus checks and a surge in video game activity amid the pandemic. GameStop's comparable store sales fell 9.5% to $5.1 billion last year.

"We hold concerns over [GameStop's] ability to maintain competitive positioning due to [its] high dependence on brick-and-mortar and consumers' shift away from physical to digital," Yanushevsky said. 

Further adding to Yanushevsky's concerns on GameStop is the fact that it was the only member of its peer group to not provide earnings guidance for the upcoming year.

Investors seemed to also not view Cohen becoming chairman of GameStop's board as a surprise. Shares initially rose 4% on the news, but eventually traded about flat in Thursday trades. 

Read more: Goldman Sachs handpicks 40 stocks that will enjoy bigger earnings growth than Wall Street expects in 2021

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