Is Express Next in Line for a Short Squeeze?

Game and consumer electronics retailer GameStop has undergone a spectacular short squeeze recently, with its stocks exploding from approximately $40 a week ago to over $260 currently. Hedge funds massively shorted the stock, but retail investors organizing on Reddit and Twitter bid its value up by going long on the company. 

Now, Bloomberg reports, other heavily shorted companies which have suffered especially from the pandemic may be next in line for a short squeeze. One such company is fashion retailer Express (NYSE:EXPR), whose stock sold hovered around $1 in early January. The company’s shares have since risen by some 406%, trading at $4.60 as of this writing.

A silver bull and bear figurine with a dollar sign between them.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Express pop reflects a larger trend at hand in the market today. Many retail investors have profited massively from the GameStop play, and are now looking for more profitable short squeezes. But Express, a company assigned a $1.50 price target by some Wall Street analysts, isn’t likely to share the same fate.

That’s because Express’ short interest, or the amount of shares outstanding which investors plan to short, stands at just 13%. This figure is large compared to the market as a whole, but GameStop’s short interest was over 100% of its shares when it began to trade up. Additionally, many popular trading platforms — including millennial favorite Robinhood — have halted trading on several highly volatile stocks, which include GameStop and Express, for the time being. While trading is expected to eventually resume, this tactic is a method to stop the squeeze and prevent further volatility and mania from taking over, potentially preventing some retail traders from losing too much money on the presumably inevitable way down.

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It’s possible that the momentum from GameStop transfers over into Express as eager investors seek the next gold mine on the cheap. But the movement is more likely to splinter, as several companies remain in discussion for the next short squeeze target and Express, while ripe for improvement, has far less short interest and therefore far less opportunity to squeeze.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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