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Investors Business Daily
Investors Business Daily

Bed Bath & Beyond Bust Burns Meme Investors Another $1.4 Billion

Stop sweating over what happens to your 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons. If you own shares of the failed retailer you're down 99% in just a year. And that's just the tip of how much meme stock investors lost in just a year's time.

Bed Bath & Beyond, a housewares retailer now seeking bankruptcy protection, is the most dramatic example yet of the perils of meme-stock investing. Shares are down 98.9% in just a year's time to 0.19 a share, making it the worst-performing stock held in the Roundhill Meme Stock ETF, says an Investor's Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith. Investors lost $1.4 billion on just this one stock in a year.

But it's also a cautionary tale of the rising failures of businesses — and the enormous costs faced by investors who don't get out in time. The stocks in the meme ETF lost a collective $114 billion in just one year's time, with Bed Bath & Beyond being the largest percentage loss.

"Why (shares of Bed Bath & Beyond) trade for more than a few pennies is beyond me, as it is now certain that they are worthless," said Whitney Tilson of Empire Financial Research.

Bed Bath & Beyond: A Lousy Stock Without Compare

It's amazing that just a year ago, investors thought shares of Bed Bath & Beyond were "on sale." They were trading for 17.46 apiece in April 2022, down more than 30% in just a year's time.

All the signs were on the wall of further pain, though. The company in April reported a quarterly loss of 92 cents a share for the February 2022 quarter, the second-straight quarterly loss. It then proceeded to lose money in the May, August and November quarters in 2022. Analysts think it will show another $1.67 a share loss in the February 2023 quarter.

Meanwhile, the company's cash balance has dropped roughly 70% from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022.

Bed Bath & Beyond, though, keeps making meme stock investing beyond painful.

Meme Stocks Bust & Beyond

Don't think, though, that Bed Bath & Beyond is just one bad actor. It's the worst in a portfolio that's seen a rough 12 months.

Twenty-two of the 25 stocks in the Roundhill Meme ETF portfolio on March 31 of last year, or nearly 90%, are lower than they were a year ago. And not by a little bit, either. The average meme stock in that time is down 44%. Keep in mind, too, losses from the past 12-months are on top of even larger drops in the previous 12 months.

This same universe of stocks are down an average of 55% in the past two years.

And it's not just Bed Bath & Beyond collapsing the past year. ContextLogic, a mobile e-commerce company that was in the meme ETF a year ago, has seen its shares collapse 84% just this year. The stock is down 98% in two years. And Upstart Holdings, a company that uses AI in lending, is down 80% in a year's time.

And hiding out in better-known meme stocks isn't much better. Shares of theater chain AMC Entertainment are still down 70.7% in one year, despite rising 19% this year. That erased more than $6 billion in wealth in a year. And GameStop is off 43% in 12 months even with a 7.7% rise this year.

Meme stock investors may be hoping for the big comeback. Shares of the Roundhill Meme ETF are up 25% this year, as investors try to scoop up what they think are bargains. The ETF is down 25% from a year ago.

But Bed Bath & Beyond investors hoped for the same thing. And now, they'd better use their coupons since the money they lost on the stock isn't coming back.

Biggest Meme Busts

Year-ago holdings in Roundhill Meme ETF down the most

Company Symbol One-year % ch. Market value ch. ($ billions) Sector
Bed Bath & Beyond -98.9% -$1.4 Consumer Discretionary
ContextLogic -84.0% -$0.9 Consumer Discretionary
Upstart Holdings -80.2% -$5.1 Financials
SNDL -72.7% -$0.7 Health Care
Clover Health Investments -72.2% -$0.9 Health Care
AMC Entertainment Holdings -70.0% -$0.6 Communication Services
Digital World Acquisition -67.3% -$1.0 Financials
Affirm Holdings -66.2% -$5.8 Financials
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services -66.1% -$4.3 Industrials
Rivian Automotive -63.2% -$18.8 Consumer Discretionary
Source: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence
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