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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

It’s not so bad being a bubble stock after all

NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters Breakingviews) – At $310 billion AMTD Digital is worth roughly 10 Twitters (TWTR.N), almost four Targets (TGT.N), one-and-a-half Walt Disneys (DIS.N), or three-quarters of a Meta Platforms . The Hong Kong-based digital-platform company, created by local financial-services firm AMTD Idea (AMTD.N), is the latest firm whose shares have been fueled by irrationally exuberant investors – be it the meme-stock craze that swept up businesses from GameStop (GME.N) to AMC Entertainment (AMC.N), or other bubble-like market mentalities that gave massive boosts to Robinhood Markets , Microstrategy (MSTR.O) and the like. Sure, the air has come out of most of the hype – but it was still worth it.

AMTD’s executives will be hoping for a similar outcome. After more than doubling again on Tuesday, its shares now trade more than 215 times higher than when they listed on the New York Stock Exchange less than three weeks ago. Parent AMTD Idea has been riding its subsidiary’s coattails for the past few days, jumping roughly five-fold since late last week. There’s no logical business reason for such a performance. AMTD Digitaladmitted as much in a thank-you statement, saying that there were “no material circumstances, events nor other matters” since its initial public offering.

In the end, it might not matter. While AMC’s stock price is down more than 70% from its high, at almost $17 a share it is still more than double its pre-pandemic value. Shares of Microstrategy, the analytics company which bought almost 130,000 bitcoin at an average price of nearly $31,000, now worth a quarter less, have benefitted a similar amount start-to-finish. GameStop, effectively a penny stock pre-pandemic, trades at around $35 a share.

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Robinhood Markets might appear to be a loser: The trading platform that partly enabled these stock crazes said on Tuesday it was laying off more than a fifth of its workforce, and its shares are worth a fraction of their listing price a year ago. Still, the company run by Vlad Tenev timed the market well, raising $2 billion at a valuation read more of $32 billion.

As with these other companies, some investors who have bought AMTD in the past month will undoubtedly lose money. But the company is likely to end up being better off for its 15 minutes of fame.

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Shares of AMTD Digital, a Hong Kong-based digital solutions company, closed at $1,679 apiece on Aug. 2. It listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange in an initial public offering on July 15 for $7.80 each.

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Editing by Antony Currie and Sharon Lam

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.


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