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Bed Bath & Beyond stock snatches meme crown with blistering August rally

Amid the renewed retail investor interest in meme stocks, it's Bed Bath & Beyond that has taken the crown from former heavyweights AMC and GameStop.

Bed Bath & Beyond stock (BBBY) skyrocketed by nearly 70% in afternoon trading on Tuesday as Reddit traders speculated on a massive short squeeze.

Shares were originally down around 3% in pre-market trading today following a stunning 23% pop on Monday.

The two days of gains came as enthusiastic traders on Reddit hyped the struggling retailer and Yahoo Finance reported on signs of financial stress at locations in New York.

"Get your FUD a** off of #BBBY. Why didn't you make your silly slideshow of sales & clearance when the stock was trading at $4?," one Bed Bath & Beyond believer tweeted to Yahoo Finance.

BBBY stock is now up a mind-boggling 318% in August. In late June, after a brutal first-quarter earnings report, one retail told Yahoo Finance that Bed Bath & Beyond was "in end days" as a company.

Backing from redditors aside, all is not well fundamentally at Bed Bath & Beyond.

After a failed push in 2021 and most of 2022 into stocking stores with private label goods no one had heard of while also closing stores and firing workers, Bed Bath & Beyond ended its most recent quarter with a little more than $100 million in cash, tanking sales, weak store traffic, and a badly damaged brand.

There is currently an interim CEO running the business, which came about after the booting of former top Target exec Mark Tritton, and some observers are wondering whether vendors will continue to ship all of the merchandise that Bed Bath & Beyond needs for the holiday season amid the retailer's severely weakened financial state.

A shopping cart is seen at a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A shopping cart is seen at a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Most analysts on Wall Street — the few remaining that still cover the super volatile stock — agree the company will soon be forced to raise cash in some way to survive.

"Given our ongoing view of continued share of wallet normalization and housing deterioration, the board faces a difficult environment to stabilize the business and cash burn given Bed Bath & Beyond has been losing share for a long time," JP Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers, who dropped his price target on Bed Bath & Beyond's stock given its uncertain future, wrote in a note to clients. "We also note the category has turned materially more promotional and demand now also slowing at the higher-end of the market."

This article has been updated with the closing stock price.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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