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HomeMarketCarl Icahn Still Holds Large Short Position in GameStop. He's Not Backing...

Carl Icahn Still Holds Large Short Position in GameStop. He’s Not Backing Down.

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, center, still holds a large bet against GameStop.

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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The meme-stock frenzy of January 2021 crushed a lot of traders who placed short bets on
GameStop.
But there was one short-seller who profited and he’s not backing down.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn still holds a large bet against the video game retailer, according to reports. He built up his position when shares were trading around $483 apiece in January 2021 during the frenzy surrounding meme stocks. Shares have dropped by more than two-thirds from those days and now trade around $26 following a 4-for-1 stock split in July.

Despite the sharp drop, Icahn still believes the stock isn’t trading on its fundamentals and has further to fall, according to Bloomberg, which first reported news of Icahn’s short. Icahn didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment from Barron’s.

It’s unlikely Icahn will face the same wrath from retailer traders who forced a short squeeze on the stock two years ago to the detriment of hedge funds like Melvin Capital , which bet against
GameStop.
For one, the end of the pandemic economy and the rise of inflation means retail traders have less cash to play with.

Then there’s also Icahn’s timing. Roughly 20% of GameStop’s shares are held short, according to data analytics firm S3 Partners. That’s down from 141% of short interest two years ago. Consequently, the fee for borrowing shares to short also has fallen, hovering around 9% now, at least half of where it stood in January 2021. Just this month, short-sellers in GameStop were up more than $130 million mark-to-market profits. Not to mention the gains since 2021.

“The thing with Icahn is he’s made money. He’s leaving [GameStop] when he wants to leave and he’s not getting forced out,” Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director at S3 Partners, told Barron’s.

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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