Shares of Carvana Co.
soared 20.8% in active afternoon trading Friday, enough to pace the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) gainers list. Trading volume swelled to 28.6 million shares, already well above the full-day average of 18.6 million. The last press release from the online used car marketplace was late Thursday, with the company saying it will report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 23, after the market closes. The stock had shown “meme”-like tendencies earlier this month, amid a relatively high short-interest position in the stock, and the company also adopted a shareholder rights plan (“poison pill”) to block investors for taking advantage of the stock’s weakness to buy up a large stake. Short interest, or bearish bets on the stock, represented 59.6% of the public float, or shares available for trading, according to the latest exchange data. That percentage is more than double that of original meme stocks, with GameStop Corp.
at 23.5% and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
at 22.6%. The stock has tumbled 45.9% over the past three months, while GameStop’s stock has lost 11.2%, AMC shares have shed 15.6% and the S&P 500
has gained 7.3%.