Social media traders on communities such as Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets have had an amazing 2021. All of Wall Street stopped what it was doing to watch the excitement in GameStop (NYSE:GME), BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) and other such meme stocks during their historic January short squeezes.
After Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) temporarily suspended trading in GME stock and other meme names, however, it seemed like the party was over. GME stock, for example crashed from $400 to $40 at one point. However, the Reddit traders have had the last laugh. GameStop surged once again in May and this time, it has held onto its gains.
The WallStreetBets community remains a large and powerful force. While there isn’t quite the same buzz as there was in January — and admittedly some of the energy has moved to cryptocurrencies — meme stocks remain a potent force. However, not everything that gets popular on Reddit or has a high short interest will become the next GameStop. In fact, there are quite a few firms that have scarcely little going on to justify their current valuations.
These are seven meme stocks to sell now, while their share prices are still at respectable levels:
- Vinco Ventures (NASDAQ:BBIG)
- iBio (NYSEAMERICAN:IBIO)
- Genius Brands (NASDAQ:GNUS)
- XspresSpa Group (NASDAQ:XSPA)
- Electrameccanica (NASDAQ:SOLO)
- Uranium Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:UEC)
- Sphere 3D (NASDAQ:ANY)
Meme Stocks to Sell: Vinco Ventures (BBIG)
Vinco Ventures got one part of the social media playbook right: It has a great ticker symbol. BBIG practically just begs to be “memed.” The Reddit community around the stock is full of clever wordplay for the hot media firm.
As for the actual business? It’s much less promising. The company brings back a key figure from the MoviePass debacle to head up a TikTok rival. It also has an operation devoted to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Perhaps there is a place for a TikTok clone in a world that is increasingly preoccupied about cybersecurity threats and the Chinese government’s behavior.
Still, given the relative small scale of the video business, investors should be highly skeptical of the stock here. Judging by the CEO’s past experience with MoviePass, there’s a good chance Vinco could burn through a load of investor funds before ignominiously ceasing operations.
In 2020, IBIO stock spiked from 30 cents to as high as $6 per share. A previously little-known biotech firm, it generated a ton of attention around a potential Covid-19 vaccine. However, historically, iBio has enjoyed similar waves of positive attention from press releases about potential products for other pandemics. However, the company has never managed to convert that potential into real-world revenues or profits.
Covid-19 appears to be playing out the same way for iBio. Despite numerous seemingly positive developments, the company has little to show for it. The company generated just $3 million in revenues over the past 12 months. More surprisingly, it spent just $7 million on research and development costs over the past year. It seems unlikely that a leading Covid-19 vaccine will be developed on that sort of barebones budget.
While the peak of social media excitement around IBIO stock was back in 2020, trading volume has remained elevated this year. Traders are looking at the 7% short interest in shares and hoping it makes another run-up. However, it seems the market opportunity is passing for Covid-19 biotechs that don’t have a product on the market yet.
And don’t let the low share price fool you. IBIO has a sizable $250 million market capitalization given the company’s serial stock issuances. Shares will likely fall far lower as any residual interest in the company’s early stage Covid projects fade.
Meme Stocks to Sell: Genius Brands (GNUS)
Genius Brands is a fledgling media company attempted to carve out a niche for itself in the children’s entertainment space. The company seemed ideal for a meme stock, as it had a catchy name and is targeting an industry that resonates with a large group of traders.
That said, despite a blizzard of press releases over the past year, Genius has failed to transform any of its potential into financial results. As our Josh Enomoto recently put it, speculation might not save GNUS stock. The company’s (lack of) positive fundamentals is really starting to drag on the company.
In the company’s most recent quarter, it brought in just $1.1 million of revenues. Yes, you read that figure right. Meanwhile, it generated a GAAP loss of 27 cents per share on that quarter. That’s a rather sizable loss for a company whose stock trades south of $2. Genius can keep touting its new shows and celebrity deals, but with quarterly revenues this small, the company is light years away from becoming a media empire.
XpresSpa is a company focused on airport-based health and wellness centers. Prior to Covid-19, these could be categorized as day spas that helped travelers relax and pass the time between flights. That line of business became untenable due to the pandemic. So the company quickly pivoted to running Covid-19 testing centers out of its airport locations.
In theory, this made a lot of sense. In practice, however, demand for testing services at airports appears to be relatively low. Last quarter, the company generated just $9.1 million in revenues while losing $4.7 million overall. While the pandemic continues to drag on, it seems airport testing simply hasn’t become a large enough market to allow the company to reach profitability.
Meanwhile, it’s unclear on what timeline the company might be able to revert to its prior business model. It should also be noted that the company lost money before the pandemic as well. While momentum traders bid up XSPA stock as a Covid-19 play, the business has shown few signs of tangible success at any point.
A baffling thing about XpresSpa is that it recently announced a 15 million share stock buyback. In general, share buybacks are good for shareholders. However, typically companies actually generate profits and positive cash flow from operations before buying back their own stock.
XpresSpa, by contrast, has a long history of large operating losses. It has had to issue stock in the past to fund its operations. So it’s unclear why the company would spend precious capital now to repurchase shares rather than invest those funds into helping the business reach profitability. This seems like a gimmick to try to induce a short squeeze rather than a strategic financial decision. In any case, traders shouldn’t get on board with XSPA stock.
Meme Stocks to Sell: Electrameccanica (SOLO)
Electrameccanica was a hot electric vehicle (EV) stock early in 2021. Shares spiked from $3 to as high as $13 on excitement around the launch of its innovative one-seat EV. As the company notes, 80% of vehicle trips are with just one person, so the SOLO vehicle aims to provide everything a single person would need for their daily commute and driving around town.
The car is eye-catching and the concept is certainly different. However, it’s far from certain that much actual consumer demand exists for this product. While most vehicle trips may be without passengers, it’s still useful to have room for more people or cargo on occasion. And SOLO’s price point is too high for most people to buy one in addition to their usual larger vehicle.
Last quarter, the company produced just 25 SOLO vehicles. Its lifetime total of 78 vehicles produced is hardly more inspiring. It wasn’t hard to see the appeal of SOLO stock back when there were few other publicly traded EV stocks. Now, however, as the market is flooded with EV alternatives, a novelty like Electrameccanica has long since lost its appeal.
Uranium Energy (UEC)
Uranium has positively exploded in recent weeks. A popular WallStreetBets post, “Uranium: Start of a Commodity Supercycle” published two weeks ago has taken on viral fame.
That original post has some solid due diligence to it. The author explains the theory of a potential supply shortage in the uranium market for nuclear power plants. It also goes through the mechanics of how a trust that is buying physical uranium could trigger a short squeeze.
That’s all well and good, but it matters little to UEC stock. Uranium Energy is a company that intends to mine uranium in the United States. However, it has largely failed at this. It last generated commercial revenues from uranium production way back in 2015. Now, the company keeps running via stock offerings.
Management’s latest corporate presentation suggests that production may start up again at some point soon. That’s fine. But the company has gone many years now without generating revenues and didn’t produce an annual profit in a single year over the past decade. Now, though, thanks to the uranium short squeeze, UEC stock’s market capitalization has exploded to $750 million. That’s far too high for a company with such a spotty track record.
Meme Stocks to Sell: Sphere 3D (ANY)
Sphere3D is a small long-running technology company. Shares traded up to a split-adjusted $2,000 each at one point back in 2014. The company had merged together a variety of assets and aimed to become a leading virtualization software firm.
Sphere3D reached a peak of $76 million in revenues in 2016. Operations soon collapsed, however, with annual revenues dropping more than 90% since then. The stock price imploded along with the business. So, not surprisingly, Sphere3D is now pivoting.
To that end, Sphere3D is merging with a cryptocurrency mining firm, Gryphon Digital Mining. Gryphon aims to revolutionize the crypto-mining space through a focus on costs. It has secured lower-cost hydroelectric power which could give it a leg up on the competition. However, there are a ton of crypto mining firms out there now.
It’s much too early to say that Sphere 3D and Gryphon will be able to disrupt the existing leaders. And, given Sphere 3D’s unfortunate history, traders should look to take profits on the rare occasions when ANY stock rallies.
On the date of publication, Ian Bezek did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.