(These are solely the views & opinions of KVP, & do not constitute any trade or investment recommendations. By the time you synthesize this, things may have changed.)
Macro Dragon Reflections: Is BYND the next GME? Thoughts on the Jan-Feb Short Squeeze... THE HIVE, AMC, GME, BB & BYND...
- Like all the best research pieces out there, the objective here is to enhance reflection, inversion & recalibration in your own research & analysis – if you’re looking for KVP to tell you what to do with your capital, you should have KVP run your capital. Great research is like great books, coaches, teachers, mentors, classes, seminars… they help you think, enhance your frameworks & ideally move your craft to ever higher highs.
- As always, keep what resonates, discard the rest & add your own spark.
- Its going to be a “long” piece, as my man QB likes to say, “KVP – sometimes you got to go DEEP”. Here is the goldfish summary, for the focus-impaired:
- THE HIVE is here to stay, evolve & eat away, at the free lunch that has been Wallstreet’s sway. Whilst GME Friday close of $222.00 +26% last wk, firmly held the spotlight in the share squeeze in Jan/Feb of this year, AMC now has a YTD return of +1132%, that above GME, post Fri close of $26.12 & a +112% move last wk.
- One key technical chart delta?
- Point here is not whether or not AMC or BYND or BB is the next GameStop +2000% squeeze – the point is, its only a question of time before we see a repeat of the dynamics that played out earlier this year.
- Tue Jun 1st could be an interesting open on the US equity markets, not to mention NFPs on Fri.
HIVE > Goliath: Reflections on THE HIVE, Wallstreet vs. Mainstreet & the Zeitgeist of the Times...
- Many have come, yet few are chosen.
- Consistent success in investing, let alone trading the markets is far from given, in fact, it’s the inverse – it is almost absolutely not guaranteed. There is a reason the vast majority of Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, prop traders, investors, speculators, punters, stunkers, tik-tokers, apes, snakes, day traders & everyone else, underperforms the market.
- Take a step back & just let this sink in – its hard to think of many industries in the world, that attract (wastes?) the brightest & most driven of talent, with near infinite capital & resources that come into finance, all with the objective of making money (for themselves). Given all these factors & everyone trying to fish in the same crowded pool, with the same crowded strategies, there a few successful outliers.
- There is a reason why there is only one Stan Druckenmiller - something like 120 quarters of wins out of 124, +30yrs of +30% annual returns, etc - who’s feats both in global macro & ninja philanthropy are legendary. In regards to known GOATs in Global Macro, no one else even comes close.
- Yet the paradox is, no one picks up a book on basketball or watches videos on football or the NFL over a wkd, then walks in Monday claiming to be the next Lebron James or Sue Bird or Mia Hamm or Tom Brady. No one goes home on Friday with a tome on neuro-surgery & expects to be taking tumors out of brains on Monday. No one hits the gym for the first time & expects to walk our a Mr. Olympia – an endeavor that likely takes minimum 10yrs of the most disciplined training, dieting, vision & hard-work.
- Yet people take home the latest ‘Market Wizards’ or watch a “How I made Millions Trading” video & expect to be the triad of Warrant Buffet, Paul Tudor Jones & Ray Dalio come Monday morning.
- There is Potemkin low barrier of entry into the world of investing & trading, after all one just needs to open an account, fund it with some capital & push some buttons right?
- Deep in their hearts most professional money managers know they got into the right role, at the right time & a big part of it was based on four words – L.U.C.K. You think you have imposter syndrome, these guys & gals have it to the power of infinity. If it was all about grit & brains, then all the world’s richest traders would be PHDs. Its easier to be a professional footballer or NFL player than to be a consistently profitable trader, who can make money regardless of the changes in market regimes, as well as whether the greater economy is in an expanding, contracting or mixed phase.
- So with this indigestible truth, you can imagine the furor that Wallstreet felt when Melvin Capital suffered billions in losses earlier this year from having opposite positions from some hardcore tribal advocates (who had done their due diligence & research on the stock on what was a popular but non-mainstream forum on a medium called reddit. What retail traders besting professionals? How preposterous is that?
GameStop [GME] $222.00, +1078% YTD, M-Cap $16.5B | AMC Ent. [AMC] $26.12, +1132% YTD, M-Cap $13.0B
- The GameStop [GME] squeeze that we saw earlier this year, saw the stock move from a low of $17.08 to a high of $483.00. That is a move of +28x or +2700%. For context, if one was long $10K of GME, that spiked in value to +$280K in a matter of weeks. And if you had bought call options in the early part of the move - before volatility exploded - you likely made a lot more than +13x, even if you did not get out at the peak!
- In fact some of the best YTD performers in KVP’s inner circle picked up quite a bit of alpha from the WSB|RB phenomena. Naturally we only tend to hear about the winners… few people talk up their losses. In the craft of compounding wealth consistently overtime, everyone seems to be Casanova.
- Whether you made a fortune, lost a fortune or were on the sidelines eating popcorn & sipping on slurpees earlier this year - THE HIVE is real, its arrived & its here to stay.
- For the first time ever, THE HIVE – that is the decentralized, non-institutionalized users of the internet, be they on TikTok, WSB, TW, SNAP, IG, ClubHouse, WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, Messenger, RobinHood & other trading platforms – made the incumbents sit up & shake in their mighty boots. It was also something that was discussed by the highest powers of the political office from senators to the White House.
- Its sounds nice & Hollywood to say Mainstream pulled a big one on some of Wallstreet’s greatest sharks (Multi-billion dollar infusions were needed & apparently one HF was down close to -50% for its 1Q21) who were heavily positioned as short the stocks, yet there were also other sharks (HFs) on the long side helping to fan the flames of the fire. As they say… when there is blood in the water… lets go kill somebody.
- GME fell by about -90% from its peak, which coincided with the infamous decision where RB (& other brokers & banks) would not allow anyone to buy more GME shares, yet were happy for folks to sell them.
- At $222 GME is still YTD up +1200% (an. that’s c. +2900%) it is making crypto look like an old-school blue-chip IBM stock. Afterall as of Mon Asia evening, Bitcoin & Ethereum are ‘only’ up +20% & +200% YTD.
- For the first time in decades & some would say in modern day history, the structural political zeitgeist in the US & much of the world is truly one of populism, its one of finally having Mainstreet over Wallstreet (Apes over Snakes). And it’s a fair point, at the end of the day banks (incumbents) have been the paragon of “tails we win, & heads the taxpayers loses” – socialize the losses through bailouts, privatize the gains through stock-options & great compensation packages. All the while getting their back covered by their clubby central bank brothers & sisters, who will go on to get paid 6-7 figures for speaking gigs & board seats, post their ‘public service’.
- Whether you are going back to The Savings & Loans Crisis, LTCM, Asia Crisis and of course the subprime mortgage crisis. One has to think, this has to be one of those paradoxical occurrences in human history where so few people, made consistently so much, with zero accountability at the cost & damage to so many. If aliens were truly sightseeing through our galaxy, its unclear whether they would be wetting themselves in laughter, tears or just quiet disbelief. And if you are wondering how we ended up in an MMT & pitchfork populist world – well all those decades of bailouts & closed circle clubs has played a huge structural role in this. Kharma is like energy, it is never destroyed
- Add to that the acceleration of internet connectivity across all different kind of platforms, mediums & in some cases, brand new asset classes like crypto (DeFI vs. CeFI), that allow Mainstreet to have just as good tools – in some cases better – than their institutional peers, as well s platforms in which to discuss & shares their views with similar minded people.
- Bottom line, advantage THE HIVE.
- Bottom line, the Jan-Feb 2021 squeeze was not a one & done affair… whether its another round on GME or its BB turn or BYND or AMC or neither of the above is beside the point. The point is, you ignore THE HIVE at your peril if your short certain stocks, that have large amount of short-interests.
- This is only THE HIVE’s first form. Yes, there will be a lot of noise, an inverse of co-ordination & tons of money lost… but overtime, just like a virus, THE HIVE will evolve, there will be more streamlined backing of companies, yet no clear cohesion, there will be more signal > noise.
- At the end of the day what’s the difference between a Hedge Fund manager talking up her long or short at a conference, or a redditor talking about a name that they are full Ape into, because Number Go Up. Yes, one should be more qualified to run risk than the other, yet this is about democratization of that decision to take risk.
- Yet, this is not about being “right” or “wrong” its about the magnitude of money you make on your wins, vs. the magnitude of money you lose on your loses. Melvin capital was reportedly making money hand over first for the last few years, before running into THE HIVE.
- The catalyst for the pathway is not relevant. Event-Driven, is Event-Driven.
- Whether your Empress Warrior or Prince Charming rides in on a Unicorn or Hippopotamus is beside the point, they are there if you are worthy of them.
- AMC is a very different beast than GME (Cinemas vs. Game Stores) & a more natural levered play on the re-opening of the US economy. AMC mkt cap is c. 22% smaller at c. $13bn vs. GME’s $17bn. They have a similar percentage of short interest to floats at c. 20%, yet GME’s is 3.1x days to cover is double AMC’s 1.6x.
- The stock Lamboed to the moon in early Jan with a c. +900% lift, before pulling back by over -70%. Since that trough, the name has gone to rise by another +370%.
- They also likely have predominantly different tribes in THE HIVE, as the incentives is to get enough critical mass from a network effect to drive a chain reaction in the squeezing of the stocks that Wallstreet are short & hate. Not saying that there is no overlap, but there are risks to one’s tribe switching fully to rally to another flag. Everybody wants to be Diamond Hands, yet no one wants to be the last Diamond Hand. There is a reason that GME is still in the top three of stocks being discussed on Reddit.
- Whilst the key events for Jun in regards to stock sentiment being bullish or bearish are likely going to be US NFP on Jun 4, US CPI on Jun 10 & Fed decision on Fed 16 & – another big NFP miss or new CPI miss could be construed bullishly by the market, indicating the Fed needs to slow its roll. Yet a massive NFP beat (+650k e this Fri) and/or another CPI beat, may do the opposite causing yields to move higher & the market to calibrate that the Fed needs to pick up the pace for their Jun 16 meeting.
- As per the CNBC article quoting from the company’s webcast “These individual investors likely own a majority of our shares… They own AMC. We work for them. I work for them.”
- Seriously just take a step back & process that! Can you imagine a Dimon or Gates saying that? This is the Trump & decentralization effect of the internet, where principals/employees, CEOs/owners, capitalists/investors, politicians/voters talk directly to one another – rather than through the traditional centralized gate keeping & controlled information channels [read Wallstreet, Institutional Research, Traditional Media, etc].
- Volatility was crazy early this year on both GME & AMC, with figures of 1000 being hit!
- AMC’s current IV is c. 290, it hit 1017 in early Feb, before collapsing by more than -90% to c. 85.
- GME’s current IV is 167, it hit 999 om early Feb, before collapsing by c. -90% to c. 110.
Beyond Met [BYND] $145.42, +16% YTD, M-Cap $9.2B
- The interesting thing about Beyond Meat [BYND] is we’ve covered it on the Macro Dragon since it listed, as KVP loves the sustainability theme & believes +25-50-100yrs when we look back we’ll be absolutely gob smacked that we took animal protein at such a cost to the rest of the planet’s biosphere & life. Akin – at least in the US & most developed countries – to looking back at cigarette smoking 40-60yrs, which used to be marketed as dessert.
- The back of the envelop macro thesis on BYND is simple; Estimated market of +$7.5T of total Animal Protein market by 2025. Assume 10% of that goes to the Alternative Protein players ($750B = 10% * $7.5T), of which BYND captures 10%, so $75bn. Current BYND mkt $9B, so +4-9x potential in next 3-6yrs? Completing ignoring organic growth of the alternative protein space.
- And this is not Nikola [NKLA] with doctored videos from Trucks rolling down hills with a mkt cap of $6bn & negligible revenue. BYND did +$407m last year & are expected to take that to +$564m for 2021, before growing by +50% to +$851m in 2022. They continue to focus their capex on R&D, with a strategy for the long-term game. 2020 was a mixed bag for them, initially crushing it in the 1st half (better than expected sales as folks stocked up due to lock-down), yet seemingly that seemed to lead to a cannibalization on their 2nd half (combination of customers still having inventory, lock-down across the US & parts of the world, having to change distribution strategy in Germany [where they are a top 5 brand, up there with Tesla] & we’ll likely need another quarter or two for things to fully wash through – as is the case on the covid-induced logistics system.
- The usual pushback/cons/bearish framework has been there is a lot of competition in the space & its only going to set to increase. Impossible will eventually list, if its not already on someone’s SPAC menu. The incumbents like Tyson food are also making ground on their own alternatives protein meats. Sustainability is a fad & long-overdue for a correction. Growth is dead, long live value.
- Yet a few interesting factors have now emerged:
1. BYND could potentially become a HIVE stock [what PM wants to walk into the CIO room & explain a short squeeze post what happened to Melvin], was never part of the original thesis… but cult stock like tesla or tencent was always the potential icing on the cake.
2. At $145 BYND is c. -40% from its ATH of c. $240 which it hit in the summer of 2019. Earlier this year during the WSB|RB Squeeze it got to $221 by the end of Jan, finding a 3wk run of +51% (so far we are on a 2wk run of +38% - yet worth noting growth has been killed over last few wks, so likely also a mean-reversion element on growth > value performance wise)
3. According to Bloomberg there is a 26% short interest on its float (which granted is c. 3.4x days to cover).
4. They continue to make JV & new partnerships, from Pepsi to inroads in China, etc.
5. Oatley [OTLY] another sustainable alternative play - focused on alternative dairy - recently listed & has a market cap of $14bn, is a much older company & clocked +$420m in rev in 2020 (granted +100% growth) – main point here is not substitution, but the investment theme is growing which will continue to attract a narrative & story, which leads to further capital from investors.
- Volatility wise – we got to c. 124 during the Jan/Feb squeeze, before collapsing by c. -80% to 24. Current IV is 61, which is lower than recent 10D & 30D HV (note this is likely due to BYND sell-off post recent earnings). 100D HV is 64.25. Out of the names discussed in this think piece, BYND does not have elevated IV, which intuitively could indicate that its either early in becoming a contender to THE HIVE crowd, or its not going to be one to find a credible following & is just noise.
Blackberry [BB] $10.07, +52% YTD, M-Cap $5.7B
- Have not looked at Blackberry [BB] in ages, yet let us take a quick look at price action in early Jan & also get a sense of volumes, short interest, volatility, etc.
- In Jan, BB had 4 weekly runs of +113% going from $6.63 to $14.10, which included an intra-week high of $25.10 - +280% from $6.58 Jan lows – before pulling back by close to -70% from peak to trough.
- Just to give context on volumes, the avg 12 month volume on BB is 60M, on the last wk of Jan the stock did 1.3B basically +21x.
- Its volume last wk? 200m so c. +3.3x… So clearly significant, yet naturally would have to continue if this really is another squeeze in the making.
- The Mkt cap is c. $6bn, with a short interest to float ratio of 10% & c. 7.7x days to cover ratio – which is actually the highest of the names discussed.
- Worth also noting that current IV on ATM $10 strike Jul 16 calls are 102 vs. the 30D HV of 57. Point here being (if your long the option) its not just about the option getting ITM, one also needs volatility to ideally also explode or at the very least stay equal to when you bgt it.
- Back in Jan & Feb we got to over 400 in volatility, before it collapsed by -85% to c. 58. Current IV is 109.
- So while a lot of this data & propositions may be anecdotal & fall all we know, these stocks have hit their peaks last wk, but thought it would be interesting to consolidate the names on a table for an overview.
- Net-Net BB currently looks the most interesting on just a few of these metrics that we’ve; its got 7.7x days to cover its short interest. Whilst its IV is nearly double its HV, its still has a potential +4x move to match the high of 455 set in Feb. It also had the smallest lift of the four names last wk at +18%, despite having the most significant wkly volume at +2.9x (over 5wk avg. volume). Blackberry also has the smallest mkt cap of the 4 names at c. $6bn. Cons would be its already up +52% YTD, which is obviously a drop in the water vs. GME or AMC.
- BYND is gets marks for having the lowest YTD at +16%, its IV is lower than it HV – granted its high vol in Feb at 124 was well south of the other 3 names. It is also tied with GME on short-interest to float ratio, yet comes out as number two on the days to cover. A smaller mkt cap than GME & AMC is likely a plus as well.
- GME & AMC are quite interesting – technically speaking AMC looks interesting from a chart perspective, more significant volume last wk at 1.6x vs. 0.9x & topped Tesla on value trade! Yet GME has a higher short-int to float coverage at 26%, higher days to cover at 3.1x vs. 1.6x, & potentially higher opportunity for volatility to spike to its Feb highs, +6x vs. +3.5x.
- What they both don’t have doing for them is they are already up over +1000% YTD, which may make it harder to rally more people to their flag.
- Naturally we are doing a lot of rhyming with history here, yet some form of a blueprint tends to be better than none.
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