A worker carries a broom past closed stores at the Tanger Outlets center in Atlantic City, N.J. Shares of Tanger surged on Thursday.Angus Mordant/Bloomberg
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers took a wild ride on Thursday, the latest hot potato stock caught in a short squeeze.
The mall operator has a high amount of short interest, currently more than 33% of its shares, according to FactSet. That makes it among the most heavily shorted stocks along with GameStop (30.2%), Rocket Cos. (39.7%), and GoodRx Holdings (27.6%), according to MarketWatch data.
Shares of Tanger (ticker: SKT) jumped 22% Thursday morning to hit a 52-week high before settling down. By midafternoon, they had lost steam completely and were down 5.4%. The stock is up 38% over the last year, compared with a 20% one-year gain in the S&P 500.
Malls have been among the most downtrodden stocks during the pandemic, forced to temporarily close locations and restrict the number of shoppers while also juggling budget-strapped tenants facing the same challenges.
Tanger has been a topic on a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets. One post from Wednesday said “SKT is about to reach its highest point since may 2019 and it’s the second most shorted stock after GME. You know what to do!”
“Lets make this explode,” the post says. “Help bring this stock to the spotlight and make it the new GME.”
A spokesman for Tanger wasn’t immediately available on Thursday.
WSB on Reddit is the forum where stock trading enthusiasts share ideas. It’s also a big focus of those investigating the run-up in GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC), and other stocks a few weeks ago in a trading frenzy described as retail investors going after professional short sellers.
The average rating of the six analysts who publish research on Tanger is Underweight, the equivalent of a Sell. Full-year 2020 revenue fell 10%, to $370 million, according to FactSet.
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