I’ve never been a fan of risky meme stocks. More often than not, they’re terrible companies with either faulty business models or lousy products and services. Worse still, they’re often penny stocks trading for less than $5.
One of the last meme stocks I wrote about was AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) in May 2022. It had just reported its Q1 2022 results. Even then I wasn’t optimistic, stating “If you’re thinking of buying AMC stock, at least do yourself a favor and wait for it to trade in single digits.” It was trading at around $12 at the time. Except for a resurgence a few months later in August, it’s trended lower over the past year, trading in a tight range between $4 and $8. The company recently released its Q1 2023 results. While sales were up more than 21%, it still lost $180 million in the quarter. As a result, AMC remains one of many meme stocks to avoid.
Here are three more volatile meme stocks to take a pass on.
Peloton Interactive (PTON)
Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) could be my most controversial meme stock to avoid. That’s because the fitness business’s stock has gained nearly 20% in the past week on news the company is rebranding to focus on its subscription model.
The rebrand was announced on May 23, with the company saying it was moving its business away from its focus on hardware and shifting it to high-margin subscription revenue.
Peloton’s chief marketing officer Leslie Berland said during an interview with CNBC “We know that the perception externally does not match the reality of who we are.” Adding “This company historically has been thought of as an in-home bike company for fitness enthusiasts but over the years, it has evolved into something that is much more bigger, much broader than that.”
That’s a very confident way for the company to say it could not generate sustainable revenue and profit growth by selling expensive exercise bikes. So, it is doing the only thing it could do other than selling the business to another fitness equipment company for pennies on the dollar and pivoting to digital.
The question now is whether investors buy the viability of such a plan. I guess we’ll see. I wouldn’t touch PTON with a 10-foot pole.
Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) made Forex.com’s list of the top 10 stocks mentioned on WallStreetBets. It’s easy to see why the stock’s garnered interest on the Reddit thread. Its stock is up 75% in the past month and 239% year-to-date.
Once left for dead, the latest rally happened after S&P Global upgraded 21 classes of the online used-car platform’s securitizations after lowering its loss assumptions on seven Carvana-sponsored securitizations. The company bundles auto loans it makes to customers and then sells them to investors.
It seems the company’s auto loan problems aren’t nearly as bad as the ratings agency thought. Once presumed to be headed for bankruptcy, the upgrade likely pushed short sellers to the exits. While Carvana’s short interest as a percentage of its float has fallen over the past week to 57%, it remains the highest on the NYSE or Nasdaq.
Of the 25 analysts covering its stock, 20 rate it a Hold with a median target price of $11, well below where it currently trades.
The company continues to struggle to sell its inventory and generate positive free cash flow. So while it’s the perfect meme stock, it’s hardly the ideal stock to own for the long haul.
NerdWallet.com believes BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) is one of five meme stocks to watch in June. I disagree, even though this volatile meme stock is up 58% year-to-date, with 14% of the gains in the past month alone.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Treiber recently raised his target price on BlackBerry stock to $5 from $4.25 a share. However, he kept his rating at Sector Perform.
The company believes it can grow its revenues over the next three years by 13.5% compounded annually, led by its Internet of Things and automotive businesses.
While I can see the attraction of a BlackBerry revival story, investors have waited for more than a decade for that story to begin. I’d be shocked if they were able to pull it off. There’s too much bad history following it around.
I think this risky meme stock will be back in penny stock territory before you know it.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.