Stocks to sell

The stock market has been on an incredible run over the past year with tech and growth stocks surging. Traders have piled into many fast-moving companies in hopes of locking in quick trading gains.

This excitement has increasingly moved back into the meme stock arena as well. While meme stocks somewhat fell out of fashion in 2022 and 2023, they are firmly back now. Traders gravitate to companies with high short interest, lots of trading volume, and the possibility for rapid price movements.

With interest rates remaining high, however, and the economy seemingly slowing down, traders are starting to dial back some risk. The stock market notably cooled off in April and things could get even bumpier heading toward this fall’s presidential election.

With this in mind, traders might want to move out of some meme stocks before the going gets tougher. These are three meme stocks to sell today before prices plunge.

Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA)

Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE:DNA) is a specialty chemical company that operates primarily in the healthcare and life sciences space. It has developed a synthetic biology platform to help clients with cell programming — the idea being that Ginkgo can enable the biological production of novel therapeutics, food ingredients, and petroleum-derived chemicals.

The most obvious application of this is in biotech to aid the research and development of new drug therapies.

For a while, Ginkgo was an exceptionally hot stock. Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood was a prominent backer and shares rocketed higher. However, short sellers raised a number of troubling allegations about the firm’s revenues, corporate strategy, are third-party relationships.

Those concerns appear to have played out. The company’s revenues peaked at $478 million in fiscal year 2022 but fell to just $251 million last year. Analysts see that falling further to just $223 million for 2024. Not surprisingly, the company is experiencing massive losses; it generated a net loss of $893 million over the last 12 months.

However, many traders remain upbeat on DNA stock, hoping that the former highflyer could come back into favor.

DNA stock is averaging more than 30 million shares a day of trading volume. Perhaps traders think it looks like a bargain with the stock here at just a dollar per share. But keep in mind that the company has engaged in massive amounts of dilution over the years. It has more than 1.5 billion shares of stock outstanding meaning that the company still has an outsized market cap even with the share price around a buck.

So don’t look at the current price as an opportunity. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gingko employs a reverse split in the future to consolidate the share count and raise the stock price to a more respectable level. But that, in turn, would likely lead to further selling of DNA shares.

Paramount Global (PARA)

Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) operates an entertainment company focused on traditional media and runs its own streaming platforms. 

The company is perhaps best known for its CBS network television operations. There is plenty more to Paramount than just CBS, however, as it has cable channels such as Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon along with Showtime.

It has also made a big push in streaming with efforts such as Paramount+. That said, streaming has proven to be an awfully competitive marketplace, and Paramount’s streaming operations continue to generate losses for the time being.

Paramount was one of the original meme stocks. Back in 2020 shares rushed from $25 to a peak of nearly $100 a share by the end of that year. It turns out PARA stock was caught up in the excitement around the rogue trader Bill Hwang. Hwang reportedly used an unbelievably large margin line to buy stocks, including Paramount, aggressively and precipitated short squeezes in those stocks.

When this came to an end, however, Paramount shares lost more than half their value virtually overnight. Subsequently, the stock price has continued to deflate ever since.

Both value investors and meme traders have been drawn to PARA stock recently. It looks cheap at less than 11 times forward earnings. And people believe there’s a lot of intrinsic value in the brands, media assets, and intellectual property. 

A big reason for optimism was that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) owned a sizable position in Paramount shares. However, at the Berkshire meeting this past weekend, Buffett announced that his firm had exited Paramount stock at a sizable loss.

There are still rumors and speculation about a potential takeover. Perhaps something good will happen. However, the odds seem to favor further downside, and traders should consider following Buffett’s lead and get out of PARA stock now.

FuelCell Energy (FCEL)

Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) develops and sells fuel cell and electrolysis platforms. It has the intention of offering renewable power while helping decarbonize the energy grid. While that’s a noble aim, so far, FuelCell has almost entirely failed to build a viable business with its products.

As of January 31, 2024, FuelCell Energy has amassed an accumulated shareholder deficit of more than $1.5 billion. This means that the company has blown through well over a billion dollars of shareholder funding without getting anywhere close to breakeven operationally.

FCEL’s revenues have shrunk from $180 million in 2014 to $123 million in the most recent year. Meanwhile, the company hasn’t generated a year of positive net income, not even once, over the past decade. FuelCell Energy’s products simply haven’t found a favorable reception with potential clients despite having many years to try to scale up operations.

Rather than earning a profit, FuelCell sustains operations by selling a nearly endless stream of new shares to the public. The company still has a market capitalization north of $400 million today despite the firm’s rock bottom stock price and discouraging operational track record. The firm just updated its prospectus in April so that it can sell up to $300 million more of its increasingly diluted common stock to the public.

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.

Articles You May Like

Are You Worried About Solar Stocks? Energy Storage May Be the Solution. 
Intel Stock is an AI Play You Can Skip Out On
2 Stocks to Buy, One to Sell as Consumers Struggle to Stay Afloat
Get Ahead of the Curve: 7 Undervalued Growth Stocks Set to Rally
Stock Market Crash Warning: Don’t Get Caught Holding These 3 Transportation Stocks