Keith Gill, GameStop's "Roaring Kitty," plans YouTube return

GameStop shares surged Friday after Keith Gill, whose relentless cheerleading under his online handle “Roaring Kitty” has spurred retail investors to back the struggling video game chain, revealed plans to appear on YouTube for the first time in three years.

The Roaring Kitty YouTube channel, which has more than 700,000 subscribers, revealed that Gill has scheduled a June 7 livestream. The post sent GameStop’s stock price, which trades under the ticker symbol “GME,” rocketing up 47% on the day to $47.55.

GameStop’s stock also spiked three weeks ago when Gill initially resurfaced online after a long hiatus, posting a cryptic image on X of a sketched man leaning forward in a chair. As Roaring Kitty, Gill posted videos on YouTube during the pandemic — at a time when Americans were stuck indoors, leading some to try their hands at investing. But Gill largely vanished from the retail investor scene in 2021 after testifying before Congress about the “meme stock” craze. 

Fur in the game

Gill, a financial analyst turned social media influencer, certainly appears to have some fur in the game. Earlier this month, he posted a screenshot in Reddit forum showing that Gill’s holding in GameStop shares topped $115 million — a stake that would be even larger given the latest upturn in the stock. 

Gill’s return to social media has also propelled gains in other downtrodden stocks embraced by amateur investors, including AMC Entertainment and BlackBerry.

Yet Gill’s rabid social media following is also attracting scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that E*Trade was considering booting Gill from the trading platform because of concerns about possible stock manipulation related to his GameStop activities.

Before Gill’s rise to popularity, GameStop had experienced declining sales amid an industrywide pivot from game cartridges to video game streaming and digital downloads. But with the help from meme stock investors, the company in March turned its first profit in two years

GameStop said in a regulatory filing last month that it sold a new batch of 45 million shares, generating more than $933 million in fresh capital. Prior to March, GameStop had posted seven straight quarterly losses. In January, the company reported its first annual profit since 2018. 

The company appointed Ryan Cohen, the billionaire founder of online pet supplies company Chewy, as its new CEO last September. As of February, GameStop had 4,169 locations, including 2,915 in the U.S.

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