Bed Bath & Beyond downgraded during massive meme surge Tuesday

The social media fueled surge in Bed Bath & Beyond shares is a solid opportunity to sell, according to Alex Arnold at Odeon Capital Group. The firm on lowered its rating on the retailer to sell from hold while maintaining its $7.50 price target. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond skyrocketed more than 60% to roughly $26 apiece on Tuesday as meme traders snapped up the stock, encouraged by news that GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen bought call options betting on the retailer’s rise. The stock price was also likely boosted by a short-squeeze – a phenomenon that occurs when a stock that investors had bet against rises instead, which forces short sellers to buy the stock and cover their positions. Indeed, Bed Bath & Beyond’s short interest float, or percentage of shares traders have borrowed to bet against, is more than 47%, according to FactSet. Analysts at Odeon are betting that Bed Bath & Beyond will make a comeback, but they say that the recent spike in stock price is premature. “We continue to root for the company turning around after a rough couple of quarters and hard reset of leadership; and our market checks suggest that comps have been building out of a Q2 trough,” Arnold wrote in a Tuesday note. “Nonetheless, we believe that the current valuation has gotten well ahead of the risk-weighted fair value of the company and suggest that investors sell shares or hedge positions in an options market that has been lifted by increased volatility in recent trading.” In addition, Arnold said that while the equity market isn’t valuing the company efficiently, he continues to like debt held by Bed Bath & Beyond. “From our viewpoint, the debt is already discounting a doomsday scenario, so we like the risk-reward at these levels and would be an opportunistic buyer of all three series of unsecured bonds,” he wrote. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this story.

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