Activist investor Ryan Cohen completes planned sale of Bed Bath & Beyond stake, stock drops 30%

Activist investor Ryan Cohen has exited his position in retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, according to a securities filing released Thursday afternoon.

The filing shows that Cohen’s RC Ventures dumped its shares Tuesday and Wednesday at prices between $18.68 per share and $29.22 per share. The company also sold its call options. Cohen said in a filing earlier this week that he plans to sell his holdings of the meme stock.

Shares of the stock fell 35% during extended trading, contributing to a loss of nearly 20% during Thursday’s regular trading session.

Cohen, co-founder of Chewy and chairman of GameStop, bought more than 7 million shares and call options from Bed Bath & Beyond earlier this year. The company added board members at Cohen’s choice and pushed the CEO away after RC Ventures disclosed its stake.

Cohen originally bought his shares in Bed Bath & Beyond at an average of about $15.34 per share.

In a statement on Wednesday, Bed Bath & Beyond said it reached a “constructive agreement” with RC Ventures in March and was exploring possible changes to its financial structure.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have skyrocketed this month, fueled in part by retail traders in an apparent resurgence of the meme trading craze. Shares were up more than 200% in August from Thursday’s close.

Bed Bath & Beyond has seen abnormally high trading volume this month and the stock has become the dominant topic of conversation on Reddit’s WallStreetBets page. The stock has high short-term yields, or bets it will fall due to hedge funds, which has been one of the key features of names booming during the meme stock craze of 2021.

Private investor interest has come despite the company’s fundamental problems. Bed Bath & Beyond reported in June that first quarter net sales were down 25% year-over-year, resulting in a net loss of $358 million. The company also reported negative operating cash flow of approximately $400 million.

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