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Retail traders angry at meme lord Ryan Cohen for dumping BBBY stock

Yahoo Finance Live’s Brian Cheung and Brian Sozzi discuss why retail traders are angry at activist investor Ryan Cohen for selling his remaining stake in BBBY stock.

Video Transcript

BRIAN CHEUNG: Well, it's been a busy week of retail earnings with meme stocks throwing a major curve ball to the markets. You can see a lot of volatility here, especially what-- in Bed Bath & Beyond, down 38%. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi here on set.

BRIAN SOZZI: What's up, brother? Thanks for having me on.

BRIAN CHEUNG: OK, let's take a zoom out. OK, so we're ending the week here. What the heck happened at Bed Bath & Beyond?

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, think you just saw a lot of greed out there, and you saw just the meme overlord in Ryan Cohen essentially, I think, play a lot of investors, a lot of his meme crowd and followers, for an absolute fool. I mean, you had this filing come out on Monday saying he had out of the money call options, betting for the stock to go over $60 a share. Then he comes out, what, yesterday after the close, saying he's dumping his 11.8% stake?

BRIAN CHEUNG: He already had.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, so I mean, how much trust can you have in Ryan Cohen. And I'll add this too; I'm tired of everybody calling him an activist investor. He's driven zero change at any company he's been involved with.


BRIAN SOZZI: What he's done at Game Stop?

BRIAN CHEUNG: The old CEO left. Mark Tritton left.

BRIAN SOZZI: Is that change? He's not-- when I think of change, again, I mentioned this on the nine to eleven, I think of Elliot as a true activist investor. They came in with a position and they got PayPal to slash $900 million in expenses from this model.

All Cohen has did is put a little money behind a beat up retail stock with a somewhat affordable market cap, got three of his besties on the board here, and he's just out here trading stock. I think he's been a complete failure.

BRIAN CHEUNG: I mean, and look, we've seen a lot of people on WallStreetBets and online, and they're tired of them too. I mean, look, a lot of people resurfacing his tweet from earlier in June, right, where he was talking about, oh, corporate greed has led to a lot of these executives trying to make a quick--

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, look at this, right.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Sick of seeing failed executives make-- is he one of these failed executives? You tweeted-- you tweeted back at him, in response to this tweet, said, how do you fix this? What has he achieved?

BRIAN SOZZI: I understand that he founded Chewy, and I understand that's not going to get me any fans with his meme followers. But if you talk to the folks at Chewy, they don't want anything to do with Ryan Cohen. They will not even acknowledge his existence.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Who's "they"?

BRIAN SOZZI: The team executives there, in various capacities. A good question, I like to follow up in real time. I like these I like these tough questions, it's good.

No, but they will not even acknowledge his existence. Really before he took on this whole other identity here, as some form of meme overlord. They don't want anything to do with him, and I think it's quite telling.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Can he pull this again? Because a lot of people on Reddit-- we were just showing kind of posts from earlier today-- are very upset with him, clearly, right? And maybe they're still holding on to Bed Bath & Beyond, maybe they're still holding on to GameStop here, but he was the meme Lord.


BRIAN CHEUNG: Right? Is there anyone else that people are going to turn to now? Can he pull this type of thing again?

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, on the other side of the spectrum, you have AMC CEO Adam Aron, who is still leading a public company and he's very con--

BRIAN CHEUNG: He's leaning into these memes now.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yes, he's very controversial. On a Monday, of course, watch out. Those APE shares that he created, or helped create, they will start trading-- it will be in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. But Ryan Cohen has a lot of money, but appears that he has a lot of free time on his hands, and he's out there living in the dark shadows of the internet, and tweeting at various times, throwing that money around.

Who is to say that he will not pick another target like he did with Bed Bath, run the same playbook.

BRIAN CHEUNG: What's the next meme stock? I see a lot of people going into Weber, today.

BRIAN SOZZI: Weber-- I mean, I'd be hesitant to call that a meme stock. I get it. It's funny. It's a grill maker-- you can obviously grill meat and hot dogs on it. But I just I don't quantify that as a true meme stock.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah. Well, and that's the thing, and HKD was not really a meme stock.

BRIAN SOZZI: Koss another meme stock? Smaller company.

BRIAN CHEUNG: So, there's a lot of them. Why do you have the shades, what's up with the shades?

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, I mean, I'm getting ready to get out of here, and hit that beach.

BRIAN CHEUNG: OK. Well, you know what, we'll let you go then.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, I appreciate you.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi, host of the 9:00 to 11:00. Look at the-- look at the most ambitious crossover event in history going on right over here.

BRIAN SOZZI: I mean, we're trying to hit the internet, man.

BRIAN CHEUNG: All right, let's take a look at markets before we say goodbye, on the 11:00 AM. Actually accelerating a little bit on Wall Street now. It's not really Brian Sozzi's fault-- or is it? I don't know. Dow Jones down 8/10 of a percent, S&P down 1.2% and the NASDAQ down about 2%. By the way. $2 trillion in equity options expiring today. I wonder how much of those are--

BRIAN SOZZI: It excites Ryan Cohen, I bet you.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, perhaps some of those Bed Bath & Beyond options. But hey, we'll have more market coverage right here on Yahoo Finance.

BRIAN SOZZI: Thank you.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Monday, same time, same place. Have a good one.