Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) - Get Report shares surged Thursday as the real estate investment trust that operates factory outlet centers garnered attention on Reddit messaging board r/WallStreetBets, the forum that came to light with the short squeeze in GameStop (GME) - Get Report shares.
Tanger shares were up more than 17% in early trading as the North Carolina-based REIT finds itself in similar position to the likes of GameStop, AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get Report and other public companies that have been targeted as a short-squeeze - a way for investors to bid a stock higher and force a larger investor that has a short position on it to cover their bet, usually at a loss.
Tanger is the second most-shorted stock after GameStop, attracting short interest of 39.98%, according to High Short Interest Stocks, a website that tracks stocks with short interest of more than 20%.
At the same time, its shares have soared more than 76% since the start of the year amid expectations that an end to the pandemic and a return to in-store retail shopping will help boost earnings.
For its fourth quarter, Tanger said it managed to attract customer traffic at 90% of 2019 levels and collect 95% of billed rent in the same period.
Regardless of fundamentals or how investors view its prospects, Tanger was lighting up Reddit's r/WallStreetBets forum on Thursday, with various participants encouraging one another to bid up the stock and unseat larger players who hold short positions amid broader debate on whether millions of new millionaires is better or worse than "a couple of corrupt billionaires."
One forum member claimed he “just had to buy” Tanger stock, while another laid out the “bullish” case as to why Tanger was an undervalued buy.
Attention on Tanger follows similar investor focus on Rocket Cos (RKT) - Get Report, whose shares were active on Wednesday for similar reasons: retail investors on the r/Wallstreetbets forum indicating it was undervalued.
For Rocket, momentum was not on the side of retail investors on Wednesday, with the stock falling more than 33% on Wednesday. In premarket trading the shares were down another 2.82% at $27.22.
GameStop, meanwhile, which has become synonymous with the short-selling wave that has caught the attention and ire of trading platforms like Robinhood as well as Wall Street and Washington alike, was down 2% to $121.70 in premarket trading. Its stock surged more than 1,600% from late January to late February.
At last check, Tanger shares were up 5.98% at $18.80.