Avaya Holdings becomes r/WallStreetBets’ latest endeavor
r/WallStreetBets loves many things: (near) bankrupt companies, stocks with high short-interest and
Ryan Cohen Jake Freeman.
Their latest position of interest — Avaya Holdings (NYSE:AVYA) — fits the first two criteria.
- Bankruptcy — analysts have been forecasting Avaya to run out of cash with a potential bankruptcy incoming.
- Short-interest — the percentage of shares sold short — is at 28%.
Avaya sells software for corporate phone networks and customer call centers. In August, they reported earnings and forecasts that fell far from expectations.
To survive, Avaya borrowed $600M — warning that there is “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern” — a.k.a. we might not make it (PWC).
Avaya has been here before — filing for bankruptcy in 2017 as it struggled to transition to cloud services.
The latest meme hero: “The King”
In August, Theo King — co-founder of Faria Education Group and successful software entrepreneur — bought a 15.41% stake in Avaya. This sent $AVYA soaring in the past month — closing at $2.01 yesterday from a low of $0.60 in August.
The King presented a turnaround strategy to Avaya’s board — saying:
- The company is in the early innings of turning around its business, and that bankruptcy isn’t certain.
- There are options besides bankruptcy, including finding a strategic partner and restructuring loans due next year.
Still, analysts are doubtful. Avaya hasn’t had a strong track record, is facing competition from better cloud products and carries a big financial burden.
But everyone is in it for the gains. In the August rally, Ryan Cohen dumped his Bed Bath & Beyond shares, and so did Jake Freeman. What’s to say Theo King won’t do the same?