Ryan Cohen targets Alibaba in his next activist campaign
What comes to mind when you hear Ryan Cohen’s name? GameStop? Bed Bath & Beyond? If you’re blanking out, you need a bit more /r/WallStreetBets in your life.
- Cohen was the unofficial leader of the GameStop mania — cheered on by an arm of degenerates.
- He bought and sold $BBBY last year, reaping a massive 56% return.
The meme stock king has his eyes on another kingdom — Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) — accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in the e-commerce giant’s stock.
news vibes — including China’s reopening and Jack Ma giving up control over Ant Group (partly owned by Alibaba) — have sent $BABA 80% higher since October.
What’s driving his love? Could it be $BABA’s ~63% drop in share price from 2020’s high? Or does Cohen have a thing for struggling companies?
He believes $BABA is undervalued — and that the company could hit “double-digit sales” and a 20% free-cash-flow growth over the next five years.
Cohen is pushing Alibaba to move faster on its share repurchase plan — who announced $25B in buybacks last year.
Good luck influencing Alibaba. It’s unlikely the communist Chinese government will let one US man dictate how China’s e-commerce giant is run. Cohen’s ambitions also have two main issues:
- First, Alibaba’s North American shares use a variable interest entity structure, giving investors a share in profits but no “real” ownership, hence no say.
- Recent news shows an undisclosed Chinese government entity took ‘golden shares’ in $BABA — which lets them control key decisions and handpick directors.
Hao Hong, an economist at Grow Investment, has described Cohen’s actions as futile: “It’s unlikely for Ryan to move the dial…”