GameStop Bet Nets The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 907% Gains In 3 Months

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints benefited from the GameStop Corp. (GME) trading frenzy earlier this year to record a gain of 907% on the “meme” stock in the first three months of this year.

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What Happened: The investment arm of the church, Ensign Peak Advisors, bought 46,000 GameStop shares in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to regulatory filings. At that time, the stake was valued at $867,000.

The value of the church’s GameStop stock holding surged to $8.73 million in the first quarter of 2021 following the GameStop short squeeze earlier in the year. GameStop’s stock had surged during the period from just above $17 to more than $190.

The Mormon Church thus made a gain of $7.87 million, or 907%, on its GameStop stock holding in the first three months of this year.   

Why It Matters: In early 2021, GameStop emerged as a darling of Reddit retail investors who drove the value of the company’s stock upwards by more than 700% in a single week to create a short squeeze.

This forced bearish investors, including hedge funds, to unwind their bets against heavily shorted stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC), sparking a rally in these stocks earlier this year.

Shares of are GameStop continue to see retail investor interest amid expectations that the struggling brick-and-mortar gaming retailer will adopt a digital business model so as to compete with the likes of Inc. (AMZN). GameStop’s year-to-date returns stand at 858.6%.

Price Action: GameStop shares closed less than 0.1% higher in Tuesday’s regular trading session at $180.67 and added almost 0.2% in the after-hours session to $181.00.

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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