GameStop in focus after Tiger agitates for strategic review
Shares of GameStop (GME) are in focus on Wednesday after a hedge fund sent a letter to the game retailer's board calling on it to conduct a strategic review amid recent management reshuffling. TIGER LETTER: Earlier today, Julian Robertson's Tiger Management sent a letter to the board of GameStop urging the company to conduct a strategic review amid recent management shifts. "We view the recent management departures and crisis of confidence as an unprecedented opportunity for the Board to launch a strategic review and revive shareholder confidence in the sustainability of the GameStop business model," the letter reads, according to CNBC. Tiger noted in the letter that it plans to "remain a passive shareholder" and has "no intention of becoming an activist investor." The hedge fund added, however, that it would sell its shares if the retailer fails to implement a turnaround plan. Tiger has been building up its position in GameStop this year, CNBC noted. GAMESTOP RESPONSE: In response, GameStop confirmed to CNBC that it received Tiger's letter and said that it "welcomes" constructive feedback from the hedge fund and all of its investors. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Tiger's letter comes nearly a week after GameStop announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Michael Mauler, who left for personal reasons. The company noted at the time that Mauler's resignation was not due to any disagreement with the retailer regarding its "financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto." Mauler had only been in the position since February 6 following the resignation of J. Paul Raines for health reasons. Not long after Mauler began his new role, GameStop disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had terminated the employment of Chief Operating Officer Tony D. Bartel and executive vice president of strategic business and brand development Michael P. Hogan. LOOP BACKS HOLD: Following the Tiger letter, Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba said he is "not terribly surprised" to see one of the game retailer's shareholders become more vocal given the recent underperformance and senior management turnover. Chukumba added that, while he is unclear whether there would be an takers for GameStop's struggling Technology Brands and view the company's International operations as a core business, he believes many of Tiger's demands make sense. The analyst added that he is not confident the letter will result in significant shareholder value creation given that the fund has a relatively small holding in GameStop, has not been an activist investor, and indicated its intent to "bail" if demands are not met. Chukumba maintained a Hold rating and $14 price target on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, GameStop shares are up marginally to $13.56.