Keith Gill, trader on Reddit aka ‘Roaring Kitty’, delivers his opening statement. Gill joins Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, Melvin Capital CEO Gabriel Plotkin, Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin in testifying before the House Committee on Financial Services about the GameStop trading activity in late January.
For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi The Reddit and YouTube trading star known as “Roaring Kitty” defended his social media posts that helped spark a mania in GameStop shares last month in testimony released Wednesday, saying he was an individual investor acting only on publicly available information. The trader, whose real name is Keith Gill, is set to testify Thursday before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services. Other than defending his actions, Gill used his testimony to again make the case for why he is still bullish on GameStop. “GameStop’s stock price may have gotten a bit ahead of itself last month, but I’m as bullish as I’ve ever been on a potential turnaround. In short, I like the stock,” Gill said in the comments. “I believed – and I continue to believe – that GameStop has the potential to reinvent itself as the ultimate destination for gamers within the thriving $200 billion gaming industry.” Through YouTube videos and Reddit posts, Gill — who goes by DeepF——Value on Reddit and Roaring Kitty on YouTube — attracted an army of day traders who cheered each other on and piled into the brick-and-mortar video game stock and call options. GameStop’s share price ballooned to $483 per share, before spiraling down more than 90% to around $46 per share currently. “I believed the company was dramatically undervalued by the market. The prevailing analysis about GameStop’s impending doom was simply wrong,” he said in the testimony. “My investment skills had reached a level where I felt sharing them publicly could help others.”
In his testimony, Gil said he started buying shares of GameStop in 2019, when the stock price declined on disappointing earnings. Plus, Gill liked that famed investor Michael Burry was bullish on GameStop. “Because I thought the stock was undervalued, I purchased call options on June 7, 2019. I increased my position throughout much of 2019 and 2020, because as I continued to analyze the company and its 3 prospects, I became increasingly confident that the share price was indeed dramatically undervalued,” the testimony said. He said the market was underestimating GameStop’s growth prospects and overestimating the likelihood the video game company would go bankrupt. Gill believes GameStop can expand its digital capabilities and harness its 60 million loyal members, the testimony said. The WallStreetBets star went on to say that social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and WallStreetBets on Reddit are leveling the playing field for individual investors as they work together to build investment ideas. “I was abundantly clear that my channel was for educational purposes only, and that my aggressive style of investing was unlikely to be suitable for most folks checking out the channel,” said Gill. “Whether other individual investors bought the stock was irrelevant to my thesis – my focus was on the fundamentals of the business.” Gill’s latest post on Reddit said he made $7.8 million off of GameStop. A proposed class-action lawsuit was brought against Gill on Wednesday, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, alleging that he pretended to be a novice trader despite being a licensed professional.