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Revlon short squeeze interest grows as REV stock price jumps despite pending bankruptcy

By Mensholong Lepcha

Edited by Jekaterina Drozdovica

10:13, 26 August 2022

A selection of Revlon beauty products in a drugstore in New York.
REV stock price jumps despite pending bankruptcy. – Photo: Shutterstock, Rbfmr

Beauty company Revlon (REV) saw intense short-selling pressure in June 2022, with over 86% of the company’s float shorted at one point during the month.

Multi-billion dollar debt, widening losses and a decreasing topline have forced the 90-year old company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

There are market participants profiting from the fall. Revlon stock has seen highly volatile trading sessions in recent weeks due to short squeezes. On 1 August 2022, REV stock surged nearly 90%. 

Occasional bouts of a Revlon short squeeze have helped the stock rebound from its all-time low of $1.08 hit on 13 June to $6.80, as of 26 August close.

Will there be another Revlon short squeeze? Here we take a look at the stock and the factors affecting its share price movement. 

What is Revlon?

Revlon is a beauty products company. Its portfolio of over 15 brands includes Elizabeth Arden, Juicy Couture and Almay.

Charles Revson, Joseph Revson and Charles Lachman founded Revlon in 1932. The company began with a single product offering (a nail enamel), growing into a multi-million dollar company by 1942.

In 1985, Revlon was sold to MacAndrews & Forbes. In February 1996, the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The company develops, manufactures, markets, distributes and sells beauty and personal care products, including colour cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, skin care and beauty tools.

Revlon is a global beauty brand. Its products are sold in about 150 countries. The US was Revlon’s biggest market in 2021, contributing 47% of the company’s full-year net sales.

China, Australia and the UK were Revlon’s biggest markets outside the US, which together contributed about 18% of the company’s net sales in 2021.

According to the company, Revlon’s principal customers for its mass retail products are large volume retailers, department stores and chain drug stores like Walmart (WMT), CVS (CVS), Target (TGT), Macy’s (M) and Sephora.

In June 2022, Revlon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Since then, Revlon stock has seen a rise in short interest. Increased short positions have led to an occasional Revlon stock short squeeze.

What is a short squeeze?

Stock traders can make a profit from the falling price of a security by short selling. A trader opens a short position by borrowing a company’s shares in anticipation that it will fall in price. They then sell the borrowed shares and buy them back after the share price has fallen.

Short selling does not always go according to plan. If the market goes against the short seller’s position, a heavily shorted stock may rise and force short sellers to cut their losses and exit their positions.

Short sellers rushing for the exit have to buy shares from the market, which can result in a further rise in the price. Rising asset prices attract new buyers. This combination of new buyers and panicked short sellers boosts demand, resulting in a short squeeze.

Revlon short squeeze: Bankruptcy proceedings dominate 

Revlon has been a target of short sellers for most of 2022 due to the company’s loss-making businesses and long-term debt of about $3.3bn.

Data compiled by MarketBeat showed that the percentage of short interest for Revlon stock rose from 14.2% at the end of 2021 to over 38% by the end of May 2022. The company’s bankruptcy petition announcement in mid-June 2022 sparked further increase in Revlon short interest. The short percentage of float surged to 86.5% by the end of June 2022.

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This high short interest has attracted market participants hoping to profit from a Revlon stock short squeeze. Popular Reddit forum WallStreetBets saw an increased mention of Revlon stock in June 2022 as members viewed REV as their next meme stock.

Between 14 June to 22 June, Revlon stock saw six consecutive sessions of gains as it surged nearly 600% from $1.17 to $8.14.

Revlon stock price, 2017 – 2022

The biggest intraday Revlon short squeeze price jump came on 1 August 2022, when the stock surged about 90% from $4.47 to $8.49.  

The price is expected to remain highly volatile over the short term as the markets react to news related to its bankruptcy proceedings and traders attempt a Revlon squeeze.

“Revlon has all the potential to explode and yall keep talking about BBBY which is dead imo (in my opinion). This one seems a lot more promising and it’s still pretty early,” read a post on WallStreetBets published on 20 August 2022.

One WallStreetBets’ REV stock squeeze enthusiast pointed to Revlon’s low public float as the rationale behind orchestrating a short squeeze, noting:

“REV is a stock that has an incredibly small float and in the ETFs so there's no liquidity … If we start buying this stock at an increased rate it has no choice but to go up.”

As of April 2022, majority shareholder MacAndrews & Forbes owned 84.75% of Revlon, a press release showed.

Looking forward, any Revlon short squeeze price prediction could be influenced by developments in the bankruptcy petition case. The company has received $575m in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing lender base to support its day-to-day operations.

In other news, Revlon reported its second-quarter earnings on 9 August. The company said quarterly net losses widened to $275.6m, from the $67.7m reported a year ago, and quarterly net sales fell 11% year-on-year to $442.6m.

Outlook: Analyst views for Revlon

In its last analyst commentary on Revlon, on 14 June, Jefferies gave the REV stock a target price of $10.50.

“Our $10.50 price target is based on 12x FY22E EBITDA, a discount to peers given heightened recovery risk. Risks include competition, FX, mix, synergy targets, integration, and a mass beauty slowdown,” said Jefferies.

Jefferies has since discontinued its coverage of Revlon due the company’s Chapter 11 filing.

As of 25 August, data compiled by CNN showed only one analyst covering the stock who gave REV a price target of $8.5 and recommended a ‘hold.’

Meanwhile, Eric Schiffer, chief executive of Patriarch Organization and Reputation Management Consultants, told MarketWatch:

"Unlike Hertz, the reorganization plan is not beautiful. I think we'll see continued significant volatility. Some of these stocks that are coming back from the dead in this bear market rally will see the casket closed once the market begins to regain its downward progression, which is likely to happen.”

Finally, algorithmic-based Revlon price prediction from Wallet Investor expected the stock to close 2022 at $7.75.

Note that analysts' views on the outlook for a Revlon short squeeze and stock price can be wrong. Forecasts shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your own research. 

Always conduct your own due diligence and remember that your decision to trade or invest should depend on your risk tolerance, expertise in the market, portfolio size and goals. Never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

Will revlon squeeze?

Looking forward, any Revlon (REV) short squeeze could be influenced by developments in the bankruptcy petition case, short interest in the company and other company news.

How high can revlon short squeeze go?

It is impossible to predict the market. Historical data showed the biggest intraday Revlon short squeeze price jump of the year came on 1 August 2022, when the stock surged about 90% from $4.47 to $8.49. Note that past performance does not guarantee future returns.

Should I invest in Revlon?

Revlon filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in June 2022. Investing in Revlon should be a decision based on your personal circumstances such as risk tolerance, expertise in the market, portfolio size and goals. Always conduct your own due diligence before trading, looking at fundamental and technical analysis, latest news and market commentary. Keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

Markets in this article

CVS
CVS
59.72 USD
-0.29 -0.480%
M
Macy's
16.43 USD
-0.07 -0.430%
TGT
Target
149.91 USD
-2.39 -1.570%
WMT
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (Extended Hours)
70.88 USD
0.07 +0.100%

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