In his explanation of his contrarian GameStop wager, Ryan Cohen emphasized the challenge of reviving the video game business.
He also explained why, just seven months after developing it, he sold his nearly 12% share in Bed Bath & Beyond in August. The chairman of GameStop and co-founder of Chewy, recognized for being an activist investor and expert in meme stocks, mentioned Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn as significant influences. In a recent interview with GMEdd, a website that compiles data from GameStop’s retail investor base, he stressed the effect of increasing interest rates on investors and criticized overpaid CEOs.
The following 10 quotes from Cohen have been minimally altered for length and clarity:
- “I invested in GameStop because I thought it was cheap. I thought the intrinsic value of the business was worth more than the price that I paid
- “Chewy was like a new construction. We built the business from the ground up, and knew the business inside and out.
- “There’s no amount of money that can get the kind of branding that we got.
- “Chewy almost killed me. I didn’t want to put myself in the same position, in terms of just the level of sacrifice that’s required to be the CEO.”
- “My views of the business clearly changed. I was highly critical of the strategy in the letter that I put out.
- “There’s a lot to learn from Carl Icahn. He is the OG activist, and he’s been doing it for a heck of a long time. I have a hybrid approach, I’m ready to go, activist, if the opportunity is right.
- “Higher interest rates are a game changer. It’s changed how we allocate capital at GameStop, and that’s not just GameStop specific, it’s every single business.”
- “Before, you had 0% interest rates so there really was no discount rate, and there really wasn’t much of a difference between long-term cash flows and short-term cash flows.
- “I don’t understand what’s going on in Corporate America. It’s a whole other world. It’s like “Looney Tunes”, it’s some kind of Fantasyland or sick dream. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
- “I think I’m the same as when I was 7, 17, or 27. I’m 37 today, I haven’t really changed.