Faraday Future (FFIE) Stock: To the Moon or Straight to Zero?

Stock Market

You could almost feel retail investors celebrating in late May after shares of electric vehicle maker Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (NASDAQ:FFIE) surged from 4 cents to $1.80. The stock briefly became the most researched stock on InvestorPlace.com, and social media sites made it sound as if the only direction FFIE could go was up.

Of course, this simplifies the situation.

Calling Faraday Future an “EV maker” is relatively generous, considering the firm built roughly 15 vehicles last year and sold just four. (It also leased six and has several more as finished goods on its balance sheet). “Early-stage EV startup” is a more fitting term. As for research, most of our InvestorPlace.com writers have consistently warned readers to stay away from the firm for its “high risk and little reward profile.” InvestorPlace contributor Josh Enomoto goes even further, suggesting investors buy puts on the stock.

These warnings have largely gone ignored, given the numerous call options remaining on the stock. The company also continues to be worth over $200 million on public markets.

That’s because there is a grain of truth that Faraday Future might keep going up. Stocks are worth precisely what buyers are willing to pay, and history tells us that meme stocks can often see a “double peak” as latecomers jump in.

The Double Peak

Perhaps the best example of resurging meme stocks is GameStop (NYSE:GME). In March 2021, shares of the videogame retailer spiked a second time after a new wave of speculators joined in. Unlike early investors, these latecomers cared little about the company’s valuation or its underlying business. According to Google Trends, search volumes for “GME” overtook those of “GameStop” by almost a 2-to-1 ratio that month.

In other words, if people were making money on the ticker, why bother knowing anything more about the company?

The results are as you might expect. Shares of GameStop rebounded from a split-adjusted $10 that February to over $66 the following month.

A similar story happened with AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Here’s the same chart with FFIE overlaid onto the popular meme stock. Few traders discussed the cinema chain’s post-Covid-19 recovery during AMC’s second peak. To these brave speculators, the stock became a symbol of an “Ape” movement that would last long after AMC’s 2021 surge.

The Single Peak

Meanwhile, other meme stocks decline without ever catching a second wind. Consider BuzzFeed (NASDAQ:BZFD), which briefly tripled in 2023 after announcing it would use OpenAI tools to help create content…

Or Genius Group (NYSEMKT:GNS), a Singapore-based firm that popularized the idea of investigating naked short sellers after appointing a former FBI director to lead a task force

In both of these cases, the companies themselves were the ones driving headlines. Meme investors never seemed to get as truly committed and quickly forgot about these companies once the news cycle moved on. These meme stocks had far less time in the spotlight… and less sustained momentum as a result.

FFIE Stock: To the Moon or Straight to Zero?

That’s worrying news for Faraday Future, a firm that has seen excitement disappear almost as quickly as it began. Since mid-May, search volumes for “FFIE” have fallen 86%, while “Faraday Future” volumes have yet to pick up.

Social media boards have also lacked significant chatter about super-normal returns. The company has no equivalent of Keith Gill to share screenshots of multimillion-dollar profits. Reddit’s r/FFIE subreddit — a social media forum — turns decidedly negative any day shares go down.

Most worryingly, consumers seem apathetic about Faraday’s cars despite glowing performance reviews. The company has roughly 300 non-binding, fully refundable preorders, which is a rounding error compared to the 10,000 reservation figures that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) once sported. Most people on the street would fail to recognize a photo of a flagship Faraday FF91 SUV.

These issues are compounded by Faraday’s publicity-shy management. In 2022, the company fired its media-savvy co-founder, Jia Yueting, after a scathing short report called him a “securities fraudster.” The company has yet to find a suitable replacement, and Jia has even come back as an unofficial (and unwelcome) spokesperson for the company.

That suggests investors will quickly forget this meme stock’s recent rise and fall. Faraday Future remains too small to have made ripples in the stock market, and the scant amount of cash left on hand suggests the company won’t last much longer as a going concern even if meme investors pump the stock again.

On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.

Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Getting Scammed

On the date of publication, Thomas Yeung did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Thomas Yeung is a market analyst and portfolio manager of the Omnia Portfolio, the highest-tier subscription at InvestorPlace. He is the former editor of Tom Yeung’s Profit & Protection, a free e-letter about investing to profit in good times and protecting gains during the bad.

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