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Shares of Genius Brands continue rising ahead of the launch of its network brand “Kartoon Channel” later this month.
Shares of a not-so-famous children’s media company have rocketed as much as 2,496% since May 1. Genius Brands International Inc (NASDAQ: GNUS), the company behind animated children shows like “Rainbow Rangers” and “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten”, has seen its market cap explode from $9 million on May 1 to $496 million today. GNUS stock jumped 97% on Tuesday and have doubled since Monday. Yesterday, Genius Brands stock hit $7.93. Today in the pre-market, it is around 10% up and is trading at $8.80. A year ago the shares were going for $1.73.
“Rainbow Rangers” currently airs on Nickelodeon Jr., while Amazon Prime recently bought the rights to “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.” “Superhero Kindergarten” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as “Captain Courage,” and was made in cooperation with Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA).
The company stock price began to jump when it revealed on May 5 that its “Rainbow Rangers” toy made by Mattel Inc (NASDAQ: MAT) would start to sell in Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) stores later in the summer. Since then, the company just kept announcing more and more news that resulted in the skyrocketing stock price.
On May 6, Genius Brands announced its planned mid-June launch of the “Kartoon Channel,” a digital streaming channel that has entire library of animated shows in its ownership. The channel will be viable on streaming platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, etc.
In a shareholder letter CEO Andy Heyward described Kartoon Channel as “a Netflix for kids, except it is free.” He added that there is no subscription fee. “It is fully ad-supported. It is a pure cartoon play, with no ‘natural predators,’ and what one of our board members described as an economic vaccine for COVID-19.”
Phenomenon of Genius Brands (GNUS) Stock
On May 7, Genius Brands announced that it would sell 8 million shares at 35 cents per share to raise $2.8 million. On May 13, Genius Brands announced it raised an additional $5.4 million by attracting stock investors to fuel its growth initiatives.
While the stock keeps increasing, the number of bets about stock being sold off kept rising to its records. The latest Nasdaq data had shown that short interest, or the number of shares bet on a price fall, went up by a record 3.07 million shares, or 4.4% of the shares available for trading (public float), as of May 15.
S3 Partners LLC, which can provide live short interest data, said that short interest has reached 9.47 million shares or around 44.6% of the overall float. The fee to borrow shares so they can be sold short, known as the borrowing fee, was an annualized 86% through Tuesday, but the fee has jumped to the 200% to 350% level in Wednesday morning trading as loan supply has mostly been used up.
He predicts that short-sellers have lost a total of more than $19 million in mark-to-market losses. For the year, shorts have lost about $38 million, he said.