One of Middle Tennessee’s newest public companies has become one of investing’s newest meme stocks.
Shares of Clover Health on Tuesday rocketed up 86 percent Tuesday after rising 32 percent to begin the week on the back of buzz on Reddit’s WallStreetBets message board and high short interest. MarketWatch reported that social media comments about Clover — which markets itself as a tech-enabled Medicare Advantage insurance company and formally moved its headquarters to Cool Springs from Silicon Valley in January — were up more than 2,000 percent from their normal levels.
That cocktail led to massive trading volumes: Clover has about 148 million shares outstanding but 125 million shares changed hands Monday and a whopping 726 million shares traded Tuesday. That action was part of a broader meme stock wave that also includes Wendy’s and GEO Group, a prison operator and CoreCivic’s biggest competitor.
Things have (somewhat) settled down Wednesday. Around 12:45 p.m., Clover shares (Ticker: CLOV) were down about 13 percent — albeit again on massive volume of 300 million shares with more than two hours of trading remaining — to $19.24. That was still more than double the price at which they ended last week and up about 30 percent from the January level at which they began life as a public company after Clover merged into a special purpose acquisition company backed by noted investor Chamath Palihapitiya.
Clover officials on Wednesday issued a press release touting its plans to grow its in-home program and saying it has signed up two organizations as partners in home care management.