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: Nordstrom stock pulls back after rocketing on reported Ryan Cohen stake

Nordstrom Inc.’s stock pulled back before Monday after surging last week following a report that activist investor Ryan Cohen is taking a large stake in the retailer.

The company’s stock, which ended Friday’s session up 24.8%, plunged 10.2% Monday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen was amassing a sizable stake in the upscale department store chain, and was also seeking changes to the company’s board. Cohen was said to be targeting former Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

CEO Mark Tritton, who has served as a Nordstrom

director since April 2020 and is chair of the board’s compensation committee, the paper reported.

Related: Nordstrom Stock Surges 30% on Report Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Has a Stake

Cohen argued that the executive’s former employment at Nordstrom between 2009 and 2016 made him conflicted and unqualified to set compensation. The activist investor and Tritton have a history, with the latter ousted from the Bed Bath & Beyond CEO’s role just months after it emerged that Cohen had a stake in the home goods retailer.

The activist investor’s reported move sparked talk that the retailer could join the list of so-called meme stocks given Cohen’s history with sometime-meme-stock darlings GameStop Corp. 

and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Nordstrom’s stock has risen 6.8% in the last 12 months, outpacing the S&P 500 Index’s

decline of 8.1%.

Ryan Cohen and Nordstrom: Another meme stock in the making?

On Friday a Nordstrom spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that the company was open to hearing from Cohen and other investors. “We will continue to take actions that we believe are in the best interests of the company and our shareholders,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Nordstrom told Bloomberg that “Mr. Cohen hasn’t sought any discussions with us in several years.”

MarketWatch has reached out to Nordstrom with a request for comment.

See Now: What’s next for Bed Bath & Beyond after defaulting on its loans?

Nordstrom has been facing challenges amid a slowdown in sales. Last month Nordstrom slashed its outlook and noted that holiday season sales were “softer than pre-pandemic levels.”

Of 22 analysts surveyed by FactSet, three have a buy rating, 13 have a hold rating and six have an underweight or sell rating for Nordstrom.

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