Home Stocks The Bursting Of The Bankruptcy Bubble

The Bursting Of The Bankruptcy Bubble

When you purchase through our sponsored links, we may earn a commission. By using this website you agree to our T&Cs.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the bursting of the bankruptcy bubble; individuals roll the dice on stocks as veterans fret; ‘Floating petri dishes’ – why I’m bearish on the cruise lines.

Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The Bursting Of The Bankruptcy Bubble

1) In Tuesday's e-mail, I wrote:

The bubble over the past week in bankrupt (or near-bankrupt) stocks may be the craziest thing I've seen since the Internet bubble.

Take a look at the gains in these stocks yesterday:

• Extraction Oil & Gas (XOG): 248%

• Chesapeake Energy (CHK): 182%

• Noble (NE): 161%

• Whiting Petroleum (WLL): 152%

• Valaris (VAL): 135%

• Hertz Global (HTZ): 115%

• J. C. Penney (JCPNQ): 96%

• RTW Retailwinds (RTW): 74%

Every one of these stocks isn't just likely to decline... they're all ZEROS!

This insanity is being driven by individual investors day trading and speculating like crazy...

It saddens me to see this because while this bubble, so far anyway, remains microscopic in size, it's still a few billion dollars that these investors are sure to lose – and, I suspect, these are losses these folks can't afford during these tough times...

This bubble is bursting as quickly as it inflated, as these stocks are down an average of 49% over the past two days (and are mostly down big again today):

  • Extraction Oil & Gas (XOG): -49%
  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK): -76%
  • Noble (NE): -44%
  • Whiting Petroleum (WLL): -52%
  • Valaris (VAL): -46%
  • Hertz Global (HTZ): -54%
  • J. C. Penney (JCPNQ): -52%
  • RTW Retailwinds (RTW): -21%

Don't be tempted to bottom-fish here – as I wrote on Tuesday, these stocks are all ZEROS!

Individuals Roll the Dice on Stocks as Veterans Fret

2) To better understand what's going on here, see this story from the front page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal: Individuals Roll the Dice on Stocks as Veterans Fret.

Don't get sucked into this foolishness! Remember: the surest way to get poor quickly is to try to get rich quickly...

Floating Petri Dishes

3) I think Las Vegas will definitely recover from the coronavirus crisis, and movie theaters probably as well.

But I'm not so sure about cruise ship operators like Carnival (CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH), whose mega-ships make up 70% of the industry's total.

Cruises have been hit hard by numerous investigations, lawsuits, and stories like this one in the Washington Post: The pandemic at sea.

This story in yesterday's Financial Times captures the situation today: 'Floating Petri dishes': The 2020s were meant to be a boom decade for cruises – then COVID-19 hit them like a tidal wave.

The stocks of the big three might look cheap because they're still down more than 50% from the pre-pandemic highs. But they've roughly tripled from their lows and, in light of the many unknowns, I'd avoid them here...

Best regards,


Our Editorial Standards

At ValueWalk, we’re committed to providing accurate, research-backed information. Our editors go above and beyond to ensure our content is trustworthy and transparent.

Jacob Wolinsky

Want Financial Guidance Sent Straight to You?

  • Pop your email in the box, and you'll receive bi-weekly emails from ValueWalk.
  • We never send spam — only the latest financial news and guides to help you take charge of your financial future.