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Strategist Called GameStop a Top Buy Idea Before the Short Squeeze. Here's Where He Stands Now

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One strategist called GameStop a top 2021 buy idea at the beginning of the year.

Since then, the stock has surged nearly 600% as Reddit traders targeted the name for its high short interest, setting off a scramble where short sellers had to cover their positions that then propelled the shares even higher.

Now, Andrew Smith, chief investment strategist at Delos Capital Advisors, is taking a second look at the stock after its dizzying climb.

"It was a very interesting round trip trade there. We're pretty sanguine about what was happening, pretty excited on the events unfolding," Smith told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday.

When he made the call on Jan. 5, Smith said the company's transition into the digital space, new console refreshes including the PS5 and another round of stimulus checks supported the fundamental bull case for GameStop shares. High short interest was also a factor that made him bullish.

He said Monday that those fundamental tail winds remain in place but the high short interest was the "nitro that really lifted this stock higher."

GameStop's surge to a record high above $483 a share last week, six times its previous 2007 record, did push Smith to close out his position. He reduced and then eliminated holdings in the third week of January.

"It was just a name we wanted to mitigate the risk on, and also just knowing that the current pricing reflects more the market dynamics rather than the intrinsic value," Smith said. "The fundamental thesis remains but obviously the price got out of whack and we still expect that intrinsic value from $20 to $30."

GameStop shares have fallen more than 60% this week. The stock is still roughly 4,500% off its April low.

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