Small-Cap Tech Stock Jumps on Walmart Deal

Digimarc claims to be the "barcode of everything"

by Josh Selway

Published on May 2, 2019 at 3:12 PM

The Dow is down today as stocks slip following Wednesday's Fed decision to hold rates steady. Three names making big moves on the charts today are hospice services provider Amedisys Inc (NASDAQ:AMED), Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), and item identifying expert Digimarc (NASDAQ:DMRC). While the shares of the former two names are trading in the red, DMRC is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today.

Citron Note Timely for AMED Put Buyers

Amedisys stock has pared sharp intraday losses to trade near breakeven at $119.89. The healthcare company was hit by a short seller report out of Citron Research, predicting the shares will fall all the way to $50 over the next year and a half. Before this bit of research hit the Street, the equity had actually received two bullish analyst notes since yesterday's close, namely an upgrade to "outperform" at Raymond James, and a price-target hike to $150 at Jefferies.

This only extends a multi-month sideways trend where AMED shares have bounced between the $110 and $130 levels. At its current price, the security is trading in line with its 200-day moving average, and sports an almost 81% year-over-year lead. Interestingly, there was an unusual uptick in put buying in the prior days, with the 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) spiking to an annual high of 10.29.

Pittsburgh Bet Sends United States Steel to New Low

X shares are trading down 6.1% at $14.39, and earlier hit an almost three-year low of $14.16, after the company said it'll invest $1 billion to upgrade its facilities in Pittsburgh. The stock is now heading into today's post-close earnings release with a nearly 56% year-over-year deficit, and short interest has been on the rise. In just the last two reporting periods, the number of shares sold short increased by 56.5%. Looking back, U.S. Steel stock fell 14.1% the day after last year's first-quarter earnings release.

DMRC Skyrockets to Fresh High

DMRC stock is spiking today on news the company is doing business with Walmart (WMT) to tighten up the retailer's fresh food business. At last check, Digimarc's stock was up 43.1% at $47.37, and it earlier hit an all-time high of $50.80. Coming into 2019, the shares were trading below $15. The Walmart news may drive more Wall Street analysts in the tech company's direction, since right now there are only two brokerages in coverage.

At the very least, Craig-Hallum is adjusting its position, this morning upgrading its opinion to "buy" from "hold" and lifting its price target to $42 from $28. Digimarc also reported earnings after the close last evening, revealing stronger-than-anticipated sales for the first quarter.


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