Riot Blockchain Stock Scores Bull Note as Bitcoin Soars

D.A. Davidson initiated coverage of RIOT with a "buy" rating

Assistant Editor
Oct 15, 2021 at 10:29 AM
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The shares of crypto-adjacent stock Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) are popping, last seen up 7.4% at $28.05, after Bitcoin (BTC) surged overnight to reach the $60,000 mark, marking its highest trading level since April. This follows news the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will allow the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

At least one analyst has chimed in so far. Specifically, D.A. Davidson initiated coverage of Riot Blockchain stock with a "buy" rating and a $42 price target. The firm joins an already bullish brokerage bunch, with all four in coverage rating RIOT a "strong buy." What's more, the 12-month consensus price target of $54 is a jaw-dropping 91.1% premium to current levels.

Riot Blockchain stock looks ripe for a short squeeze, too, with short interest rising 8.4% in the most recent reporting period. The 18.19 million shares sold short now account for 22.7% of RIOT's available float. It would take nearly two days to buy back these bearish bets, at the equity's average pace of daily trading.

Options traders have been quick to jump in on today's action. So far, 58,000 calls and 13,000 puts have crossed the tape, or three times the intraday average. The October 28 call is the most popular, followed by 29 call in the same series, with new positions being opened at both. This mean traders expect even more upside for the security by the time these contracts expire at the end of the session.

In the last six months, RIOT has shed roughly 37%, falling below multiple key trendlines as BTC failed to find its footing. And while the shares are trading well below a Feb. 17, 10-year high of $79.50, the stock's most recent pullback was contained by the $24.50 area, as well as the 320-day moving average. Year-to-date, RIOT is up 64.9%.

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