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TheStreet Open House

Ancestry.com Takes a Tumble

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Ancestry.com (ACOM) fell sharply on heavy volume Tuesday, making a convincing break below key technical levels.

The move comes after the latest short interest data showed a spike in investors betting the stock is headed for a fall.

Bloomberg highlighted the increase in an article published late Monday, including the company on a list of stocks seeing the biggest percentage boosts in short interest vs. the public float as of Aug. 31. Ancestry.com saw the percentage of its public float held short swell by 3.9% to 25.54% from 21.67% as of Aug. 15.

According to data on Nasdaq.com, the number of Ancestry.com shares held short increased 17% to 6.03 million as of Aug. 31 from 5.1 million two weeks before. That rise follows a 33% jump over the previous two-week period spanning the start of August.



After spending most of the session down more than 10%, the stock was recently off 7% at $28.20 with 3.69 million shares changing hands, more than three times the issue's trailing three-month average daily volume of 1.07 million. The drop has the shares on track to close below $30 for the first time since Aug. 19, while a finish below $28 would be the stock's first since Dec. 29. At current levels, the shares have pulled back roughly 40% since hitting a 52-week high of $45.79 on April 29 and Tuesday's decline is building on a 5% drop in Monday's session.

The selloff also pushes the stock well below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $33.10 and $36.16 respectively. At the session low of $26.91, the shares were 18.7% and 25.6% below those key technical levels, indicative of a dramatic breakdown in support.

The only news specific to the company Tuesday was its selection of Duncan/Channon to craft a new advertising campaign for the Provo, Utah-based online family history research company. The campaign is anticipated to launch in the fourth quarter, and will include "TV, digital and print, that will evolve the brand's image and expand its presence in the U.S.," the press release said.

Ancestry.com shares have been languishing since the company reported its fiscal second-quarter results on July 28. The stock closed the prior day at $40.18, but despite the company handily beating Wall Street's profit view, it tumbled 11% to $35.61 the next day. The quarterly report showed slowing sequential growth in subscribers with gross additions falling to 322,000 from 425,000 in the first quarter, and the monthly churn rate increasing to 4.6% from 3.7% in the first quarter.

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