Struggling online retailer turned blockchain play Overstock.com (OSTK) - Get Overstock.com, Inc. Report rallied 9.8% Monday on a combination of strong bitcoin prices and a bounce from its recent sell-off of nearly 70%.
OSTK added $1 to close at $11.22, recouping some of the steep losses that it's seen since hitting a $29.75 near-term intraday peak on Sept. 13. The stock has since dropped to as low as $9.30 intraday on Oct. 2 -- a 68.7% peak-to-trough decline.
"You have a very volatile stock that has had recent peaks and valleys," said analyst Tom Forte of D.A. Davidson. "Investors are trying to determine what the [company's] assets are worth and the stock is starting to rebound."
Overstock has been swinging wildly since August, when then-CEO Patrick Byrne issued a bizarre press release about his alleged involvement with "Men in Black" and alleged political conspiracies.
"Starting in 2015 I (operating under the belief that I was helping legitimate law enforcement efforts) assisted in what are now known as the 'Clinton Investigation' and the 'Russian Investigation,'" he wrote. "It was the third time in my life I helped the Men in Black: the first was when my friend Brian Williams was murdered, and the second was when I helped the M.I.B. shake up Wall Street a decade ago. Unfortunately, this third time turned out to be less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz)."
The strange remarks sent OSTK shares plunging, but the stock rallied after Byrne resigned a few days later.
Forte said the stock has also been volatile over its plan to issue stockholders a "digital dividend" of special Overstock shares that would trade on the tZero exchange, a security-token platform that OSTK owns.
Although best known as an e-commerce site, Overstock has been building a large portfolio of investments in blockchain companies like tZero. As a result, the stock has partly traded in lockstep with bitcoin, which rose some 4.5% Monday to $8,226.04 shortly after 6:30 p.m. ET.
Forte -- who has a "buy" rating on the stock and a $48 price target -- said bitcoin's gains and the growing passage of time since Byrne's resignation fueled Monday's rally for Overstock shares.
"Now that the dust has settled a little, the company has more distance from the former CEO and people are starting to reassess the story here on its merits," he said.
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