While the markets seemed sluggish in its reaction, news that Methes Energies International (MEIL) had reached a deal to supply up to 1 million gallons of biofuel with an unnamed national aggregator and downstream distributor has shares in the company soaring on Friday.
The news initially broke on Thursday after the closing bell, and shares in Methes gapped up about 10 percent to $2.90 a share at the opening bell and continued rising on light volume over the next 20 minutes to $3.15 a share. However, at about 9:50 am ET, almost on cue, the stock started to shoot up on extremely heavy volume.
In a matter of minutes, Methes had cracked $4 a share and, after a brief retreat, the stock surged a second time to hit its intraday high of $4.35 just after 10 am ET. The stock fell off of that peak and appeared to be settling into levels closer to $3.30 apiece headed into the afternoon, but gains still appeared to hold over 25 percent for the day.
The specific reason for the seemingly delayed reaction in the morning is unclear, but with a market cap of just $22.5 million heading into the day, it seems possible that it simply took some time for the stock to register with buyers.
Volume was extremely heavy for a stock with a float of just 8.53 million shares. Over a million shares had moved by 1 pm ET, more than 50 times the stock’s average daily volume of 18,613 by lunch.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to bring our Sombra facility to full current production capacity,” said President Nicholas Ng. “At current prices these new arrangements can add up to $4 million per month to our biodiesel sales. Also, the fact that we can now sell directly to U.S. buyers will make things much easier for us and enhance our ability to attract additional U.S. customers. This might get us to increase capacity in Sombra sooner rather than later."
Methes is surging on the news despite a few relatively bearish technical signals over the last month. The company saw its 20-day SMA cross its 200-day SMA from above on April 9, and the descending 50-day SMA reached the same level as the 200-day SMA as of today.
However, some other factors may be supporting today’s boost. The MACD line crossed its signal line from above in mid-April, but remained right near the signal line over the next week or so and crossed back above it again at the end of April. This could be explained with a look at Methes’ chart, which would show that the stock appeared to hit a rising support line that’s developed early last August and appeared to rally prices again in November. The most-recent slump appeared to push the stock down to this barrier without crossing over it.
Now, it’s possible that traders and investors, turned on to this play by the news release, could have noticed this support level and felt more confident buying in as the stock appeared to have found a bottom. If that’s the case, the day’s spike could be getting an extra boost from that added confidence.