NEP’s Volume: Something to Consider

You can see here that I was bearish on NEP’s price prospects while it experienced a massive parabola. We’ve now seen a 34% drop since the high. I am not sure exactly what will happen on the short term, but I wanted to share an observation that I take as bearish for the continued longer-term prospects for this stock’s price.


Above you can see NEP’s monthly chart. There are two striking features. First, notice that December’s volume was about 27m shares, approximately equal to the company’s entire outstanding stock. Based on the massive breakout, one might argue that because November closed above $5, institutions bought this stock in quantity (the ENTIRE company) which was responsible for the huge rally. So, following this logic, it would be bullish since large players are accumulating this stock.

Well, one month later the picture has flipped 180° in my opinion. January’s volume came in higher than December’s, and the month closed at a lower price than it did in December! What this tells me is that someone (or group) successfully executed a manipulation of this stock to unload a massive position above $5. The up move attracted enough retail/public buyers that the shares could be distributed well above the breakout point at a nice profit.

However, we have not yet seen many high-volume down days. I believe these are yet to come, and may be accompanied with more Form 4 filings. In fact, according the Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, a book which many NEP supporters have fondly quoted, “stocks are manipulated to the highest point possible and then sold to the public on the way down.” (pg. 246). I think this is because the hype created by the run-up creates solid demand to absorb large amounts of shares on the way down, as the dip-buying public steps up to the plate.

If this analysis is correct, it would imply that my thesis for poor returns over the next couple years is supported, because if a large portion of the stock is distributed among many smaller investors, an aggressive up-move will be harder to accomplish.

The Dec-31 institutional holdings report will shed more light on this hypothesis, but in the meantime, I’m curious to hear what others think! Good luck!

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Annalisa said...
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