Stock Watch: Viant’s Surprise Profit Dazzles Investors

Shares of Viant (Nasdaq: VIAN), which offers Internet services for e-commerce businesses, skyrocketed nearly 27 percent, closing up 18-3/4 to 89-1/4 after the company reported a surprising profit for its third quarter. Shares of Viant traded as high as 107-1/8 before pulling back. The volume of more than 1.5 million shares changing hands was nearly 15 times the average daily volume for the thinly traded stock.

For the third quarter, Viant had revenues of $18.8 million and a profit of $1.7 million, or 12 cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of six cents per share. Viant’s quarter was also notable for the fact that it signed up General Motors as a client and received project extensions from both Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sears. On Friday, Goldman Sachs upgraded Viant from market outperform and put the stock on its recommended list, which is the investment firm’s equivalent of a strong buy rating. This isn’t bad at all for a company Goldman Sachs took public at $16 a share in June.

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