Stock Watch: Viant Falls After Coverage

The quiet period for newly public Viant (Nasdaq: VIAN), an Internet services company that offers e-commerce consulting, has just ended, and two of the company’s underwiters initiated coverage of the company on Tuesday. Lead underwriter Goldman Sachs gave Viant a market outperform rating, while Credit Suisse First Boston started coverage with a buy rating and a $45 price target.

These might seem like encouraging signs for Viant investors, but remember that underwriters are notorious for overly positive comments on the stocks they’ve taken public. Shares of Viant fell 5-3/4 to 32-1/4 after the coverage was initiated, but the stock has had a nice rise since going public at $16. It’s also in one of the hottest Internet businesses, and it seems like a company with a lot of potential.

Viant is a stock that isn’t heavily traded, so it doesn’t take a lot of volume to drastically move the stock. Just 318,500 shares of the stock changed hands Tuesday. All things considered, Tuesday’s sell off seems like a little bit much. Shares of Viant were up 2-5/8 to 34-7/8 in early trading today.

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