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Monday proved to be a ho-hum day for the broad markets, with not much excitements as the major markers trading slightly in the red for the duration of trading.  There were, however, some stocks on the move making noise while a few nice volume plays were worth noting because, as they say, many times volume precedes price...

Premier Alliance Group (PIMO) was a stock to watch last week as trading volume started to pick up, and that volume boost carried into the new trading week, too, as PIMO shares traded on well more than triple the daily average to open the new trading week.  As previously discussed, Premier has been growing its customer base over the past few years and increasing its revenues and earnings, as well, all while completing some key acquisitions and mergers that have thrust the company into the heart of one of the most rapidly growing sectors - energy efficiency and devising methods and programs to maximize that efficiency.

Premier's GreenHouse division is positioned to accomplish such tasks and has secured multiple contracts to assist companies and communities in maximizing the benefits of Southern California Edison's (SCE) Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) program.  GreenHouse has also landed a key deal with the Department of Defense to conduct energy audits of two large bases in California, a deal that is believed to be the first of its kind on such a large scale with the DOD.

Geopolitics and increased regulation from Washington puts the spotlight directly on Premier's GreenHouse division, but the rest of the company's core services have also been growing in demand, evidenced by a recent presentation highlighting big players such as Exxon Mobile (XOM), Coca-Cola (KO), (AIG) and Bank of America (BAC) as clients.

With a customer base that includes the DOD and many blue chip companies, and with demonstrated revenue growth to go along with expanded services and a solid cushion of cash in the bank, it might be expected that increased volume could continue to trickle into PIMO trading sessions.

Monday's session again supported that theory with just about four times the daily volume of shares trading hands.

The momentum of Amazon's (AMZN) huge price and volume moves of late last week carried into the new trading week, too, albeit on a more modest scale.  Impressive first quarter earnings numbers propelled AMZN shares fifteen percent higher on Friday - a move that was supported by nearly four times the daily trading volume - and that encouraging mood led to a two percent spike on Monday on above-average volume.

Numerous analysts have jumped on board AMZN with upgrades and increased price targets, making the recent volume boost looking like a solid foundation of support being built rather than traders moving in for the quick flip. 

This will still be a story to watch, however, with Microsoft (MSFT) making a savvy move into Amazon's comfort zone by teaming up with Barnes & Noble (BKS) to boost the Nook business.

On the note of volume, the Microsoft news sparked volume of roughly twenty times what the Barnes & Noble stock usually sees.  That huge boost supported a BKS move of over fifty percent for the day.

Ebooks are increasingly being recognized as the wave of the future, and Microsoft just jumped in head first.

Although losing much of their early gains for the day by the closing bell on Monday, shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) traded on increased volume for the duration of the trading session.  The early price boost also put SGYP on the stock watch list for the day, but it's the volume boost that may be more intriguing, given the momentum built during last week's trading.

With more than ten times the average amount of shares trading hands, strong positions look to have been taken in this company as positive analyst coverage, buyout potential and a setback for the company's chief competitor have all factored into the company's huge growth potential moving forward.

Where there's growth potential, there's also growing volume, as we've seen over the past couple of weeks with SGYP.

Also of note, volume has died down after recent hype with Human Genome Sciences (HGSI), Dendreon (DNDN) and Keryx Pharmaceuticals (KERX).  All still may have encouraging stories developing or significant catalysts pending and the die-down in volume may provide an opportunity for investors to catch their breaths and take a fresh look at each company.

Happy trading...

Disclosure: Long PIMO, SGYP, may initiate a position in MSFT within the next 72 hours. VFC's Stock House has been compensated by a third party, The ProActive Network, to provide research and coverage of Premier Alliance Group (PIMO.OB) for a period of thirty days beginning on 16 April. The goal of VFC's Stock House is to bring new ideas, companies and discussions to investors and readers. With respect to the increased amount of time necessary to maintain quality, VFC's Stock House is at times compensated from third parties to research and cover certain companies that fit the profile of what interests the readers of VFC's Stock House. While taking compensation poses as an inherent perception of bias in coverage, the ultimate goal is to bring ideas and information to the eyes of readers, who can then decide what is and what is not relevant.

Contact VFC's Stock House: vfc@vfcsstockhouse.com

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