The stock of MicroStrategy Inc. jumped 33 percent, to $193.87 1/2 a share, yesterday after the Vienna data-mining company announced a new partnership and a high-technology stock watcher predicted the share price would hit $228.
The latest leap by the highflying stock--which was selling for $23 a share in June--came in two steps that kicked trading volume to 720,000 shares, three times the average daily volume.
MicroStrategy stock surged about $27 a share in the morning, from $146 to $173, after the company announced a venture with Net Perceptions Inc. to help online merchants dig up data on their customers.
It jumped an additional $20 late in the day after Barrington Research Associates Inc., a Chicago boutique specializing in tech stocks, issued a one-paragraph research report repeating its "buy" rating and setting a new target price for the stock of $228 a share.
Barrington analyst Frank Sparcino said he set the target price at 25 times MicroStrategy's estimated revenue next year of $414 million. At yesterday's closing price, the stock is selling for almost 400 times the 49-cents-a-share profit that Sparcino projects the company will make next year.
MicroStrategy and its founder, Michael Saylor, have become one of the Washington region's highest profile companies in recent weeks. Saylor made the cover of Fortune magazine a month ago and was interviewed on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" on Nov. 28.
The CBS show focused on how companies are building detailed profiles of their customers, using the data-mining techniques for which MicroStrategy is known. Saylor, who has his own media coach, calmly sailed through questions about possible invasions of customers' privacy.
MicroStrategy stock jumped about $15 a share the next day.
Saylor owns about 59 percent of MicroStrategy's voting stock--22.5 million shares--worth about $4.3 billion. This spring, when the stock was at $15.50 a share, his holdings were worth less than $350 million.