SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) reported strong earnings, rallied on the results and then … plunged lower? Yep, that’s pretty much the situation right now for SOFI stock.
From mid-August to the second week of November, SoFi rallied 82%.
Amid that run, the stock gave bulls eight weekly gains in a 12-week stretch. The rally wasn’t overdone and while shares underwent a big upside move, the fact that the stock was “only” up two-thirds of the time suggested more upside could have been in store.
I say “only” a bit tongue-in-cheek, because up eight out of 12 weeks isn’t bad. But it’s not uncommon to see a stock rally in 11 in 12 or even 12 out of 12 weeks when it goes on a 50%-plus rally.
So to see SoFi stock have a relatively controlled rally followed by a collapse lower, it makes me ask, “What went wrong?”
Believing in SoFi
I got bullish on SoFi stock earlier this year and said it was a buy near $15.
When it cracked below $15 — bottoming at $13.94 — I reiterated my long stance, given the company’s long-term potential for growth.
At the recent low, shares were down about 30% from the high two weeks prior. That seems like overkill to me, particularly when shares rallied 12.5% on earnings.
I stand behind the bullish catalysts I did before and the company’s recent top- and bottom-line beat only adds to that longer-term conviction.
I won’t rehash the old catalysts, but they can be found here for those that are interested. Instead, let’s look at why the stock is down.
What’s Hurting SOFI Stock?
There’s a funny thing going on and I don’t think it’s really that pertinent to SoFi’s business. Actually, it’s not pertinent at all, although both bearish catalysts are related to the stock price.
- Selling pressure in fintech
- Insider selling/secondary sales
Pull up a chart of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL).
The stock was under pressure and then began to collapse following reports that the company was sniffing around Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) for a potential acquisition. When PayPal cleared its name from that deal, the stock temporarily popped before sellers took it lower again.
PayPal’s under siege, but so are all fintech and payment-platform stocks. Visa (NYSE:V), MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Square (NYSE:SQ) are also under significant pressure. All of these stocks began breaking down weeks or months before SoFi stock.
In fact, SoFi was making multi-month highs at a time where most of these stocks were at or near multi-month lows. The relative outperformance was impressive, but SoFi stock could only hold up for so long amid the industry-wide selling pressure.
Then insiders started selling.
They did so with a secondary offering of 50 million shares where the company did not receive any proceeds from the sale. Chamath Palihapitiya’s company cut its stake by 15%, while SoftBank reduced its stake by about 20% (although it still owns more than 95 million shares).
The bottom line is simple to me: Insider selling combined with industry-wide weakness has caused selling pressure in SoFi stock. That doesn’t change the fundamentals of the company, which is why I remain bullish on the long term.
Trading SoFi’s Chart
SoFi stock performed well in September and October but was struggling with downtrend resistance (blue line). In November, shares broke out over resistance and even pulled back to this level and found it as support.
The stock popped on earnings, but it failed right at the range resistance level we were watching and has now faded considerably. Since that earnings rally, shares have fallen in eight out of ten sessions.
However, SoFi stock is trying to find its footing at the 200-day moving average and the 61.8% retracement. I wouldn’t say this is a “make or break” level necessarily, but it’s pretty important from a technical perspective.
On the downside, watch last week’s low at $17.35. A break of this level that isn’t reclaimed could put $16 or lower in play.
On the upside, I’d love to see a move back above the 50-day moving average and the $20 mark. That could eventually put $24 to $25 back on the table, but it will likely take some time.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held a long position in SOFI and PYPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.