What happened

Shares of Veritone (NASDAQ:VERI) fell 23.5% in January of 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. One large shareholder appeared to exit the stock -- or at least lighten its position greatly -- in a single day, crushing the artificial intelligence specialist's share prices.

So what

The month was quiet until the very end. On Jan. 31, Veritone opened the day just a couple of percentage points below the S&P 500. Then, a few hours of heavy trading volume took Veritone's stock 23% lower before the closing bell. There was no obvious reason for the sell-off, but Bloomberg found a single enormous block of shares being offered for sale, indicating the presence of a single very large seller.

Red charting arrow crashing down through the floor in front of a dark-suited businessman.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Veritone entered the public markets in May 2017, and it looks like investors are still getting their bearings on this newfangled business and stock. In less than 10 months' time, share prices have swung from $13 to $8, back up to a hair-raising $75 per share -- and here we are again, back down to roughly $15 per share. The stock has plunged and surged by turns, showing no signs of long-term stability.

This is not a stock to own if you dislike the flavor of antacids. I'm quite content to watch this roller coaster from the sidelines.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.