What happened

Shares of radio frequency identification solutions expert Impinj (NASDAQ:PI) gained 45.7% in May 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock surged at least 13% higher in a single day on three separate occasions, though all three of these jumps were connected to a solid first-quarter earnings report.

So what

To be clear, Impinj's first quarter didn't exactly blow Wall Street's minds. The company fell just short of analysts consensus estimates across the board, revenue declined 21% year over year, and the year-ago period's positive earnings swung to a bucket of red ink.

Close-up shot of an RFID tag, similar to the tags Impinj sells.

Image source: Getty Images.

But the company sees better times ahead. Management expected sales to start growing again after several quarters of decreases, and the turning point should come before the end of 2018. Impinj's largest clients are reportedly almost ready to start placing new RFID orders again after working through their enormous stockpiles of surplus RFID tags from oversized orders that were placed in 2016 and early 2017.

Now what

Share prices have more than doubled from the all-time lows that were reached in February, but the stock price still needs to nearly triple from here before matching last summer's all-time highs. This roller coaster can be dramatic and it's no surprise to see investors respond to both positive and negative news with sharp, knee-jerk reactions. May provided plenty of that ultra-volatile drama.