Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) rose 18% in the first few hours of trading on Thursday, gaining back some market cap lost after Monday evening, when the CEO issued a press release titled "Overstock CEO Comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment."
In the press release, CEO Patrick Byrne confirmed the contents of two articles published by Sara Carter on her website. The articles have the sensational headlines: "Overstock CEO Turned Over Docs To DOJ 'on FBI's Russian and Hillary Clinton Probes'" and "Russia Probe Twist: A Billion Dollar CEO, A Convicted Russian Agent And The FBI."
Byrne wrote in the press release:
Having confirmed Ms. Carter's two articles, I have fulfilled those citizenship obligations of which my Rabbi reminded me. I will speak no more on the subject. Instead, having lived in places lacking Rule of Law and having witnessed the consequences of its absence, I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justice reestablish Rule of Law in our country.
The articles and Byrne's press release fueled a sell-off in Overstock stock, with shares dropping 36% from Monday's close to Wednesday's close. NBC News reported that analyst Tom Forte had written in a research note: "Having read the articles, we see the potential for the situation to have a negative impact on Overstock's operating results, given the controversy around the subject matter. ... [W]e will continue to monitor the situation to see if it does, in fact, impact the company's performance."
Though investors pushed the stock up on Thursday, by 12:30 p.m. EDT, it was still down about 25% from Monday's close.