Shares of CleanSpark (CLSK -3.42%) spiked higher on Thursday without a clear catalyst. While CleanSpark CEO Zach Bradford gave a fireside chat today, the stock had been rising well before the presentation started. Whatever the exact reason for today's spike, the stock was up a whopping 26% as of 3:45 p.m. EST.
The fact that Bradford was making a public presentation may have been enough to give this stock a boost. Consider that the company has been targeted by short-sellers in recent weeks, alleging fraudulent reports from CleanSpark. Furthermore, the stock fell further when the company reported quarterly results that didn't live up to Wall Street's expectations.
After the market closed yesterday, CleanSpark announced Bradford's participation in the Water Tower Research Fireside Chat Series. A public appearance may have calmed investor fears regarding the short reports. And the press release said Bradford would be giving a positive outlook for 2021, further giving investors reason to be optimistic.
Sometimes short-sellers are right; sometimes they're wrong. And sometimes management teams hit their optimistic outlooks, but sometimes they fall short. Therefore, when a research firm issues a report or management teams give guidance, it can move the stock in the short term. But over the long term, shareholder returns will correlate more with business results.
CleanSpark is a very small business -- in its most recent quarter, it generated a meager $2.3 million in revenue. With a market capitalization around $940 million, this is a very expensive stock. Furthermore, its Bitcoin mining business will likely account for the lion's share of revenue in the coming year. However, many of the factors that affect Bitcoin mining (the price of Bitcoin, the total hash rate of the network, etc.) are outside of the company's control.
CleanSpark stock is rewarding shareholders today. But given its lofty stock valuation, the size of its business, and the things outside of its control, this is a risky long-term investment today in my opinion.