Wall Street saw its recent surge slow down on Thursday, but the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) didn't need a break. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Nasdaq was up another 0.4%, gaining more positive momentum as investors hope for another run at record highs from the popular index.

In order to reach all-time highs, the Nasdaq will have to count on some of its biggest stocks, especially the best-known top technology companies in the world. However, contributions from other stocks that many investors often ignore will also be helpful. Today, a couple of Nasdaq stocks that many people don't think about too much enjoyed some big gains, and their rises have investors taking a closer look at their prospects in the months and years to come.

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Walking on air

One big performer was Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX), which picked up 6% Thursday morning. The shoemaker is back in style, and that showed in its second-quarter financial report.

Crocs posted an absolutely monumental rise in its total sales, with revenue soaring 93% from year-ago levels. Sales of $641 million were a record for the company, and they were up nearly 80% from the same period two years ago, proving that the rise wasn't merely a pandemic-related aberration. Adjusted earnings more than doubled year over year to $2.23 per share, dramatically outpacing what most investors were expecting to see.

Just about all of Crocs' distribution channels worked well. Geographically, the Americas led the way higher with sales soaring more than 135%, but gains were solid in the Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa segments. Direct-to-consumer sales were up 79% year over year, but wholesale distribution more than doubled as well.

Crocs now expects full-year revenue in 2021 to jump 60% to 65%. That explains a lot of the 650% rise in the stock price since early 2020, and it leaves room for a lot more growth down the road as well.

Making a connection

Meanwhile, shares of Veritone (NASDAQ:VERI) rose almost 9%. The artificial intelligence (AI) operating system specialist made a strategic move that has investors excited about the company's prospects going forward.

Veritone announced that it will acquire PandoLogic for $150 million in cash and stock. PandoLogic provides employers with AI-powered tools that help them make smarter hiring decisions, using predictive algorithms and machine learning to recruit talent autonomously and then help bring top people on board. Veritone sees the move as enhancing the already extensive capabilities of its software-as-a-service platform, with Veritone CEO Chad Steelberg terming it a "transformative acquisition" that will accelerate adoption of AI in human resources.

Of the $150 million, $85 million will go to PandoLogic up front, including $50 million in cash and $35 million in Veritone stock. The remaining $65 million is contingent on earnout provisions that will depend on PandoLogic's financial performance during the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. The bulk of any earnouts paid will be in the form of restricted stock.

Veritone has worked hard to integrate AI into a wide range of different applications, and so the PandoLogic move is just one way in which the company is trying to implement its broader strategic vision. Nevertheless, the more Veritone can show its prowess in AI, the better it will be able to convince future customers and partners of the value of its services.

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