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Why Impinj Stock Just Popped

By Rich Smith – Sep 29, 2021 at 5:14AM

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One Wall Street analyst just stumbled into a revelation at Walmart.

What happened

Shares of Impinj (PI 1.80%) stock, a maker of radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) and software to track them, jumped 7.7% through 9:57 a.m. EDT Wednesday after investment banker Piper Sandler raised its price target on the stock 25%, to $75 a share.

You can thank Walmart (WMT 1.22%) for that.

Glowing neon Walmart sign

Image source: Walmart.

So what

Walmart, you see, has been rolling out RFID tags on at least some of its merchandise in at least some of its stores, a move that Piper sees as bullish for Impinj's future.

As reports today, visits to "a few local Walmart stores in the southeastern United States" as well as "the Chicagoland area" reveal that RFID tags are starting to pop up in the clothing sections of these stores. This discovery leads Piper to conclude that "another major customer is moving toward a RFID tagging system."

Now what

Now, it's worth pointing out that while Piper discovered RFID tags at Walmart, the analyst didn't say specifically that these were RFID tags manufactured by Impinj. Indeed, in filings with the SEC, Impinj makes no mention of Walmart being a customer. The RFIDs in question might well have come from Zebra Technologies (ZBRA 2.88%) or STMicroelectronics (STM 0.73%) for example -- two of Impinj's biggest rivals in RFID according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.  

Still, if other retailers follow where Walmart appears to be leading, this could in fact be a "tailwind" to Impinj's business -- indeed, to all RFID manufacturers' businesses -- as Piper Sandler suggests.

And as it turns out, shares of Zebra and STMicro are in fact both up today as well. Maybe not up as much as Impinj stock, true -- but definitely heading in the right direction.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Impinj and Zebra Technologies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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