Shares of Quantum-Si (QSI 1.29%) climbed 11.6% on Friday. The stock opened at $3.95 and climbed to $4.41 by 1 p.m. ET, but not before detouring to its 52-week low of $3.785 about an hour after the opening bell. It's a long way from its 52-week high of $22.41, though the stock has only been trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market since June, when it went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
The company specializes in proteomics, the study of the large number of proteins in biological systems. Quantum-Si helps drug companies by using a specialized semiconductor chip to do next-generation protein sequencing of single molecules to help speed drug discovery and analysis beyond the level of DNA sequencing.
The jump in Quantum-Si was seen as a reaction to it hitting its 52-week low. Investors who are bullish on the company's chances saw this as an opportunity to buy on the dip and then piled in, raising the stock's price. There were no big financial moves that led to either the drop or the rise and the company isn't scheduled to release its fourth-quarter report and annual numbers until Feb. 28.
There is the possibility that the whipsaw effect of the stock was a delayed response to the company's announcement on Monday that it was naming Jonathan Rothberg, who has founded several life science companies, as its interim CEO.
The genomics company has big plans for 2022. In the third quarter of last year, it wasn't yet generating revenue and lost $18.1 million. Last year, it sold some of its platforms on an early access basis, but this year, the company said it plans full commercialization of its systems, which include its Platinum single molecule analyzer and its Carbon automated sample preparation instrument. The Platinum is the company's most expensive product, but at $70,000, Quantum-Si says it costs less than most mass spectrometers yet is about the size of a microwave, making it both more affordable and accessible than many current protein and DNA analysis tools.
The key for investors will probably be the company's second-quarter report, when they will have a better idea of how well the launch of the company's products is going. The stock is already a favorite of Cathie Wood's ARK Genomic Revolution ETF, which owns 11.456 million shares of Quantum-Si.