Shares of AMTD Digital (HKD 0.55%) are down by 23% as of as of 1:56 p.m. ET Friday, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, although they're still up to the tune of 69% for the week. The relatively young stock is proving particularly volatile this week, with its trading even being halted a handful of times in an effort to curb some of that erratic action.
The odd part? Nobody can figure out exactly what catapulted this stock on Wednesday.
First and foremost, know that the numbers you're seeing right now may differ from the weekly gain and daily loss cited above. As was noted, this ticker is unusually volatile at this time. It would be surprising if it settled down any heading into the weekend.
Second, know that all of this stock's gain took shape on Wednesday with a high-volume surge that's yet to be explained.
The company's backstory, however, doesn't make this week's move completely surprising.
Hong Kong-based AMTD Digital is a "one-stop digital solutions platform [that] operates four main business lines including digital financial services, SpiderNet ecosystem solutions, digital media, content and marketing" It's also the "fusion reactor at the core of the AMTD SpiderNet ecosystem," which in simplest terms connects entrepreneurs with potential partners. It's still not entirely clear how the company -- which only went public in July -- makes money. The company did report in late August, however, a 17% increase in profits for its fiscal year ending in April on revenue of roughly $25 million, which is essentially even with fiscal 2021's top line. For perspective, the company's current market cap stands near $22 billion.
The rest of the story? AMTD Digital's circumstances lend themselves to this sort of volatility.
AMTD Digital is an offshoot of AMTD Idea Group (AMTD 0.90%), which is a subsidiary of yet another company called AMTD Group. AMTD Idea also owns the vast majority (97%) AMTD Digital stock; the ownership structure obfuscates control of the company. At the same time, AMTD Digital's chairman Calvin Choi and AMTD Group itself have also been the subject of recent investigations performed by Hong Kong securities regulators. Although such a situation doesn't inherently spur volatility of an affiliated stock, it certainly sets the stage for it.
There's clearly more to the story here, and these details should surface sooner or later, perhaps explaining this week's short-lived surge.
Even without all of these additional details, though, veteran investors can rightly sense something's far from being "right" about sudden buying interest in a stock that's moved little in weeks since peeling back from its post-IPO rally. There should be some explanation by now, even if the explanation is simply that a group of retail traders used internet bulletin boards to coordinate a buying effort.
Given the lack of transparency as to true control of the company, the lack of explanation behind Wednesday's gain, and the regulatory interest in the organization's parent and leadership, AMTD Digital is clearly a name to steer clear of altogether.