Shares of InfoSpace rocketed more than 6% higher in early trading this morning after the company said that it will sell its mobile services business to privately held Motricity for $135 million in cash. After the deal closes, INSP said it plans to return a considerable piece of the net sale proceeds to shareholders via a special cash distribution.
The shares have been hammered during the past couple of years, dropping from a peak of $57.92 set in mid-November 2004 to today's perch at $19.33. Still, the stock appears to be in the midst of a recovery, rebounding from a multi-year low of $12.56 set in late September. However, while today's rally has done much to further the bullish prospects for the equity, INSP remains capped by former support (now turned resistance) at the round-number 20 level.
Sentiment is some what mixed, with options players betting big on the bullish side. INSP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.39 ranks below 97% of all those taken during the past year, creating some concern that expectations among near-term traders are too high. However, short interest accounts for more than 11% of the stock's total float, and 6 of the 7 analysts covering the shares rate them a hold or worse. This moderately bearish sentiment outlook could prove to be a boon for INSP, if only the stock can once again reclaim support at the 20 level.