IRIS International (IRIS)


"IRIS International, Inc. is a leader in in vitro diagnostic urinalysis systems, digital imaging software development, sample collection, sample processing and small benchtop centrifuges and supplies for chemistry, coagulation, cytology, hematology, and urinalysis for the clinical and veterinary markets. The Company operates through its Iris Diagnostics division, and two subsidiaries: Iris Sample Processing (formerly Statspin®) and Advanced Digital Imaging Research, LLC (ADIR)." (company website)

IRIS 3-month stock chart


In October 2006, I bought IRIS, only to get stopped-out just before earnings were released. And a good thing, too, because by the time earnings were released in mid-November, IRIS had fallen another 30%. Since earnings, the stock has been moving back up steadily and was recently given a huge boost by news that the company had received its largest-ever order for its analysis system. It has hovered around the $12.50 level for nearly three weeks, giving back none of the jump.

  • Price momentum (PPO) — went from very negative to very positive
  • Trend (ADX) — strengthening since mid-December
  • Money flow (CMF) — flowing in, although abating somewhat
  • Relative strength (RSI) — very strong
  • Volume — daily volume has been sustained

Based on technical analysis, MarketEdge calls IRIS a "strong buy" in a "strong upward trend."


loss Bottom line

What happened? Yesterday IRIS closed up on nice volume. This morning, for no apparent reason, IRIS tanked.

IRIS 1-day chart

In the minute beginning at 9:57am ET, the price plummeted $1.04 (-8%) on volume of 189,000 shares, the largest volume for any one-minute interval so far today (12:15pm ET) and about 60% of the average daily volume. By 9:59am ET, the price was back above my activation price ($11.75). At the moment it is still down on the day, but only by 1%. I can find no news on MarketWatch, Reuters, or Yahoo Finance. None, neither good nor bad, none.

<BEGIN RANT> This is exactly the kind of thing that has been the bane of my trading existence. If I set stops wide enough to accommodate this kind of event, they are pretty much useless for preventing big losses. If I set them at what I think is a reasonable level, as in the case of IRIS, I get stopped out by a one-off anomaly. As my momma used to say, It's enough to make a preacher cuss.<END RANT>