January 17, 2018, 11:53

Seagate, Western Union Surge on Speculation of Stakes in Ripple

Seagate, Western Union Surge on Speculation of Stakes in Ripple

First it was Western Union Co. investors who got ripple fever. Now its stockholders of Seagate Technology Plc who are cashing in on speculation that the firm has ties to one of the hottest digital coins.

Shares of Seagate, the largest maker of computer drives, are surging after a little-followed blog contributor suggested the company may have a stake in Ripple, the company behind the third-most-valuable cryptocurrency. The stock’s rally comes just days after Western Union was the subject of similar Internet conjecture.

“Seagate may own over 4% of Ripple,” wrote ValueStreet Research, a Seeking Alpha contributor with fewer than 100 followers, in a post Monday. “If Seagate still has its Ripple investment, it could plausibly be worth $7.8B, two-thirds of its market cap.”

Shares of Seagate rose 6.4 percent to $45.71 at 2:06 p.m. Monday in New York, after gaining as much as 16 percent. The stock reached its highest level since May 2015.

The tech firm invested in two of Ripple’s fundraising rounds, according to statements on the cryptocurrency company’s website, though it’s unclear whether it still has a stake. A Seagate spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

“We do not view this as a material upside driver given that it is an equity investment (not token ownership) and as such, is not a liquid source of cash,” said Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Mehdi Hosseini in a note to clients.

Western Union climbed as much as 7.8 percent to $22.21 Monday. The shares jumped 5.9 percent Friday, when a website called Ripple News reported an unconfirmed connection between the money-transfer firm and ripple.

“Breaking: Western Union in talks with Ripple to adopt XRP this year,” said Ripple News, whose website was suspended earlier but is now back online, in a tweet Friday. The account sent its first tweet on Jan. 4. A Western Union spokesman declined to comment.

The value of one ripple token has skyrocketed from 0.006 cents to $2.48 in the past year, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

— With assistance by Will Daley

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