Deep Brain Stimulation Gives Traders a Tingle (MRIC)

A professor in Grenoble, France, became the first person in Europe to use the Clearpoint Neuro Intervention System to assist with the implantation of deep brain stimulation leads in two patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The device is the brainchild of MRI Interventions (OTC: MRIC) and Brainlab AG. Deep brain stimulation is best described as a pacemaker that suppresses symptoms associated with certain neurological disorders. The Clearpoint System gives a surgeon the ability to see the neurological targets and surgical devices inside the brain in real time, which was not possible before the development of the Clearpoint System.

The news appeared to have soothed the nerves of jittery buyers looking for MRI Intervention shares. On the opening bell, the stock gapped up 26 cents from the closing price on Tuesday to begin the trading session at $2.27. The first 30 minutes of trading saw the stock swing in a range from $2.35 to the low for the day at $2.06. Buyers regained their footing and pushed share prices to an intraday high of $2.45 before traders unpacked their lunches. After drifting for the remainder of the day on declining volume, the stock ended the session with a gain of 19% to finish at $2.40. Over 211,000 shares exchanged hands during the trading, or about five times the average daily volume. Today also marked the heaviest volume to date for the stock.

Traders have actively traded shares of MRI Intervention since the end of May where the stock established its annual low so far at $0.74. By the Fourth of July, the stock had leaped nearly 600% to a high of $5.00.

On July 5, 2012, the company announced a $6 million financing deal executed through a private placement where 5.45 million units sold for $1.10 per unit. A unit consists of one share of common stock plus one warrant equal to .5 shares of common stock. The warrants have a five-year expiration period and an exercise price of $1.45 per share. Traders must have taken to heart the adage “Buy on the rumor and sell on the fact.” By the end of July, share prices had fallen over 60% from their peak. Over the last seven weeks,  share prices have remained fairly flat. Tonight traders will wonder if the positive gap opening plus the heavy volume on the day signals a sustained rally for share prices in the near future.

In the last two weeks, the executives of MRI Interventions have been busy presenting their company to investment conferences. Today they are scheduled to appear before the UBS Global life Sciences Conference, and last week the executives pitched the company at the Rodman and Renshaw Annual Global Conference

A check of recent promotional activity for the stock shows only one made in June, which can be viewed on @RyanNinz has made the only two comments concerning the stock on Twitter.

MRI Interventions focuses of the development and commercialization of platforms used to perform minimally invasive surgeries. Its Clearpoint System is designed for procedures involving the brain. The Memphis, Tennessee, company was founded in 1998.

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Published by Alan Masterson

Alan has over 25 years of trading experience in the U.S. equity markets. He began his career in finance working on a program trading desk specializing in over-the-counter stocks. His career progressed from that point to his current position as senior trader on an institutional trading desk. In the evenings, Alan teaches economics at a local community college. He has contributed articles to various publications over the last six years, including feature articles for an economics magazine and various financial blogs. You may contact Alan via his email ( or his Google+ page (