Accelerate Diagnostics is under fire again by notorious and shrewd short-seller Andrew Left, whose firm Citron Research has now reminded investors of its position on the company. The firm tweeted:
— Citron Research (@CitronResearch) January 20, 2016
Comparison with Theranos
Following the tweet, shares of Accelerate Diagnostics plunged by as much as 13.94% to $14.94 in extremely heavy trading. As of 1:33 p.m. Eastern, more than 1 million shares had changed hands; the average daily volume is 363,690 shares.
The reference to Theranos comes on the heels of a string of investigative reports on Theranos (a private company) from The Wall Street Journal, the last of which was published at the end of last month. Regulators already investigated Accelerate Diagnostics last year, and Citron researchers first set their 18-month price target for Accelerate at $1 per share in March 2015.
The Securities and Exchange Commission demanded questions about the company’s technology, and Citron dove into their questions, seizing on the investigation with the headline “AXDX: a Near-Billion Valuation Whose Big Lie was Just Exposed by the SEC.” The firm’s been pretty quiet on the company since then.
Short interest in Accelerate Diagnostics plunges
Interestingly, the in-vitro diagnostics firm’s stock has seen a large decrease in short interest, at least in terms of the number of shares. According to NASDAQ, nearly 5 million shares were sold short as of the end of December, compared to about 8.23 million shares as of Dec. 15.
However, there’s no denying that short interest is still quite high. The number of days to cover climbed from about 18 days to about 22.6 days as the average daily trading volume plunged from 463,400 as of Dec. 15 to 220,383 shares at the end of the month.
Citron attacked Mobileye again
It certainly seems that every one of Citron’s tweets is a market mover, just like activist investor Carl Icahn’s tweets, which previously added billions of dollars to Apple’s market capitalization. Just yesterday, the firm reminded investors of its short thesis on Mobileye, a supplier of sensors for autonomous driving. The company counts Tesla Motors among its customers, although Tesla appears to be working on its own sensor technology to bring this part of the production process in-house.