Four Enviva Insiders Buy Stock As A Vote Of Confidence Against Blue Orca’s Short Seller Attack

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Discusses the short seller news and the insider purchases with a background on the company

Four insiders of the world’s largest wood pellet producer, Enviva Inc (NYSE:EVA) on Thursday after the market reported to the SEC that they had purchased EVA shares on Wednesday during the day as the stock fell significantly from a short seller attack from Blue Orca Capital.

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The transactions were first spotted on Fintel's insider trading transaction report later on Thursday evening.

Enviva Insiders Buy Stock

The insiders included CEO and Chairman John Keppler who purchased 4,943 units at $50.65 worth about $250,000. Following the purchase, Keppler owns 724,541 units and retains just above 1% ownership of the float.

President Thomas Meth also acquired 5,000 shares on the day at $50.84 for a total transaction value of about $254,000. Meth owns 432,671 shares following the transaction.

The groups Executive VP and Chief Development Officer, William Schmidt purchased 5,023 shares worth about $252,000 and brought his total share count to 400,091.

The fourth transaction made indirectly by Board director Jeffrey Ubben was by far the largest of the group. Ubben purchased the shares in his fund Inclusive Capital Partners LP.

Ubben initially made his mark as an activist investor who started the Value Act fund before pivoting towards ESG focused investing.

The Inclusive Capital Partners fund purchased 200,000 shares across three transactions with an average price of $50.69 per share. The total transaction value was marginally above $1 million and brought the fund's total share count to 5,412,296.

Inclusive Capital Partners is the largest institution on the register and now owns approximately 8.1% of the total shares.

These insiders purchases were made to comfort shareholders that the short sellers' accusations were not true and that they believe the company remains in better shape than described.

Fintel's insider accumulation score of 95.96 is bullish on EVA, based on higher levels of insider buying activity relative to other companies. EVA ranks in the 28th spot out of 11,386 screened companies with 3 net insiders who have purchased stock over the last 90 days.

Blue Orca Capital originally published their short report before the market open on Wednesday and claimed that Enviva has an inflated EBITDA that will fall and result in a reduced dividend.

The short-selling focused firm believes Enviva has been ‘greenwashing’ its wood procurement business.

Greenwashing is a term used for a marketing spin used by companies to convince the public that their products are environmentally friendly.

EVA management hit back at the short seller after market on Wednesday responding to the allegations made in the report.

Management stated that the report contained numerous errors and repeated previous speculation about the company with misleading conclusions.

The firm stated that Enviva remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the highest levels of corporate governance, integrity, sustainability, forest stewardship and continuous improvement.

Management ended the release by pointing out that standing timber in EVA’s catchment area has increased by 21% since they began operations.

Analyst Pavel Molchanov from Raymond James & Associates commented on the claims, pointing out that the environmental aspect only repeats well-known critiques of bioenergy and that he sees no scope for the prediction of a dividend cut. Raymond James remains ‘outperform’ rated on the stock.