Nikola Corporation NKLA shares were falling again Friday after founder Trevor Milton’s response to Thursday’s short seller report from Hindenburg Research left investors disappointed.
Hindeburg's Allegations Against Nikola: On Thursday, Nikola shares declined by 9.5% after Hindenburg released a new report alleging that Nikola is “an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies.” Hindenburg accused Nikola and Milton of deceiving shareholders by making misleading presentations, demonstrations and claims about the company’s electric vehicle technology.
Hindenburg even compared Nikola to blood testing technology fraud Theranos, which inked partnership deals with a number of high-profile companies.
“The remarkable thing about Nikola’s story is not that someone like Trevor Milton exists, but that he has managed to parlay his stories and lies into deals with some of the best manufacturers and partners in the world by claiming to own vast proprietary technology and having successfully built revolutionary products that simply didn’t exist,” Hindenburg said in the report.
Milton Says Report False: On Thursday, Milton initially responded to the allegations via an Instagram video.
“When you are changing the world … these people want to take you down, it is all about money and greed,” Milton said in the video.
At 1:31 a.m. Friday morning, Milton tweeted that he has been “working on rebuttal of hindenburg for 14 hours to provide a clear, factual, low-emotional answer to the report” that “will be out before [the] market opens.”
Unfortunately for Nikola investors, the document was not released before the market open. Instead, Milton tweeted that Nikola has retained the services of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and authorized the law firm to reach out directly to the SEC.
“The allegations are false and deceptive. On advice of counsel however, I won’t comment further now other than saying that we have involved [the] SEC,” he tweeted at 9:01 am.
With Nikola shares down another 16% following Friday morning’s open, Milton again tweeted that he would be releasing Nikola’s rebuttal publicly as soon as his lawyers clear the release.
“This document had to be prepared well with the SEC in mind. It will be released as soon as they give me the green light,” Milton tweeted at 10:21 am.
NKLA Price Action: Nikola shares were trading down 15.46% at $31.76 at last check Friday.
Benzinga’s Take: It’s very telling that Nikola shares are down more on Milton’s response to the Hindenburg report on Friday than they were down following the actual report Thursday.
Until investors get a clear, detailed response to Hindenburg’s accusations, Nikola shares will likely remain under pressure.
The Nikola Tre. Courtesy photo.
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