The Bear Cave #81 + Michelle Leder Interview
New Activist Reports, Interview with Michelle Leder, Recent Resignations, and Tweets of the Week
Welcome to The Bear Cave — your weekly source of short-seller news. If you are new, you can join here. Please hit the heart button if you like today’s newsletter and reply with any feedback.
New Activist Reports
Fuzzy Panda Research published on Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS — $1.12 billion), an electric car company. Fuzzy Panda Research published a FOIA correspondence with the SEC that confirmed an “Active and Ongoing Investigation by the SEC’s Division of Enforcement” as of June 30.
Fuzzy Panda also claimed that Workhorse had a “fake order book” inflated by related-party deals and spurious orders that lacked economic substance. For example, Fuzzy Panda highlighted that one customer, eTrucks LLC, was formed only one month before ordering 20 Workhouse trucks and did not create a website until one month after the order.
Another example highlighted by Fuzzy Panda was Pride Group Enterprises, a Canadian used car dealership chain with a ~430 truck inventory. Pride Group Enterprises has a no-deposit purchase order from Workhorse for 6,320 trucks.
Bleeker Street Research published on Alfi (NASDAQ: ALF — $133 million), a buzzword-loving ad-tech company. Bleeker Street Research alleged the company’s business is simply giving away ad-displaying tablets to Uber and Lyft drivers and splitting the ad revenue. Bleeker Street Research wrote,
“Alfi's CEO Paul Pereira has a history of exaggerating financial performance and his previous company sued him for allegedly showing up to meetings drunk as well as misusing company funds.”
Bleeker Street also highlighted that Alfi’s chief technology officer is the son of the CEO and another company co-founder, John Cook, was previously charged for his role in a Florida stock fraud in the early 2000’s.
Interview with Michelle Leder
I interviewed independent researcher Michelle Leder on SEC Filings, Corporate Governance, and Crazy Footnotes. Michelle has 20 years of experience following SEC disclosures and taught me a ton. Watch the interview on YouTube with the link below:
Follow Michelle on Twitter @Footnoted
Notable executive departures disclosed in the past week include:
Chief Operating Officer of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND — $7.27 billion) resigned after two years. The company’s Chief Growth Officer also resigned in June.
Chief Accounting Officer of Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN — $671 million) resigned after six months “to pursue a new opportunity.” The company has had four different CFOs over the last ten years.
Chief Medical Officer of Avidity Biosciences (NASDAQ: RNA — $877 million) resigned after one year “for personal reasons.”
A director of Sprague Resources LP (NYSE: SRLP — $470 million) resigned three months after joining not due to “any disagreement with management or the board of directors related to the Partnership's operations, policies or practices.”
Data for this section is provided by InsiderScore.com
What to Read
“Facts and Fiction of Cassava Sciences” (For Better Science)
“Attack is the best form of defense. Especially when your commercial clinical research is tainted by preclinical Photoshop fraud.”
“Kraft Heinz to Pay $62 Million to Settle SEC Accounting Probe” (WSJ)
“One of the moves designed to save money involved recording immediate discounts and credits from suppliers, known as ‘prebates,’ in exchange for future-year commitments, such as contract extensions, according to the SEC.”
“Was Ben Graham a Quant?” (Albert Bridge Capital)
“The thing that I have been emphasizing in my own work for the last few years has been the group approach. To try to buy groups of stocks that meet some simple criterion for being undervalued - regardless of the industry and with very little attention to the individual company...and so my enthusiasm has been transferred from the selective to the group approach…”
Tweets of the Week
John Arnold @JohnArnoldFndtnSutter Health is one of largest hospital systems in California. Today, Sutter agreed to $90 mln fine for Medicare fraud. Yesterday, Sutter finalized $575 mln fine for using its market power to illegally drive up prices. Sutter is a nonprofit with mission to serve the community.
Until next week,
The Bear Cave