Shares of driverless-truck start-up TuSimple Holdings (NASDAQ:TSP) were trading sharply higher on Thursday in a dramatic rebound following a sell-off that may have been triggered by a short-seller’s report.
As of 11:45 a.m. EDT, TuSimple’s shares were up about 15.6% from Wednesday’s closing price.
TuSimple, founded in 2015, is a San Diego-based developer of autonomous-driving systems for heavy trucks. The company has an impressive list of partners and investors, including big-rig maker Navistar International, United Parcel Service, Nvidia, and the heavy-truck unit of global auto giant Volkswagen.
TuSimple drew another prominent investor shortly after its initial public offering in April: ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood, who began adding shares right after the IPO and has added over a million more shares since the beginning of August. One of Wood’s big buys (almost 295,000 shares) came on Aug. 12, a day after short-seller Grizzly Research released a report calling TuSimple “all smoke and mirrors.”
I think Thursday’s big gain was simply a rebound in investor interest, perhaps sparked by Wood’s buying.
What about that short-seller’s report? To my eyes, Grizzly’s report on TuSimple is pretty thin, nothing like the in-depth reports that led to abrupt CEO departures at Nikola and Lordstown Motors.
Among the “allegations,” such as they are: An investor in TuSimple is also a key investor in Nikola, TuSimple’s founders had an earlier start-up that didn’t succeed, and TuSimple has “China origins” and is therefore (somehow) exposed to the country’s recent crackdown on consumer-facing online businesses.
Long story short: If you liked TuSimple a month ago, I’m not seeing any reason for you to change your mind now.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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