SEC to examine Nikola over short seller's fraud allegations
We start with some breaking news on Nikola shares they are down in the after hours that follows a big update Bloomberg reporting that the Securities and Exchange Commission will examine Nikola over the short showing fraud allegations stock down seven and a half percent right now guide Your response to that news. Again it probably Brian. Thanks for being here. Again, I can't speak, and I said this last week try to be a little clearer. Now, I can't obviously speak to the veracity of the short soul report accusations of fraud I have no idea what I did say last week, and what I'll stand behind is despite how the GM investment is structured whether they are actually investing money for the deal is structured fact that GM is somehow it linked. Their wagon to Nikola and if these accusations proved to be correct I, think the really deleterious thing could happen in shares of GM based solely on that not because it's just two billion dollars but the in my opinion, the potential for an exponential move based on that and based on the fact that maybe GM potentially didn't do the homework that are the people did that would be my primary concern right now as I look at this entire situation. and Tim to be clear on the story and I know we're GONNA. We're trying to fill up here. Any moment is that you don't Trevor Milton said the other day we're going to basically work with the SEC I wanna be clear according to the Bloomberg report. That's not what this is. This appears that the SEC is now poking into Nikola baby on not on the side of the short seller. But certainly from that angle, this is not some cozy deal between the two going after Hindenburg. No I think ultimately, the the SEC is going to do what they feel is just based upon both again allegations of fraud and actual fraud and investigating what was represented to investors I mean there's there's whether the technology is what it is and guys brought up some important elements of this that I don't I don't think we can know based upon even even if we read that entire report again, this needs to be validated or invalidated. The fact that the company has come out today and said, well, you know we said that it was. That the company was was was was excuse me that the truck was moving as opposed to it was actually individually propelled by our own engine etc I mean you know there's some some really frankly. that. BET semantic hair that's trying to be split here I think is is crazy I mean that doesn't sound good that certainly doesn't sound like something you'd rest. Well, we weren't really you know indicating that we were. We were on our own individual propulsion. So I think you know that doesn't read well. I to me GM the the issue was did this validate some of their fuel cell technology and some of their overall engineering prowess and did the deal makes some sense when you consider that unlike others Nikola was going with an asset light strategy and seeking to at least tap into engineering and we? Capacity that all makes sense. The fact that Jim got this for free was going to be paid seven hundred million dollars for access to some of their technology. I don't think this is necessarily harmful to GM. If this all turn to be a disaster for Nikola I think the fact of the matter is GM is pointing out that they have been in this space for a long time and I, think there's a lot there. Well it Dan Listen. That's the Tim. Actually hit on the one thing in the rebuttal that stuck out to me as well which is yeah. The truck may not have run on its own, but all the parts Kinda worked on their own but together didn't really matter because we're going to pivot to something else. Anyway there's a lot of pivoting going on Nikola and I wonder if investors should just pivot away from the stock because they don't know how this is going to end up. Well I think that's the main point. We just don't know we talked about this on Thursday. The stock was trading about thirty, eight hundred already had a big down day on the day before after that report came out my comment was okay. Well, there was two opportunities, the vet this story and I was a bit Glib about and so I said, you know there probably isn't fraud here. I had a very prominent short seller hit me after the fact on tax and say be careful here this is well documented and devastating I spent some time reading it the rebuttal there was really nothing there from Mykola and I think that's a pretty interesting. Story I'll just make one point and one of the reasons why I made that comment on Thursday I've been in this business for twenty five years. You know if you WANNA create some sort of scheme to rip people off of lots of money doing it in the public eye in front of know financial TV investors who are very well incentivized a sniff it out, and then no shortage of regulatory bodies. It's just not the best place to do it. So that's my first reaction often but who knows here, this seems like a really creepy situation and you know when you don't understand something you just avoid. Yeah, I think that's well setting care and I want to reiterate the news in case audience is just joining us here that the according to Bloomberg is now going to investigate at least sort of at a top level. The allegations of fraud against Nikola made by the short seller doesn't mean they're going to find anything and if they find anything, it may not. Be Serious and it could have some sort of an easy resolution as well. Just because the SEC goes poking around companies doesn't mean there's a negative outcome and I think that's very important to be said but on forget Nikola Karen is there any reason ever invest in the stock of a company where the even sniffing around? Maybe it does create some weird opportunity. Well I guess I point to Tesla the SEC. Sniffing around when they the statements about you know financing secured when when musk wanted to take private for four hundred and twenty dollars a share I guess that would have been one scenario but I agree with the guys on the panel that this particularly this issue of it was whether it was self propelled. We never said it was certainly one could reasonably assume that investors looking at that would think. That trump is going on its own. It just makes you think. All right. What else are they do? They have out there in the market that you know what are they sort of presenting that might not be actually as it appears this is a black eye for GM I'm GonNa Guess that maybe this deal falls apart I think GM I think is one of the guys said they didn't actually up any money it was the putting resources into advancing their. Ev Platform. But this this is a black guy for them. It's bad for them and I'm going to guess that this deal falls apart. We'll very quickly Karen and want to come back to number one on the propulsion sort of issue. Well, let's not forget the Financial Times. Did it's reporting a few days ago that they said they talked to a cameraman who said trump just basically rolled down the hill I think probably all of us that our worst moments of roll down a few hills once in a while after you too many. Let's move aside for that Karen. You think that if this comes out as a worst case scenario could GM's CEO Mary Barra lose her job. That I don't know I, mean imagine it. I. Would think the board probably not delighted by this It it it kind of I mean, maybe they did do their due diligence. Maybe they did know all of the points that were in that extensive short report, which I only read a little bit of to be to be fair did not read the entire thing and that they went through every single thing seemed okay. That's a bit of a stretch for me to believe. So I think the stock had rallied on that on the deal so it would be reasonable to You know I'm going to sell some stock I think. This is a black guy for them and for her and I think she's fantastic but. she is. Go out on religion meeting her and interviewing her and Mary Barra is is a class act all around guy but GM shares are moving on this news not a lot but they are down about one and a half percent and listen Y- again, and there's a lot of if and maybe you don't want to go too much down that rabbit hole you. So adroitly said very much of the top there but it is a difficult situation for GM and its investors when literally a couple of working days after you announce a big deal, basically one full week, you got the SEC poking around the company that you just kind of. GOT INTO THE BOARDROOM WITH Yeah I mean it's concerning again we I and we're all trying to be really careful here because obviously you know none of us know where the trews are and where they're not. But again, I want to emphasize if there's any truth whatsoever. In. Knows Ninety pages of that short sell report I think it's really believe it or not I think it's more of a negative for GM potentially that it is for nickel I know that sounds ridiculous but people will say how could you possibly got into whatever agreement it is whether it's a Deal whether it's just a collaboration thing whatever it is how do you partner up with a potentially something that isn't what they said it is to me that's a really scary notion and I think that's sort of the tail risk that GM is facing right now and obviously you know we're not wishing for this. I think we're just trying to point out what could happen and that sort of our jobs here.