Activist short sellers have ramped up activity this year. During the first half of 2020, dozens of stocks have seen wild price swings. Many biotech companies saw their stocks skyrocket after they joined the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The rise of the so-called Robinhood traders has also caused many stocks to behave irrationally, giving activist short sellers some lucrative opportunities. Here we take a look at the most prolific activist short sellers in the first half of 2020.
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Rubicon Capital Group’s situation analysis of Identiv Inc (NASDAQ:INVE).
The standard method of determining what industry a company is in is by looking at its underlying business. By that standard, Tesla is clearly in the auto business. Virtually all of the company’s revenues and costs are related to building, selling, and servicing automobiles. But there is another way of checking whether a company is an industry that has implications for investors. The idea is that if two companies are in the same industry, then their stock prices should tend to move together. For example, when the Covid-19 crisis arose, the stocks of all major airlines collapsed together. This raises the question of whether using this second criterion Tesla is in the auto industry. Before turning to the results, a couple caveats are in order.
Those shorting stocks during the COVID-19 pandemic have made more than $50 billion in profits. Billionaire Bill Ackman recently said that activist short sellers are far more efficient than regulators at unearthing corporate frauds, and that regulators should work with short sellers. Here we take a look at the top 10 best performing activist short calls in the first half of 2020 that paid off big time.
In his latest letter to investors, Mohnish Pabrai warned about the perils of buying stocks at high prices. He explained that it’s possible to overpay for even the market’s most promising companies. Giving Microsoft as an example, Pabrai noted: