Short Seller Takes Aim at Another EV Maker
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Short Seller Takes Aim at Another EV Maker

Not all EVs are built the same in market.

By Al Root
Wed, Mar 17, 2021 11:11amGrey Clock 2 min

Many new electric-vehicle start-ups have no sales and big aspirations. Electric truck maker Lordstown Motors is one of them. The company doesn’t sell EVs yet, but expects to start selling its all-electric truck called Endurance later in 2021. After the launch, Lordstown projects explosive growth off its 2021 base in 2022 and beyond.

One short seller, however, isn’t buying it.

On Friday morning, Hindenburg Research published a negative research report about Lordstown Motors (ticker: RIDE). The report makes several claims, notably that not all of the preorders the company has claimed are real.

The report is hitting the stock. Shares are down 20%, at $14.18, in Friday morning trading. The S&P 500, by comparison, is down 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.5%.

On Jan. 11, Lordstown reported more than 100,000 preorders for its Endurance pickup truck launched this past summer. Hindenburg claims in its report that it has talked to some Lordstown preorder customers, and points out some it found that don’t have the cash to buy ordered trucks and that preorders don’t carry a commitment to purchase or a penalty to cancel.

Lordstown wasn’t immediately available to comment on the Hindenburg report.

Preorders in the EV industry are fairly common. Tesla (TSLA), when it launched its Cybertruck, regularly reported preorders. Tesla racked up hundreds of thousands in vehicle preorders before it stopped reporting the number. A Cybertruck could be reserved for US$100, which is fully refundable.

Hindenburg is the firm that published a negative research report about electric- and hydrogen-powered trucking company Nikola (NKLA) back in September 2020. Hindenburg alleged Nikola management misled investors. Nikola denied the claims. The report, however, led to the departure of company founder Trevor Milton.

An internal investigation conducted by an outside firm at the behest of Nikola followed and, as a result, the company disclosed in its annual report nine statements made by Miltion which may have been partially untrue.

At the time of the report, Hindenburg was short Nikola stock, betting that its price would decline. Now, Hindenburg is short Lordstown stock and stands to gain as it falls.

Lordstown became a publicly traded company in 2020 after merging with a special purpose acquisition company. The company, founded by Steve Burns, purchased an Ohio plant from General Motors (GM) to kick-start its growth plants.

The company projects more than $100 million in sales for 2021, growing to $1.7 billion in sales in 2022 and then to $5.8 billion by 2024. Vehicle deliveries over that span are projected to go from 2,200 in 2021 to more than 100,000 in 2024.

Lordstown will report fourth-quarter results on March 17 after the market closes. Investors and analysts will have a chance to hear from management then.


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Milestone birthdays and anniversaries, weddings, and graduations are momentous life occasions that some like to mark with large and elaborate celebrations.

And the deep-pocketed set are still in catch-up mode after a party-throwing standstill during the pandemic that went on for many months during the height of the lockdowns and social distancing. Bashes since then have become ever more extravagant and experiential—mere get-togethers, they’re not.

Hosts are also seeking any excuse to throw an event and having parties with the same “wow” factor for far less significant reasons, or for micro-occasions as they’re called, and even “just because,” according to luxury event planners who work with this elite set.

Colin Cowie, a planner based in New York and Miami who regularly orchestrates multimillion-dollar gatherings and was behind Jennifer Lopez’s and Ben Affleck’s wedding, calls it the “event revolution.”

“Large-scale events have become the norm,” Cowie says. “The wealthy, who are used to celebrating their life moments in a big way couldn’t do anything during the pandemic and are now going all out for anything they host.”

His company, Colin Cowie Lifestyle, plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid and has a lineup booked for the next two years. An example includes an upcoming million-dollar dinner party in the Hamptons simply to socialise with friends. It’s an affair with free-flowing Dom Perignon, centre-cut filet mignons, and unlimited caviar.

Colin Cowie Lifestyle plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid
Calen Rose

Other high-end planners also attribute the rise of over-the-top celebrations to a “live life to the fullest” attitude that’s become prevalent in the last few years. But they say that these parties aren’t necessarily about spending more than before—rather, they’re increasingly creative, thoughtful, and, with respect to weddings, longer.

Lynn Easton, a Charleston-based planner, says that her typical wedding used to span two days and entailed a rehearsal dinner plus the wedding itself. “Now, it’s a five-day bonanza with events like a groomsman lunch,” Easton says.

Easton also plans glitzy milestone birthdays such as one for a 60th where the host flew 60 friends and family to a private island. Dinners were multi-hour affairs in various locations around the isle with the showpiece being a five-course meal where the food was presented on dishes that were hand-carved in ice.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, based in New York and Miami, says that, in a new precedent, the weddings she’s tapped to design kick off with striking welcome meals. She recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden. Elements included potted herbs, lemon trees, vintage olive oil cans, ceramic plates, and table cards presented with palm leaves in limoncello cans.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden.
Aletiza Photo

Pashmina shawls hung from chairs to keep guests warm, and freshly baked pizzas and Aperol spritzes were in ready supply throughout the evening.

Stacy Teckin, the groom’s mother, hosted the party with her husband, Ian, and says she sought to pull off a dinner that made an impression on their guests. “The wedding was delayed because of Covid, and now that we had the chance to celebrate, we wanted to go all out,” Teckin says. “I’m not sure we would have done that before.”

In another example, acclaimed planner Norma Cohen threw a wild safari-themed bar mitzvah for a client.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon
Norma Cohen Productions

The memorable occasion transpired at Spring Studios in downtown Manhattan and saw 400 guests be transported to the African plains: Details included mammoth replicas of wildlife such as giraffes and elephants, servers in safari themed attire, and entertainment dressed like giraffes. The event was one of several over-the-top parties Cohen’s arranged recently.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon, one of the city’s most luxurious properties, also ranks high in Cohen’s memory.

Then there’s a destination party in London that Cohen planned for a client who was turning 40. It as a six-day affair with dinners at swanky spots such as Cipriani, the Arts Club, and Cecconi’s at Soho House. The finale was Lancaster House, a mansion in St. James, where guests were entertained by cabaret dancers from the famed Ibiza club Lio Ibiza and feasted on prime rib and lamb chops and imbibed on Krug champagne.

“People today don’t want to host events,” Cohen says. “They want experiences that take you away to a different place and make you forget that the real world exists.”