Short-seller Citron 'scratching Our Heads' At Mobileye Buyout But Is Moving On

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Noted short-seller Andrew Left of Citron Research, who once called Mobileye N.V. the "most outrageously overpriced, overhyped semiconductor stock ever," tweeted a statement about the company's buyout deal with Intel Corp. , saying "we tip our hat" and are moving on. Citron had put out a research note on Sept. 9, 2015, saying "investing in this company is a losing bet on a blue-sky future that just does not exist," which Citron backed up with data showing aggressive selling of shares by insiders. The stock closed at $48.36 that day. On April 13, 2016, Citron issued another note saying the stock was worth just $11 a share, which was 72% below that day's closing price of $39.84. On Monday, Citron said in a statement: "While we are scratching our heads at the economics of paying almost 30x 2017 revenue, the deal is done and we will move on. Who should be most amazed is management, who has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of stock at significantly lower prices during Mobileye's short lifetime as a public company....Neither Citron nor any analysts who covers Mobileye saw this coming." The stock soared 30% in morning trade, after Intel Corp. agreed to buy the camera-based driverless technologies company in a $15.3 billion deal. At current prices, the stock has run up 27% since Citron's first bearish note, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has soared 62% and the S&P 500 has rallied 22%.

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