Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Hindenburg takes aim at Jack Dorsey's payments firm Block, shares plunge

Hindenburg takes aim at Jack Dorsey's payments firm Block, shares plunge

Hindenburg Research on Thursday disclosed short positions in Block Inc (SQ.N) and alleged that the payments firm led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey overstated its user numbers and understated its customer acquisition costs.

Block vowed to fight back, saying it would explore legal action against the short seller for its "factually inaccurate and misleading report" that was "designed to deceive and confuse investors".

"Hindenburg is known for these types of attacks, which are designed solely to allow short sellers to profit from a declined stock price," the payments firm said, adding that it would work with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Block's shares were last down 15% at $61.67, paring some losses after a 22% plunge earlier.

Hindenburg, which was behind a market rout of over $100 billion in India's Adani Group, said in its report that former Block employees estimated that 40% to 75% of accounts they reviewed were fake, involved in fraud, or were additional accounts tied to a single individual.

The move is seen as a challenge to Dorsey, who co-founded Block in 2009 in his San Francisco apartment with the goal to shake up the credit card industry, and is the company's largest shareholder with a stake of around 8%.

The NYU dropout was just until two years ago splitting his time between the payments firm and Twitter, his other venture that went private in 2022 in a $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk that Dorsey supported.

"Our 2-year investigation has concluded that Block has systematically taken advantage of the demographics it claims to be helping," Hindenburg said in a note published on its website.

The report comes at a time when the outlook for the payments industry has been clouded by worries over the strength of consumer spending in the face of elevated levels of inflation and expectations of an economic downturn.

Those concerns triggered a more than 60% slump in Block's shares last year.

Hindenburg said that Block "obfuscates" how many individuals are on the Cash App platform by reporting "misleading transacting active metrics filled with fake and duplicate accounts".

Reuters could not verify the claims raised in the report.

Cash App allows users to transfer money through a mobile application and is touted by the company as an alternative to traditional banking services.

The app had 51 million monthly transacting actives, a 16% year-over-year increase during December 2022, Block said in a fourth-quarter earnings letter.

The short seller added that co-founders Dorsey and James McKelvey collectively sold over $1 billion of stock during the pandemic as the company's share price soared.

Other executives including finance chief Amrita Ahuja and the lead manager for Cash App Brian Grassadonia also dumped millions of dollars in stock, the report added.

"What I am really concerned about is the Cash App, accusations of fraud, multiple accounts, opening accounts and fake names. And it doesn't seem like that would be something that they would allow," said Christopher Brendler, senior analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co.

"(There is) some evidence in the report that this is happening. So, you know, I think that's the most damaging part of the report," he added.

Based on the session's 20% price move, as of 9:55 a.m. ET, short sellers have made over $400 million in paper profit, according to data from financial analytics firm Ortex. Short interest was 27.96 million shares, or 5.21% of free float.

The company's ticker was the top trending on retail investor-focused forum StockTwits.

Block has also taken a hit from the upheaval in the cryptocurrency industry that forms a large chunk of its revenue base.

The company offers point-of-sales systems and an app that allows people to trade cryptocurrency.

Last month, Block said it was "meaningfully slowing" the pace of hiring this year to control costs.

Founded in 2017 by Nathan Anderson, Hindenburg is a forensic financial research firm that analyses equity, credit and derivatives.

Hindenburg invests its own capital and takes short positions against companies. After finding potential wrongdoings, the company usually publishes a report explaining the case and bets against the target company, hoping to make a profit.

Short sellers typically sell borrowed securities and aim to buy these back at a lower price.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Death of Iran's President Raisi Stirs Succession Race for Supreme Leader
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
FedEx Airlines Boeing 767 cargo plane lands on nose at Istanbul Airport
Netanyahu's Firm Stance Amid Rafah Hostage Talks
Blinken on Gaza: Ceasefire is Key to Humanitarian Crisis Resolution
UAE Prime Minister Announces $544M for Home Repairs after Historic Rains, Vows to Learn from Experience
Isfahan Explosions: US Media Reports Israel's Retaliatory Strikes on Iran
Four Dead, Dubai Airport Disrupted: UAE's Heaviest Rains in 75 Years Cause Flooding and Flight Chaos
Dubai Airports: Stranded Tourists 'Living on Duty Free,' Desperate for Food and Water
Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in UAE and Oman: 18 Lives Lost
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Unprecedented Flooding Disrupts Dubai
Ajman Crown Prince Declares Remote Work Day for Government Employees Due to Weather (Except Essential Jobs)
IDF released footage showing Israeli fighter jets downing some of the 300 drones and missiles fired from Iran at Israel.
The West stands with Israel, Iran is furious: "Double standards and irresponsibility"
Huge Queues at Iranian Gas Stations
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Scandal in Iran after a goalkeeper had the audacity to hug a female fan who stormed the pitch
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
Saudi Arabia calls for "restraint" amid Iranian strikes on Israel
Iran launched dozens of drones at Israel on Saturday but they will take hours to reach their targets, Israel's military said
Online YouTube streamer N3ON was just sentenced to AN ENTIRE YEAR in prison in Dubai for filming and live-streaming, without “proper permits”
UN Chief Warns: Gaza Outflow to Egypt Would Derail Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Record Number of Arab Soldiers Serve in IDF Amidst Ongoing Gaza Conflict: A Personal Story of Loyalty and Advocacy
Major Charities Warn of Genocide in Gaza: 'Impossible' to Deliver Aid, Israel Accused of Complicity
Biden Warns Netanyahu: US Aid to Israel Depends on Gaza Civilian Protection
Israel Reopens Gaza Border for Temporary Humanitarian Aid Amid International Pressure
United Arab Emirates suspends diplomatic relations with Israel
DOZENS OF ARMED FIGHTERS ATTACK 3 IRANIAN MILITARY FACILITIES
Qatar PM: Displaced Palestinians Key Issue in Gaza Ceasefire Negotiations
Palestinian Authority Seeks Renewed UN Membership Amid Reforms and International Pressure
Gaza Crisis: Soaring Newborn Mortality Due to Malnutrition and Destroyed Health Facilities
World Bank: $18.5 Billion in Damages to Gaza's Critical Infrastructure and Economy
Iran: Two Generals, Five Officers Killed in Israeli Strike on Syrian Consulate
Israel Passes Law to Potentially Ban Al Jazeera Amid Conflict with Hamas
Turkish local elections: Opposition stuns Erdogan with historic victory
Israel Must "Ensure Urgent Humanitarian Assistance" In Gaza: World Court
Saudi Arabia To Participate In Miss Universe Pageant For 1st Time Ever
Court ruling effectively outlaws Islamic schools in India’s most populous state
"War Crime" Warning by Macron to Israel on Gazans' Forced Transfer
Senior Hezbollah Official Makes Landmark Visit To UAE: Report
Gaza's catastrophic food shortage means mass death is imminent, monitor says
Over 13,000 Children Killed in Gaza, UN Agency Reports
Israeli PM approves Rafah operation plan
Islamic call in British parliament today.
Thai Muslims perform the Taraweeh prayer during the holy month of Ramadan
South Africa announced that Israeli soldiers holding South African citizenship would be arrested upon entering the country
In a Misguided Critique, Jewish US Official Asked to Respect Local Traditions in Saudi Arabia
×