Mobileye NV’s (MBLY.N) stock is “short of the year: 2016”, influential short-selling firm Citron Research said in a tweet on Wednesday, pushing down shares of the driving assistant software maker nearly 7 percent.
The tweet provided a link to a report on electrek.co, which says Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) is planning to discontinue Mobileye’s autopilot system and build its own in-house system. (bit.ly/1TQ4Da1)
Citron also tweeted a link to a Bloomberg report in which George Hotz, the first person to hack iPhone and PlayStation 3, calls Mobileye’s technology “absurd.”
“They’re a company that’s behind the times, and they have not caught up,” Hotz is quoted as saying in the Bloomberg report.
Hotz was approached by Tesla to develop an autopilot system that may replace Mobileye’s, according to the Bloomberg report.
Citron had set a short-term price target of $20 on the stock in September, below its initial public offering price. The median price target of 15 analysts is $70, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Shares of Israel-based Mobileye, which makes camera-based systems that help drivers avoid collisions, were down 6.2 percent at $40.28 in afternoon trading.
The stock, which has lost a quarter of its value in the past six months, had a short interest on 19.3 percent of outstanding shares as of Nov. 30, the highest this year after rising steadily since August.
Led by Andrew Left, Citron has previously targeted stocks such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) and Ambarella Inc (AMBA.O).
It questioned Mobileye’s “financials, business performance or realistic future prospects” in September.
The short seller also named Gopro Inc (GPRO.O) as the short of 2015 and 3D systems Corp (DDD.N) as the short of 2014 in the tweet. (bit.ly/1TQ3CP7)