What happened

Shares of hydrogen fuel cell company Bloom Energy (BE -1.77%), which closed at $20.73 on Wednesday, opened dramatically lower in Thursday trading, and as of 11:30 a.m. EDT are sitting down 9.9%.

Bloom's new share price of just $18 and change can be traced directly to the actions of one single shareholder, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board, which announced late Wednesday that it is exiting its entire position in the company.

Glowing red stock chart arrow trending down

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

After close of trading for the day yesterday, CPP placed an order to sell 12.3 million shares of Bloom Energy stock in a "block trade," asking prices anywhere from $19.45 to $19.95 for the shares -- already below the day's closing price.

As it turns out, when the trade executed this morning, it did so at the low end of that range -- $19.45, says TheFly.com. And naturally, investors given the option of paying either $20.73 or $19.45 for the exact same shares today are choosing the latter.

Now what

It's actually worse than that, though. Seeing a slug of stock representing 9.3% of all Bloom shares now outstanding being sold at fire-sale prices, investors appear spooked that someone may be calling a top on Bloom stock's staggering 600%-plus rise in price over the past year. Eager to lock in profits before they evaporate, they're starting to stampede for the exits, and as a result, Bloom shares now fetch even less than the price CPP got for them in the morning.

Adding to the urgency, Bloom is set to report its third-quarter 2020 financial results two weeks from now, and if investors worry that the reason CPP is exiting the stock is because it fears bad news, there could be more selling ahead.