What happened

Shares of Penumbra (NYSE:PEN) were plunging 13.1% lower as of 11:50 a.m. EST on Tuesday. The decline came following short-seller Quintessential Capital Management's (QCM) online release of a scathing report about the healthcare company.

So what

QCM alleged today that some of Penumbra's scientific research was authored by a person QCM says doesn't exist: Dr. Antik Bose. The report followed a previous report that claimed Penumbra launched "a flawed product on the market" which resulted in patient deaths and brain injuries.

Extended hand with images of question marks

Image source: Getty Images.

These are certainly concerning allegations, if true. It's important to keep in mind, though, that QCM has a financial interest in contributing to the decline of Penumbra's share price. At the time of this writing, Penumbra had not publicly responded to QCM's report. 

Penumbra markets devices used in removing blood clots from veins and arteries. The company recently won FDA clearance for its Indigo Aspiration System, Lightning 12 in treating pulmonary embolisms. 

Now what

Penumbra's shares have soared throughout much of 2020 until recent weeks. It's likely that the healthcare stock will remain highly volatile until there's more information about the validity of QCM's allegations. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.