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Why XL Fleet Stock Tanked Today

By Evan Niu, CFA - Dec 29, 2020 at 3:46PM

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The vehicle electrification specialist is experiencing extreme volatility after spiking last week.

What happened

Shares of XL Fleet ( XL ) fell as much as 12% today despite a new disclosure that a billionaire has accumulated a 9.6% stake in the freshly public company. As of 2:45 p.m. EST, the stock was down 9%.

So what

XL Fleet went public last week after closing its merger with Pivotal Investment, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company provides various electrification solutions to commercial and municipal customers, and electric vehicle (EV) stocks more broadly have been soaring throughout the year while also experiencing extreme volatility.

Red stock chart going down

Image source: Getty Images.

In a fresh Schedule 13G regulatory filing this morning, New Balance founder James Davis disclosed that he holds over 12.5 million shares, representing 9.6% of total shares outstanding. However, this isn't exactly new information, as the position had been disclosed in previous filings.

Davis has had other ties to the company. The entrepreneur owns the property that XL Fleet leases for its headquarters in Brighton, Massachusetts, and Davis had bought preferred shares in the company's Series D funding round, according to the prospectus.

Now what

Shares had skyrocketed by 86% last Wednesday after prominent short-seller Citron Research disclosed a long position and assigned a price target of $60. It's not uncommon for stocks to pull back after such a massive surge as some investors take profits. Such spikes also often attract short-sellers who believe the company may be overvalued. XL Fleet stock topped out at $35 last week.

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