Investigation of Blink Charging Co.
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Blink Charging Company (BLNK) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
During the class period, Blink touted the purported growth of its EV charging network, asserting that it “is a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment that has deployed over 23,000 charging stations, many of which are networked EV charging stations, enabling EV drivers to easily charge at any of its charging locations worldwide.” During the class period, Blink’s stock price climbed from trading at approximately $1.40 – $3.12 per share, to trading intraday on July 30, 2020, as high as $14.58. Then, on August 19, 2020, analyst Culper Research reported on the “utterly decrepit condition” of Blink’s charging stations, the apparent lack of use of those stations, and the severe overestimation of the number of stations that exist. The report included photos of damaged, inaccessible, and/or non-functional chargers and interviews with individuals who described the lack of use and/or other issues with the chargers, and concluded: “In sum, Blink vastly overstates the size, functionality, usage, and economic potential of its chargers.” That same day, Mariner Research Group published a report highlighting that Blink’s “revenue growth has significantly seriously lagged the EV industry – yet CEO Farkas made >$7M in compensation during this period…” Mariner concluded, “we believe the business should be valued at its liquidation, or book value, of just 17c in a downside scenario and a $2 a share in a bull case scenario… The average of our price targets produces a base case target of $1.09, a drop of 91% from the 8/18/20 close.” On this news, Blink’s stock dropped from a closing price of $10.34 per share on August 18, to close at $7.94 on August 20, 2020.