Investor Alert

Jan. 31, 2020, 1:11 p.m. EST

Luckin Coffee stock sinks after anonymous report alleges fraud but others say the report is wrong

Luckin Coffee Inc. is down 14.2% in Friday trading after an anonymous report received by short seller Muddy Waters Research that alleges the company is fabricating its financial and operating figures, beginning with Q3 2019. MarketWatch cannot confirm the authenticity of the report, which is 89 pages long. The report alleges the number of items per store was bumped up 69% in the third quarter and 88% in the fourth quarter, based on 11,260 hours of store video that the anonymous authors claimed to have viewed. MarketWatch has reached out to Luckin Coffee for comment. Citron Research, known as a short seller but long on Luckin Coffee, tweeted that it has also received the report but "calls with competitors confirm the financials." Citron says it thinks this "report will fall short on accuracy," adding that Luckin's business "s on fire in China." Luckin Coffee stock is down 23.7% for the week, taking a hit from the coronavirus outbreak that has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. Luckin shares have soared 59.2% over the last three months while the S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) has gained 6.4% for the period.

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