TuSimple gets temporary reprieve from Nasdaq delisting
Autonomous trucking company TuSimple's stock shot up 28% Monday after the company narrowly dodged a delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange. TuSimple's stock closed at $1.06 per share.
TuSimple reported last week that it received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq for failing to file its quarterly report on time. The stock exchange was meant to suspend trading of TuSimple shares May 15. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it asked the Nasdaq for an extended stay of the suspension and is currently in an appeals process. TuSimple will continue to trade publicly until it has a hearing with the Nasdaq. It's not clear if a date has yet been set for the hearing, but it should happen over the next 45 days, per a regulatory filing.
The company did not respond in time to say when it expects to report its earnings over the last two quarters and for the full-year 2022. TuSimple last reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30. The company recently hired UHY LLP at its new independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 to help it get back on track.
TuSimple was once on top of the AV game but has been beleaguered by internal drama, including multiple executive upheavals that culminated in the ousting of co-founder Xiaodi Hou, an SEC investigation, the loss of Navistar as a partner and a restructuring in December that saw 25% of staff being laid off.
The self-driving truck company went public in April 2021 after receiving strategic investments from various big names such as Traton Group, Navistar, Goodyear and U.S. Xpress. TuSimple saw its share price peak in July 2021 when it hit $62.58, but that number has since tumbled 98%.
Despite its founding team and earliest backers coming from China, the company has positioned itself as a U.S. entity with headquarters in San Diego. The company faced regulatory scrutiny over its ties with China, which led to TuSimple working to offload its China business. It also led to the firing of then-CEO Hou, who was accused of facing concurrent investigations by the FBI, SEC and CFIUS regarding TuSimple's relationship with Hydron, a hydrogen-powered trucking company led by TuSimple's other co-founder Mo Chen.
Hou disputed the reasons for his firing, which also included allegations that Hou was trying to poach staff for a new company. The founder told TechCrunch he had disagreements with current CEO Cheng Lu over Lu's compensation package and the company's shift to focus on Level 2 autonomy rather than exclusively on Level 4 autonomy.
Level 4 is a designation by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) that means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human intervention. Level 2 systems, in which two primary functions are automated, still have a human driver in the loop at all times.