BMO Upgrades Nuvei To Outperform After Short Seller Report

This past week, Spruce Point Capital Management released a report on Nuvei Corporation (TSX: NVEI), arguing that the company has “a pattern of business failures, lack of organic growth, and a web of relationships with individuals connected to major Ponzi Schemes and alleged fraudulent activities.” They have given Nuvei a 40% – 60% downside case.

Shares dropped more than 65% to C$54.47, after the report was published online, and ended the day down 36% at C$72.68, but rebounded roughly 40% from the low of the day.

That night after hours, Nuvei reaffirmed its full-year 2021 guidance and longer-term growth targets, while referring to Spruce Point’s allegations as “intentionally misleading and draw[ing] inaccurate conclusions, innuendo and character attacks on key executives, among numerous other issues.” They add that Spruce’s personal attacks against certain Nuvei executives are there to “distract from the Company’s achievements and progress.”

Nuvei currently has 14 analysts covering the stock with an average 12-month price target of US$128.70. Out of the 14 analysts, 3 have strong buy ratings, 9 have buy ratings, and 2 analysts have hold ratings. The street high sits at US$145 while the lowest price target sits at US$114.

In BMO Capital Markets note, released late that night, they upgraded Nuvei to an outperform rating and reiterated their $114 12-month price target, saying that after a detailed review of the short-sellers allegations they have elected to make no change to their model. The recommend that GARP-oriented investors buy Nuvei shares.

Additionally, they had a fireside chat with Nuvei’s Founder, Chair, and CEO Phil Fayer, in which is responding to the report allegations as “misleading” and that they are “sensationalized.” He says that the company intends to not ignore and move on but respond “aggressively” to the issues addressed in the report.

Mr. Fayer said that the company remains confident in its volume and revenue growth of +30% year over year and believes that Spruce Point’s claims of the company’s slow growth are inaccurate. BMO also believes that the reports point on Nuvei seeing a deceleration in organic growth to be false.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and Refinitiv. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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