(Editor’s Note: Sharesleuth has taken down the story on Virtual Piggy Inc. (OTCBB: VPIG) that appeared under this headline last Friday. We will publish a revised version shortly.)
Customs records do not support Kandi Technologies Corp.’s (Nasdaq: KNDI) claim that it sold thousands of electric cars in the United States, a Sharesleuth investigation found.
The records, which originated with the Department of Homeland Security, reinforce our earlier findings that Kandi greatly exaggerated the sales of those vehicles.
The Chinese company has said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that it sold more than 4,600 of its mini cars from 2009 through 2011. For most of that period, the United States was the main market for the vehicles.
But a database containing detailed cargo information for vessels delivering goods to U.S. ports shows that fewer than 1,100 of Kandi’s cars were ever shipped here.
The database was created by ImportGenius.com, an Arizona company that helps businesses find sales prospects, evaluate suppliers and monitor rivals. It contains more than 79 million records drawn from the bills of lading for all ocean-freight imports.
Sharesleuth’s investigation turned up a number of discrepancies between Kandi’s reported sales of its low-speed, battery-powered cars and the actual deliveries of those vehicles to American ports.
– Kandi said in an SEC filing and an earnings release that it sold 1,141 cars in the United States in the first nine months of 2009. But the Customs records show that only 203 were delivered to American ports in that period. They also show that just 143 additional vehicles were delivered in the last three months of that year.
– Kandi said in an earnings release in 2010 that one of the main contributors to its revenue and income growth was a “strong second quarter contribution from U.S. sales of the super mini Kandi Coco.” Kandi previously had reported selling 1,005 electric-powered Cocos in that quarter, primarily in the United States. But Import Genius’ database shows that just 156 of the cars were delivered to American ports that year.
– Kandi disclosed in its annual SEC filing last year that only 658 of the 1,618 cars that it reported selling in 2010 were actually electric, and that the rest were gasoline-powered. That unexplained revision means it would have been mathematically impossible for Kandi to have sold 1,005 electric cars in the second quarter of that year, as it claimed.
The above examples suggest that the gains in electric-car sales that Kandi reported during pivotal periods in 2009 and 2010 were illusory. The company’s public statements regarding those sales contributed to spikes in its stock price and trading volume, and allowed certain parties to sell shares at peak levels.
Kandi, through its U.S. law firm, declined to comment on the discrepancies.
Kandi has said that because it sells its vehicles to middlemen who export them to the United States, Europe and other markets, it has no specific knowledge of where those products end up. Nevertheless, the company expressly stated in its SEC filings and earnings releases that the bulk of its car sales in 2009 and 2010 were “U.S. sales.”
The Customs data shows that although Kandi reported selling around 2,000 electric cars in the United States in the first nine months of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010, only about 500 were delivered to American ports in those years..
Kandi said in an SEC filing that it sold 1,077 cars in 2011. It did not specifically say that those sales were in the United States. But with the exception of a purported order from Italy that has yet to materialize, it did not report any large sales elsewhere in the world.
Our analysis of the records in Import Genius’ database showed that 290 of Kandi’s mini cars were delivered to American ports in 2011.