Shares of autonomous transportation company TuSimple shot up 28% Monday after the company narrowly avoided a delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange. TuSimple’s stock closed at $1.06 per share.
TuSimple reported last week that it had received notice from the Nasdaq for failing to file its quarterly report on time. The exchange was set to suspend trading in TuSimple stock on May 15. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has asked the Nasdaq for an extended suspension suspension and is currently in an appeals process. TuSimple will continue to trade publicly until it has a hearing with the Nasdaq. It is not clear if a date has yet been set for the hearing, but it should take place in the next 45 days, per a regulatory submission.
The company did not respond in time to say when it expects to report its earnings for 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 with its new independent registered accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022 to get it back on track.
Once at the top of the AV game, TuSimple has been plagued by internal drama, including multiple managerial 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 laid off.
The self-driving truck company went public in April 2021 after receiving strategic investments from several big names such as Traton Group, Navistar, Goodyear and US Xpress. TuSimple saw its share price peak in July 2021 when it reached $62.58, but that number has since dropped by 98%.
Despite the founding team and initial backers from China, the company has positioned itself as a US entity headquartered in San Diego. The company faced regulatory scrutiny due to its ties to China, which led to TuSimple working to relieve its Chinese operations. It also led to the firing of then-CEO Hou, who was accused of simultaneous investigations by the FBI, SEC and CFIUS regarding TuSimple’s relationship with Hydron, a hydrogen-powered transportation company headed by TuSimple’s other co-founder Mo Chen .
Hou disputed the reasons for his dismissal, including allegations that Hou was trying to extort staff for a new company. The founder told TechCrunch that he had a disagreement with current CEO Cheng Lu over Lu’s compensation package and the company’s shift to focus on level 2 autonomy instead of level 4 autonomy alone.
Level 4 is a clue by the Association of Automotive Engineers (SAE), meaning the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving under certain conditions without human intervention. Level 2 systems, in which two primary functions are automated, still have a human driver in the loop.