With One Fell Tweet, Citron Cleaves Express Scripts Stock Asunder

Lo, pity on the ESRX longs, and glory to the House of Left.

Pity Express Scripts Holding Company, for the dreaded Citron hath issued a vexing tweet on the stock, sending it plunging forthwith! Take heed, holders of that public issue: A reckoning approacheth.


So, short-seller Citron Research put out three tweets Thursday afternoon suggesting the next company in its devastating crosshairs is Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager. Recalling Citron's last high-profile scalp, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Citron called Express Scripts “Philidor of the pharma industry.”

Philidor, you'll remember, was the shady specialty pharmacy whose questionable tactics helped Valeant hawk massive volumes of high-priced drugs to unsuspecting consumers.

ESRX was already down for the day – option activity began well before the tweets – but the stock tanked even further after Citron tweeted. Much has been made of president-elect Donald Trump's ability to move a stock with a tweet, but he's still nothing compared with Citron.

Investors will apparently have to wait until Citron's Andrew Left appears on CNBC at 5:30 Thursday afternoon to get the dirt.

Interestingly, Express Scripts played a role in the Valeant implosion earlier this year. The powerful PBM's decision to end coverage of a major Valeant product and give the drugmaker “extra scrutiny” helped ratchet up the pain on Valeant in February.

UPDATE: Left offered no new information on CNBC and denied that the options activity earlier in the day was him. The stock ended the day down 6.7 percent.