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Short-seller getting burned by Wayfair says he's not worried because Bezos is 'working for me'

  • "I'm going to leave this interview, and I'm going to go play golf," Citron Research's Andrew Left told CNBC.
  • The short-seller is still betting against online furniture retailer Wayfair because of the rising competitive threat from Amazon.
  • The company's shares surged 21 percent Tuesday after the firm reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Citron Research's Andrew Left, who gained notoriety for successful bets against companies such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, said he is still short online furniture retailer Wayfair even after the shares have surged this week due to the rising competitive threat from Amazon.

"I'm still short Wayfair ... The company still loses more money. I think their cash burn was the second-highest ever. They are showing no path toward profitability whatsoever," Left said in an exclusive interview on CNBC's "Halftime Report" Wednesday.

"I'm going to leave this interview, and I'm going to go play golf. And when I go play golf I have Jeff Bezos and I have Marc Lore from Wal-Mart, who have not yet competed in this space, who said we're going to start getting more aggressive on furniture. They're working for me," he added. Lore is the CEO of Walmart.com.

The short-seller said he doesn't focus on the short-term moves in Wayfair's stock price and is more interested in how the online furniture competitive landscape turns out one year from today.

"With Wayfair, my timing is off right now, which is fine," Left said.

Wayfair shares rallied 21 percent Tuesday after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. The firm reported it had a first-quarter loss of 48 cents per share versus the Wall Street consensus for a loss of 57 cents per share. It also posted $961 million in sales for the quarter compared with the $935 million Street estimate.

Left isn't alone betting against the stock. Wayfair's short interest is 13.6 million shares, or 37.5 percent of its float, according to FactSet.

"Wayfair was the fifth most shorted stock in the internet retail sector and had the third largest monthly increase in short interest, trailing only Amazon.com and Priceline.com," S3 Partners, a financial technology firm, wrote in an email to clients Wednesday.

Short-sellers lost $150 million in Wayfair Tuesday, bringing the total loss to $366 million this year in the stock, according to S3 Partners estimates. The shares are up nearly 80 percent year-to-date.

Left also posted his Wayfair bear thesis on Twitter Tuesday.



"While some $W shorts cover, Citron loves the opportunity to short more here," Citron Research wrote on its Twitter feed. "Citron believes the stock should trade right back to $45."

Wayfair shares traded up 3 percent midday Wednesday. The company declined to comment on the TV interview with Left.