NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Harbin Electric ( HRBN) endured an ugly session on Thursday, losing more than half its value, after Citron Research again hammered away at whether a $24 per share buyout offer from the company's chief executive officer will come to pass.

"It is Citron's opinion that it is now time for the SEC Securities and Exchange Commission to halt this security," said the firm, which has a disclaimer saying it does not guarantee that it's providing all of the information that may be available about the securities it writes about and that its principals "most always" hold a position in the securities it profiles on its site.



Harbin shares plunged $7.32, or 51.2%, to close at $6.98 on Thursday. Volume exceeded 14.6 million, more than 15 times the issue's trailing three-month daily average of roughly 945,000.

Citron is featuring its report on Harbin on its home page with its latest comments following up prior reports published on June 7 and June 9.

"The future of Harbin's stock price is currently propped on the crutch of a purported $24 buyout offer from its Chairman / CEO, which Citron believes is a sham," firm states. "With time stretching seven months since first proposed, we still have no binding, official takeover bid filed in an 8-K, just a few press releases, and now the boilerplate document of a purported supporting loan that seems half baked, as discussed in the last report."

Citron then notes that Harbin's filings are "always tagged" with their own disclaimer that reads: "There can be no assurance that any definitive agreement will be executed with respect to this proposal or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated."

Harbin Electric hasn't specifically responded to any of Citron's reports with a press release. On June 14, however, it did file a Form 8-K with the SEC, saying that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tianfu Yang and Abax Global Capital had reaffirmed the buyout proposal.

Investor confidence in public companies based in China has plummeted in 2011 as a number of entities have reported serious accounting problems. A special report from TheStreet on China-based companies that have gone public in the United States through reverse takeovers called the was first published in December, and continues to be updated with new content.

Among the companies seeing similar skepticism have been Sino-Forest ( SNOFF.PK), which was initiated with a strong sell rating by short-seller research firm Muddy Waters Research on June 2; and Duoyuan Global Water ( DGW) and ChinaMediaExpress Holdings ( CCME), which were also designated with strong sell ratings by Muddy Waters Research earlier in 2011.

Another example is Longtop Financial Technologies ( LFT), which hasn't traded since mid-May as the company has delayed its financial reports and seen its chief financial officer and independent auditor resign. On June 9, the SEC issued a bulletin about the risks of investing in reverse merger companies.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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