(Zero Hedge) Once upon a time SunEdison was one of the most popular hedge fund hotel stocks, which however, just like Valeant, has led all of the hedge funds who were long the name (and still are) to ruin.
Case in point: yesterday the stock plunged another 25% following a DebtWire report that the company was in DIP loan negotiations with lenders, the final step before filing for bankruptcy, after talks to reach an out of court solution with 2nd lien lenders had failed.
This morning, the stock is down another 15% following ever louder concerns that a bankruptcy is imminent, and following a note from Axiom’s Gordon Johnson, arguably the most accurate forecaster in the name, who overnight lowered his 2016 year-end price target adjusts lower to $0.22/shr (85% downside from yesterday’s closing price) vs. $0.39/shr prior.
More importantly, he also notes that “should SUNE be forced to liquidate projects out of its 5.5GW backlog in a Bankruptcy, the impact to US solar market project fundamentals (incl. rooftop) could be detrimental.” This means that none other than Elon Musk may be slammed after SUNE has no choice but to file.
Here is Axiom’s full note”
The Beginning of the End?
Debtwire (“DW”) Report Suggests SUNE in Debtor-in-Possession (“DIP”) Negotiations with $725mn LIBOR +1,000bps A-1 & A-2 2018 Second Lien Term Loan Holders. Yesterday, DW (link) reported that SUNE, after talks failed to reach an out-of-court solution with second lien holders around resolving liquidity/leverage problems, entered into DIP discussions with creditors. By way of background, in general, we remind our readers that DIP financing is typically “put into play” after out-of-court resolutions fall apart. That is, if a company needs a loan, but a potential lender is unwilling to make it (due, mainly, to concerns around legal challenges), the Bankruptcy Code offers a way in which the lender can circumvent legal challenges from other creditors. This is typically done via a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, whereby the lender(s) is granted a first priority security interest, a market/premium interest rate, approved budget, and other lender protections. Stated differently, via a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing, a distressed company who is unable to obtain a new loan outside of bankruptcy, may use DIP financing to get the liquidity necessary to run a sale process or finance a formal Chapter 11 restructuring. In our view, assuming SUNE is successful in acquiring DIP funding, we believe this likely shifts lower the priority of the majority of their capital structure (with equity holders the least likely to be made whole); it also suggests, as we’ve warned extensively, that SUNE’s current cash position is dire, if not completely compromised. We maintain our SELL rating and adjust our price target lower.
SUNE “Mum” when Asked for Comment, But Impact to US Solar Market Could Prove “Debilitating”. We reached out to SUNE regarding the validity of DW’s report, yet did not hear back. However, should SUNE be forced to liquidate projects out of its 5.5GW backlog in a Bankruptcy, the impact to US solar market project fundamentals (incl. rooftop) could be detrimental. Finally, according to DW, SUNE is seeking $300mn in new post-petition DIP liquidity.
Valuation. Using our sum-of-the-parts, where the key point of differentiation is our view that SUNE will develop just 1.95GW of projects in 2016 (vs. guidance of 3.3-3.7GW), our 2016 year-end price target adjusts lower to $0.22/shr (85% downside from yesterday’s closing price) vs. $0.39/shr prior – due to lower TERP/GLBL shr prices.