How many bankrupt companies have OTC and Pink Sheet stocks before they disappear for the long haul? Enron, Lehman, Adelphia… General Motors (GMGMQ) is on this list. Some of these stay trading for some time even after the bankruptcies have closed because there is a hope that the paper would have some value in future lawsuits. But ultimately, most die and get thrown into the Abyss.
The ‘NewCo’ GM will stay in operations and there will be a real public offering again, but for now traders and investors have to play the Pink Sheet stock of GMGMQ. And the term “playing” is about as true as it can be in this case.
The question to ask is… WHY WOULD THEY STILL BET ON THIS????
There was originally going to be something to the tune of one percent left for the common holder. But after the bankruptcy filing that does not appear to be the case. Even late last week GM came out and warned that it was seeing shares trade north of $1.00, yet what is left of the company has said pooint blank that it expects zero value for the old common holder:
- “GM management strongly believes that any recovery for the common stockholders in the chapter 11 bankruptcy process is highly unlikely, even under the most optimistic of scenarios. Stockholders of a company in chapter 11 generally receive value only if all claims of the secured and unsecured creditors are fully satisfied.”
The sale of the old GM assets to NewCo for Uncle Sam is all but done, or so it seems. That might allow GM to emerge from bankruptcy sooner than many skeptics might have suspected, but that is not likely to do be worth zero to the “OldCo” GM shareholders owning the “GMGMQ” shares.
When a company tells you its own assets are worthless even in the most optimistic scenario, is it worth second guessing the statement? Shares were north of $1.00 last week and closed around $0.70 yesterday. They are trading down a few cents again after the open. But everything here points to a race to zero unless a new come-along lawsuit can derail the progress here.
Maybe investors are just buying GM shares so they can have the certificates mailed to them so they won’t have to pay a premium at antique and collectibles shops down the road for the share certificates. Or maybe it makes for cheap wallpaper for remodeled homes in Michigan in Ohio.
Jon C. Ogg
July 7, 2009