SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) has been absolutely battered and bruised in 2016, and looking back even farther the story gets worse. At this point the question is when will the bleeding stop? Despite this performance, one analyst is finally getting around to downgrading the stock but there still appears to be some subtle optimism.
For some background on the carnage: so far in 2016, SunEdison has been one of the worst performing stocks in the market, with shares down roughly 70%. In the past 52 weeks, this stock is down over 90%.
Oppenheimer downgraded SunEdison to a Market Perform rating and removed its $7.50 price target, following the company’s notification of late filing on Monday night. In this filing, the company stated that it expects to file its 10-K within 15 calendar days.
Additionally, SunEdison cited restructuring and other recent events as reasons for this delay. The company disclosed that its audit committee is investigating claims from a current and a former employee on the accuracy of the company’s anticipated financial position and whether its liquidity is sufficient to meet the company’s capital needs.
The brokerage firm detailed in its report:
We continue to see a robust market for renewable energy assets with at least two dozen active buyers and believe SunEdison’s portfolio contains significant value. However, with an unclear liquidity picture and questions about financial controls, we step to the sidelines, as we note that either issue could severely limit SunEdison’s ability to raise capital–which is core to its business model. We note that we are at risk of bottom-ticking the stock with this downgrade, but believe the integrity of financial reporting and controls is foundational for this business. Such questions present too much risk for us to remain constructive on shares.
In terms of the outlook for SunEdison and what to expect, Oppenheimer believes that shares will be under pressure until the company completes a sizable sale to a third party. Also the firm recognizes SunEdison may be at a disadvantage with respect to negotiating leverage under the company’s current financial conditions.
Shares of SunEdison were trading down 20% at $1.58 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $9.79 and a 52-week trading range of $1.21 to $33.45.