Shares of Calpine Corp. (ticker: CPN) suffered a greater than 20% loss yesterday and is now down almost another 13% today. All of this was caused by a court ruling stating that they will be unable to use the $395 million in cash they received from the sale of oil and gas fields earlier this year for the purpose of buying natural gas to run its power plants:
The dispute stems from the Bank of New York's decision in September when, acting as trustee for Calpine bondholders, it withheld proceeds from Calpine's sale in July of North American oil and gas fields.
The bank froze the money after the bondholders said money from the sale couldn't be used to buy fuel futures but should be used instead to buy other assets or pay off debt.
The move prompted Calpine to file a lawsuit against the Bank of New York and Wilmington Trust Co. seeking release of the funds, arguing that buying natural gas in storage is allowed under the terms of its notes. [ more ]
When I purchased this stock for the mutual fund I mentioned it was a very speculative play:
Shares in FPL and Calpine Purchased August 15 -- Calpine Corp. (CPN) is the other utility that I started a position in today. This one is a more aggressive play, but has the potential to generate better results. Calpine supplies electricity from natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants to wholesale and industrial customers in North America. This company has had some serious financial difficulties in the past and is trying to right itself. This is a very speculative purchase and I did not commit very much money into it. I purchased this stock with an average entry price of $3.35 for the mutual fund only.
With the stock now sitting at a dollar and change the big question is should I sell now? As I stated above I didn't purchase a large amount of the stock, so this loser doesn't seriously affect the portfolio. If they would have gotten a positive ruling then the small amount of stock would have seen some good gains. It was a gamble and one that is lost. There are now fears that bankruptcy is just a couple of quarters away. I'm going to sit with my shares for now since it is sitting at the 52 week lows. I will continue to watch this stock to see if they can get an appeal, but the hopes are fading quickly. The company still has a book value of over $6, so it could see itself purchased by a larger company in the future. So I will hold for now.
This is also just another reminder that many of the stocks in the Alternative Energy sector are very small companies. Many are on the verge of breaking out big over the next couple of years, but there are also many that can blow up in your face. So as they say, make sure all your money is not in one basket.
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