Core Scientific stock collapses after bitcoin miner warns it may file for bankruptcy
One of the world's largest bitcoin (BTC-USD) miners, Core Scientific (NASDAQ:CORZ), saw its stock crater over 75% to new all-time lows in Thursday afternoon trading after it warned investors that it may seek bankruptcy protection, according to an SEC filing.
Core Scientific (CORZ) said that it expects to run out of cash by the end of 2022 or sooner, as its operating performance and liquidity have been "severely impacted" by the slump in bitcoin's (BTC-USD) price, rising electricity costs, the increase in the BTC network hashrate and litigation with insolvent crypto exchange Celsius Network.
As uncertainty about the miner's financial condition looms, "substantial doubt exists about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time," it said.
Furthermore, the Austin, Texas-based miner said it won't pay equipment-related debt obligations that are coming due in late October and early November. It's exploring a series of alternatives for raising capital, having hired Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as legal advisors and PJT Partners LP as financial advisers.
As of Thursday, the company held 24 bitcoins (BTC-USD) and ~$26.6M in cash compared with 1,051 BTC and ~$29.5M in cash at the end of September, showing how it continues to sell down its BTC stash.
For some context, CORZ stock, now changing hands at just 25 cents a share, peaked at $14.32 on Nov. 19, 2021, mirroring the record highs seen in bitcoin (BTC-USD), ethereum (ETH-USD) and other major cryptocurrencies at the time. Shares debuted earlier that year at around $10 through a merger with SPAC Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp (XPDI).
The recent market downturn has driven a raft of crypto-related firms to seek bankruptcy protection, including blockchain data service provider Compute North, crypto brokerage Voyager Digital (OTCPK:VYGVQ) and crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. Crypto miners, in particular, have seen their profit margins squeezed due to a rise in electricity costs and competition coupled with depressed token prices.
Take a look at Seeking Alpha contributor Mike Fay's take on Core Scientific's financial conundrum.