Workhorse Stock Jumps Again, and Short Sellers Could Be Caught Up in It -- Barrons.com

主力股再度跳涨,卖空者可能被套牢--Barrons.com

2020/10/13 00:30  Dow Jones Newswires

DJ Workhorse Stock Jumps Again, and Short Sellers Could Be Caught Up in It -- Barrons.com


By Al Root

Stock in commercial electric-van maker Workhorse was flying for a second consecutive day Monday. This time, a bond deal seems to have been the spark, and it might be that short sellers can't take the pain.

Workhorse shares (ticker: WKHS) were up 6% in midday trading Monday after the company said it is raising $200 million by selling convertible bonds, which can be converted into common stock at $36.14 a share. Earlier in the year, Workhorse raised $70 million in a convertible-bond sale. That issue was convertible into common stock at $19. The existing convertible holders are exchanging their bonds for the new issue.

Investors are excited, presumably, because it means Workhorse won't have to offer common stock to meet its growth goals. The company will have about $270 million in cash when the deal closes later this week.

This new convertible issue also pushes out the maturity profile of Workhorse debt. The original convertibles were due in 2023. The new ones are due in 2024. That is another small benefit to the company.

"With this financing in place, we can more quickly advance our production efforts," CEO Duane Hughes said in the company's news release. "We can also accelerate our production timeline for new, high-demand customer products, including a refrigeration truck for grocery applications as well as a purpose-built class 2 delivery van."

Workhorse's flagship product, which began shipping recently, is an all-electric delivery van with 1,000 cubic feet of capacity, similar in size to a FedEx (FDX) delivery vehicle.

Workhorse just started delivering those and has a lot of irons in the fire. Shares rose almost 13% on Friday after Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said a U.S. Postal Service decision was expected soon on replacing thousands of its delivery vehicles. Workhorse is among the companies bidding for the contract and it is the only all-EV option being considered. Irwin thinks the chances are high Workhorse wins.

Still, the stock's rise on these bits of news is surprising, and a short squeeze might be at play. Almost 23 million shares of Workhorse have been borrowed and sold by bearish investors betting on price declines. That amounts to almost 25% of the stock outstanding, many times more the average short interest of stocks in the either the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

It is also possible some of the short selling is tied to the convertible bonds. Convertible bonds convert into common stock giving bondholders some exposure to the stock price, which they may or may not want. But there is too much short selling going on for convertible bonds to account for all of it. And short interest started increasing after Workhorse stock started to trade higher around June.

Workhorse shares are up 870% year to date and 1,089% since the end of May. That gain may have attracted the short sellers. Workhorse doesn't have significant sales yet and the surge coincided with increased interest in electric-vehicle stocks.

EV stocks Barron's tracks, including Workhorse, are up about 380% year to date on average.

Wall Street overall isn't in the skeptics' camp. Four out of five analysts covering the company rate shares Buy. Barron's also recently wrote positively about Workhorse stock, believing the company had carved out an interesting niche in all-electric commercial delivery vans. The gains are nice, but we didn't see shares rising this far this fast.

Looking ahead, the USPS decision looms large. The company will likely have to win to keep stock momentum high.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 12, 2020 12:30 ET (16:30 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

DJ主力股再度跳涨,卖空者可能被套牢--Barrons.com


按Al Root

周一,商用电动面包车制造商WorkHorse的股票连续第二天上涨。这一次,债券交易似乎是导火索,可能是卖空者承受不了痛苦。

工作马公司(股票代码:WKHS)周一午盘上涨6%,此前该公司表示将通过出售可转换债券筹集2亿美元,这些可转换债券可以每股36.14美元的价格转换为普通股。今年早些时候,工作马通过发售可转换债券筹集了7000万美元。那次发行的债券可以19美元的价格转换为普通股。现有的可转换持有者正在用他们的债券换取新发行的债券。

投资者感到兴奋,想必是因为这意味着工作马将不必发行普通股来实现其增长目标。本周晚些时候交易完成时,该公司将拥有约2.7亿美元现金。

这一新的可转换债券发行也推高了主力债务的到期日概况。最初的敞篷车将于2023年到期。新的将于2024年到期。这是该公司的另一个小好处。

首席执行官杜恩·休斯(Duane Hughes)在公司的新闻稿中表示:“有了这笔融资,我们可以更快地推进我们的生产努力。”我们还可以加快新的、高需求客户产品的生产时间表,包括用于食品杂货应用的冷藏车以及专门制造的2类送货面包车。“

WorkHorse的旗舰产品最近开始发货,这是一款容量为1,000立方英尺的全电动送货面包车,大小类似于联邦快递(FedEx)的送货车辆。

主力刚开始送这些东西,而且有很多事情要做。周五股价上涨近13%,此前Roth Capital分析师克雷格·欧文(Craig Irwin)表示,预计美国邮政服务公司(U.S.Postal Service)很快就会决定更换数千辆递送车辆。WorkHorse是竞标该合同的公司之一,这是唯一正在考虑的全电动汽车选项。欧文认为主力获胜的可能性很大。

尽管如此,该股在这些消息传出后上涨还是令人惊讶的,而且可能存在空头挤压。押注价格下跌的看跌投资者借入和出售了近2300万股主力股票。这相当于已发行股票的近25%,是标准普尔500指数或道琼斯工业平均指数(Dow Jones Industrial Average)股票平均空头利率的数倍。

也有可能部分卖空与可转换债券有关。可转换债券转换为普通股,使债券持有人对股价有一定的敞口,这可能是他们想要的,也可能是他们不想要的。但可转换债券的卖空现象太多,无法解释全部原因。在6月份左右主力股开始走高后,空头兴趣开始增加。

今年到目前为止,主力马的股价上涨了870%,自5月底以来上涨了1089%。这一收益可能吸引了卖空者。WorkHorse目前还没有很大的销量,而销量飙升的同时,人们对电动汽车类股的兴趣也在增加。

电动汽车股票Barron‘s Track,包括主力汽车,今年到目前为止平均上涨了约380%。

总体而言,华尔街并不属于怀疑论者的阵营。报道该公司的分析师中有五分之四的人买入股票。Barron‘s最近也对主力股持积极态度,认为该公司在全电动商用送货车领域开辟了一个有趣的利基市场。涨幅不错,但我们没有看到股价上涨这么快。

展望未来,美国邮政总局的决定迫在眉睫。该公司很可能必须获胜才能保持较高的股价势头。

写信给Al Root,地址为allen.root@dowjones.com

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2020年10月12日美国东部时间12:30(格林尼治标准时间16:30)

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