March 8, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes – just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of middle-market financier BlackRock Kelso Capital (Nasdaq: BKCC ) are having a rough go of it today, losing as much as 12% after the company announced its fourth-quarter and year-end results this morning.
So what: BlackRock Kelso struggled to eke out a profit this quarter. The company reported a $0.03 profit whereas the consensus figure was $0.11. BlackRock Kelso cited decreased net interest income as the main reason for its significantly lowered EPS but did have a positive impact from its effort to control costs. It decided to leave its dividend untouched at $0.32 each quarter.
Now what: BlackRock Kelso was already trading at a large premium to rival MVC Capital (NYSE: MVC ) , and investors appear to be punishing the company for not delivering on those lofty expectations. BlackRock Kelso issued 6 million new shares this quarter as well as offered another $175 million in debt and claimed it may continue to finance its operational activities through equity and debt offerings -- sort of an odd move for a company paying out a dividend in excess of 10%. My advice is to avoid being suckered in by that tempting dividend and see the business development sector for what it is: a play on net interest income. Based on this, MVC Capital has a considerably safer balance sheet that is net cash positive and trades well below book value.
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