Why Miller Energy Resources Inc's Shares Dropped Today

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 Miller Energy Resources Inc  (NYSE: MILL  ) fell as much as 14.7% in early trading after getting a letter from shareholders asking for change. Shares settled in at a 7% loss near the end of trading.

So what: A group of independent shareholders calling themselves Concerned Miller Shareholders sent an open letter to shareholders highlighting "excessive compensation and lack of board oversight," and asking for changes to management. The group is led by Bristol Capital Advisors, LLC and Lone Star Value Management, LLC, which own about 4.7% of shares outstanding. 

Now what: We don't know exactly what will happen to Miller after this letter, but it looks like we're setting up for a fight, and a proxy battle is likely. Concerned Miller Shareholders has already nominated 10 independent candidates for the board, and will push that agenda into the annual stockholders meeting on March 28. I don't see this as a reason to change your investing thesis one way or the other today, but long term, if changes are made, it may be a way to unlock value from a company still losing money quarter after quarter. That's the upside potential from a move like this, although it might be a hard battle to get there.

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  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2013, at 7:32 PM, zorro6204 wrote:

    If this challenge succeeds, it would be a game changer for the company, replacing inexperienced former security salesman with professionals in the oil and gas industry. It would also rip up some breathtaking compensation proposals for these individuals.

    Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks seldom work, not unless there's a "name" behind them a little more substantial than Eliot Richardson. The likely outcome is to cast a pall over ongoing financing negotiations which would replace or supplement an expensive equity type lender with normal bank rate debt. I'm sure that is what the market is worried about, along with the fact that mud throwing is never a positive. But these issues are not new, the financing is critical.

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