What: Shares of yieldco TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ:TERP) jumped as much as 20.1% in trading Wednesday after an activist announced a stake in the company. At 3:20 p.m. EDT, shares had settled at a 16.3% gain for the day.
So what: Brookfield Asset Management announced that it had a 12.1% stake in TerraForm Power, and intends to take an activist role in the company. This follows David Tepper and David Einhorn, two powerful hedge-fund managers who also have large stakes in the company.
TerraForm Power recently asked bondholders to put off a technical default caused by a delay in SEC filings, which would pay the debt holders a nominal amount if they agree to the deal. And without access to financial filings, hedge funds are making a high-risk bet on this renewable-energy stock.
Now what: The bankruptcy of SunEdison, TerraForm Power's sponsor company, has really thrown this yeildco into a tailspin. Most notably, it hasn't reported earnings since after the third quarter of 2015.
Without knowing what's going on with TerraForm Power's finances and debt, it's very difficult to assess what the company's value might be. Clearly, hedge funds think there's value to be had, but keep in mind that David Einhorn lost hundreds of millions of value betting on SunEdison last year.
I would steer clear of this stock until we get more clarity. Based on the extension that TerraForm Power recently asked for from bondholders, I don't think we'll be getting clarity anytime soon.