What happened

Did you see Intelsat (NYSE:I) stock rocket 22% on Wednesday? More important, did you read why Intelsat stock ran up 22% Wednesday?

Because if you did, you cannot be too surprised to learn that after running up so much earlier this week, Intelsat stock is heading back south again here in the last few minutes of the trading week -- down 9.8% as of 3:40 p.m. EDT.

Satellite beaming a transmission

Intelsat operates communications satellites -- but there seems to have been a mis-communication about how much Intelsat stock is worth. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Here's a quick refresher in case you missed it. Intelsat stock shot up 22% on Wednesday because an analyst at RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock. And one of the reasons RBC upgraded Intelsat stock was because it liked the decision by this heavily indebted satellite operator to raise cash and pay down a portion of its debt.

It's how Intelsat is raising that cash, however, that planted the seeds for today's sell-off.

Once again then: Intelsat is floating as much as $402.5 million in new debt (that's convertible into new shares at a strike price of $18.18). It's also selling as many as 15.5 million more shares outright at $14.84 per share. Both these prices, you will note, are below the $19.32 per share that Intelsat sold for after RBC's upgrade, and below the $19.56 per share that Intelsat stock hit one day later.

Now what

But why, you might have asked at the time, would investors be willing to pay $19.32 or $19.56 per share when Intelsat was selling new shares for as little as $14.84 apiece? Turns out not all investors are willing to do that.

Hence today's sell-off -- and don't be surprised if it doesn't end until Intelsat shares sit a whole lot closer to $14.84 a share than what they sell for today.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.