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Down Around 40% From Its High, Could Tellurian Stock Still Be a Long-Term Winner?

By Jon Quast and Jason Hall – Sep 26, 2021 at 7:26AM

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It can, but it needs to stop diluting shareholders as much as it is right now.

It hasn't been a pleasant ride for Tellurian (TELL 3.17%) shareholders. The stock is still down 70% from its high in 2019. And as of this writing, the stock is down 37% from its high in 2021. It's likely that many investors are starting to give up on this natural gas company, given its underperformance. 

However, in this video from Backstage Pass, recorded on Sept. 9, Motley Fool contributor Jason Hall gives his perspective on Tellurian's long-term prospects. He acknowledges there's still plenty of risk, but he also believes this could be a huge winner if it gets its export facility in Louisiana operational in a timely fashion.

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Jason Hall: Just a quick, quick update on Tellurian, and I'm trying to find it. I had it open. I've got 30 other tabs open here, so it's hard to find everything.

So Tellurian stock has come down pretty sharply since late August. The reason why, it was the really the latest thing that came out of the company, was the company was going to issue some senior notes, was going to raise some debt, and it kind of bumped its head up against Nasdaq on it and withdrew the $50 million debt offering. But then there was some execution of some higher demand, I think it was some oversubscription for some other debt that had issues. So it had some extra capital from that.

Long story short, because of concerns about its ability to raise capital and also that dilution from the oversubscription on the other debt they had issued, the stock price fell from the peak that was right there at the end of August. So the past week and a half or so, the stock price has come down.

Here's the good thing about Tellurian right now. It's pretty well capitalized. It has plenty of cash on its balance sheet to run its operations. But at the end of the day, everything's has gotten kicked a little further down the curb with this business.

Tellurian, for those, the uninitiated, this is the company that's a start-up basically that's trying to raise the funding to build a liquefied natural gas export facility in Louisiana, where it can have access to low cost natural gas out of the Permian Basin and some other shale plays. The good thing is it has enough long-term contracts with buyers of that natural gas to make it economic, to build the first part of that. It's economic now. So there's an economic justification. That's really important in terms of lenders being willing to lend to build that facility. So that's really, really good.

But it's now it's looking like it's going to be next year before they issue a final investment decision. So the risk means is that this business, it doesn't really have much of an operating business right now, has only a certain amount of capital to fund operations that it's just going to burn through that cash and they still have to give a thumbs-up to build this facility, which means they have to have lenders lined up to pay for it. So there's a lot of questions there. I think things are still in their favor. It's just taken much longer because of the economic environment.

I still think this is a 10-, 20-, 30-, maybe a 40- or 50-bagger, frankly, just looking at what's -- Cheniere Energy is like the benchmark, what can be accomplished with building this sort of business and the kind of cash flows that it can generate. But it just depends on how much more dilution happens between now and then, what terms that can get on the debt that it raises, and how quickly you can scale up that facility. It could still be a zero, too, just because it's a startup with no real revenues. I think you just have to acknowledge that and just buckle in for the long term and don't risk money you can't afford to lose, because this is largely a binary outcome stock at this point.

Jon Quast owns shares of Nasdaq. The Motley Fool recommends Nasdaq. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tellurian Inc. Stock Quote
Tellurian Inc.
$2.60 (3.17%) $0.08
Cheniere Energy Stock Quote
Cheniere Energy
$172.65 (1.30%) $2.22
Nasdaq Stock Quote
$66.10 (-0.26%) $0.17

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