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Why SunEdison Inc.'s Market Drama Continued Tuesday

By Travis Hoium – Mar 1, 2016 at 5:35PM

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Delaying a key SEC filing has SunEdison investors justifiably worried.

Image source: SunEdison.

What: Another day, another massive move by SunEdison Inc. (SUNEQ) Shares of the renewable energy developer dropped as much as 31% in early trading Tuesday, dragging acquisition target Vivint Solar (VSLR) down 21% with them.  

On the positive side, SunEdison's yieldco TerraForm Global (NASDAQ: GLBL) jumped as much as 13% after announcing its quarterly dividend.

So what: SunEdison's problem today is that in a filing after the market closed Monday, the company said it would delay releasing its annual report because of an internal investigation. The audit committee and the board of directors are investigating allegations made by former executives about the company's financial position.

 We don't know what will come out of this investigation, but the fact that there's an investigation and it's delaying annual SEC filings has to be a concern to investors. This could further delay the Vivint Solar acquisition or reveal material weakness in the company's business. At the end of the day, internal investigations do not usually generate good news.

Analysts from OppenheimerAxiom, and Credit Suisse rushed to either downgrade the stock (a little late on that) or sound alarm bells because of the delay.

The only positive move in the SunEdison family of company's was TerraForm Global's move higher after declaring a $0.275 per share quarterly dividend payable on March 17. The stock has an implied dividend yield of 33%, so there's skepticism about its sustainability long-term. For now, it's still intact. 

Now what: Nothing's went right for SunEdison Tuesday, and that spilled over onto Vivint Solar, which as recently as last week thought that its acquisition would be completed in no time. That result is now being called into question, due to SunEdison's internal investigation and the expedited trial of David Tepper's lawsuit.

From SunEdison's standpoint, a precarious financial position is looking worse by the day. We still don't know what the company's finances looked like at the end of 2015, whether or not management can execute on building and selling projects, or even if it will be stuck paying for all of Vivint Solar without TerraForm Power's help.

Staying out of these stocks has been the right strategy for the last year and I'll continue to say that's the way for investors to go. None of this looks sustainable at a time when renewable energy should be a great business to be in.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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