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Why Foresight Energy LP's Shares Popped 56% Today

By Travis Hoium - Apr 19, 2016 at 5:05PM

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This coal producer may have gotten a new lease on life today.

Image source: Pixabay.

What: Shares of Foresight Energy LP (FELP) were up as much as 56% in early trading after reaching an agreement with creditors. Near the end of trading, shares were up about 16%.

So what: About two-thirds of the holders of $600 million in 7.875% senior unsecured notes maturing in 2021 have agreed to a debt exchange. They will get $106 million in notes acquired at full face value; $300 million in second lie, convertible, pay-in-kind notes that have a 15% interest rate; and $300 million in second lien notes due August 2021 with a 9% interest rate.  

The holders argued the notes had triggered an early repayment at a premium when Murray Energy Corp. acquired a 50% stake in Foresight Energy last year. This ends that dispute with a cash payout now and additional debt in the future.

Now what: Coal miners across the country are struggling to survive, and that's one reason this dispute put the company in so much trouble. It could have led to bankruptcy if Foresight had had to repay debt early.

The downside is that the interest rate the company pays just went up, which will make long-term survival more difficult. It's that long-term picture that would keep me from buying the stock today. This may have been a short-term recovery, but the long-term picture in coal looks tough, especially weighed down by newly heightened interest rates.

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