Calumet Specialty Products, a master limited partnership and refiner of hydrocarbon products is getting smashed in trading Monday after outlining a new strategic vision for the company.
Calumet makes everything from car lubricants to asphalt, and has been hit hard by low oil prices and lower refining margins. In response to the struggles, the company issued a release warning about its upcoming earnings, announcing offering of $400 million in debt at 11.5% interest, and suspending its distribution payments on Friday.
Since Calumet is a MLP, ownership is divided up into “units” and dividend payments on these units are called distributions.
Analysts at Wells Fargo, Raymond James, and RBC Capital Markets all downgraded the firm’s rating after the news. Bank of America Merril Lynch maintained it underperformed rating, but said that the size of the quarterly distribution cut was surprising.
“While a cut is not a surprise, given the units were yielding 27% and management had alluded to the possibility on its 4Q15 call in February, the magnitude is significantly greater than we, and in our view, the street, had anticipated,” said analyst Jason Smith of BAML.
“As the only fixed distribution refining MLP, we believe that while the move is necessary and will improve CLMT’s liquidity, it also challenges an equity investment case predicated largely on yield as a differentiating factor.”
Basically, it’s good for the overall business but without the benefit of the distribution payment, the one thing that made Calumet special is lost.
The stock is trading down around 47% Monday at $5.30, as of 11:00 a.m. ET.
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