Over the past year, traders have looked for SPACs to sell amid a terrible slump in the sector. But the mood may be changing given the level of destruction across the sector. After all, many of these formerly promising companies are now 70%-90% below the stock prices at which they merged. Surely, some of them must be bargains now.
I have no doubt that some of these names will rebound tremendously as shrewd investors buy the best of these fallen angels.
However, a stock isn’t necessarily attractive because it has already dropped tremendously. Many of these names aren’t going to survive, and traders should steer clear of them at any price. These three SPACs, for example, have done very little to demonstrate that they have viable long-term business models and seem like they could go bust relatively soon, especially if the economy and markets take another turn for the worse later this year.
|CLOV||Clover Health||88.6 cents|
|HYZN||Hyzon Motors||70 cents|
Back in the late 2010s, WeWork (NYSE:WE) seemed like it was the next big thing within the so-called sharing economy. Investors had watched companies like Uber (NYSE:UBER) and AirBnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) rack up huge valuations. If sharing cars and apartments made sense, why not shared offices as well?
WeWork founder Adam Neumann, however, was much better at marketing than operations. WeWork grew quickly under Neumann’s watch but it was beset with huge operational expenses and a lack of focus on how to generate profits.
Neumann subsequently left WeWork, and its valuation collapsed amid rising losses and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. WeWork’s stock became publicly traded following WE’s $9 billion merger with a SPAC in 2021. That was sharply down from WeWork’s prior, peak valuation of $47 billion. WE stock has tumbled 90% since merging with the SPAC.
The stock tumbled because WeWork lost $2 billion last year on revenues of just $3.3 billion. Importantly, renting offices is a low-margin business, and it’s not easy for those in that business to raise their margins.
WeWork recently raised more money and rolled over its debt. That might allow the firm to keep its lights on a little longer. But WeWork seems likely to end up declaring bankruptcy sooner or later.
Clover Health Investments (CLOV)
Clover Health Investments (NASDAQ:CLOV) is a tech-driven healthcare firm that focuses on providing Medicare Advantage plans to consumers.
Clover believed that disrupting traditional health-insurance companies would be a lucrative business. It believed that a sleeker, user-friendly insurance product and app could attract a significant number of consumers away from the veteran insurers
Clover’s revenue has grown very quickly. Unfortunately, in order to generate that growth, it seems to have greatly relaxed its insurance underwriting standards and operating expense controls. Specifically, Clover lost more than $300 million over the past 12 months, and its losses have barely budged even as its revenues have surged.
Investors were willing to forgive this earlier on in Clover’s time as a public company. Now, however, the market has lost tolerance for companies with unending strings of operating losses.
And, as of the end of last year, the unrestricted cash of Clover’s parent company had sunk to $332 million. Unless Clover can radically improve its profitability metrics, the company could be running low on funds by the end of this year.
Hyzon Motors (HYZN)
Hyzon Motors (NASDAQ:HYZN) is one of the multitude of transportation companies that merged with SPACs over the past few years. HYZN focuses on selling hydrogen fuel cells to trucking companies.
Unfortunately for the owners of HYZN stock, its marketing pitch was well ahead of where Hyzon’s technology was when it merged with a SPAC. Hyzon can tell a compelling story about building clean energy infrastructure to support the rollout of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
However, the adoption of its technology by truckers has been slow, and Hyzon’s quarterly revenues tend to come in at $5 million or less.
But Hyzon has a more pressing concern. Specifically, it hasn’t been able to file its financial statements in an accurate and timely fashion.
It has had to restate some of its past financial results, and the NASDAQ has threatened the company with delisting if it can’t get its act together. Given the general problems electric-vehicle companies are having and Hyzon’s inability to deliver meaningful revenues and reliable financial statements, HYZN stock is not a good stock to hang on to.
On the date of publication, Ian Bezek did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.