August 27, 2014

RadioShack stock moves up another 30 percent on financing talks

New financing being lined up by Standard General could buy the Fort Worth-based company time for turnaround.

RadioShack’s stock surged another 30 percent today, trading as high as $1.60 a share, as investors continued to bet that a hedge fund and major shareholder can round up new investors and buy the company some time for a turnaround.

Shares of the Fort Worth-based electronics retailer (ticker: RSH) were up 35 cents at $1.44 a share by late morning, after moving up 26 percent, or 23 cents, on Wednesday. The company, which had been warned of delisting by the New York Stock Exchange, closed above $1 a share Wednesday for the first time in two months.

The stock has now more then doubed following a report from Bloomberg News that Standard General is in talks with RadioShack about ways to raise cash.

Fresh cash from a more diverse group of investors may make it easier for RadioShack to implement its turnaround plan, which includes closing stores, to mitigate nine straight quarters of losses. Without a capital infusion, the seller of phones and batteries will probably face a cash crunch next year, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“As tough a battle as it’s going be to turn the business around, I won’t completely write them off yet,” said Will Frohnhoefer, a special-situations equity analyst for BTIG in New York. “The new capital could get them through the rough patch.”

Standard General is also seeking a way to refinance RadioShack’s $250 million second-lien term loan, which is held by Salus Capital Partners and Cerberus Capital Management, the people said. That may allow the retailer to close a large number of underperforming stores, helping stem cash losses.

A refinancing of the loan “will buy the retailer more operating flexibility,” Noel Hebert, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a report Tuesday. “Both Standard General and fellow shareholder BlueCrest Capital say RadioShack should close as many as 1,100 stores, a plan that was rejected by lenders given that closures would reduce its available collateral.”

Merianne Roth, a spokeswoman for RadioShack, declined to comment, as did Salus’ Emily Serafin and Standard General’s David Glazek.

RadioShack lost $98.3 million in the three months ending May 3, while same-store sales tumbled 14 percent. It ended the quarter with just $62 million in cash.

Even a fresh infusion of cash and the ability to close more locations don’t automatically point to a turnaround, according to Scott Tilghman, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in Boston.

Store closings “are not the silver bullet,” Tilghman said. “There is cost associated with closing stores. The challenge for them is being able to do that while at the same time righting the current business.”

Standard General, founded in 2007, committed up to $25 million in capital to American Apparel, the unprofitable chain that recently ousted founder and Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney. That included spending $10 million to buy Lion Capital’s high-interest loan.

As part of that deal, RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca was appointed to American Apparel’s board, establishing a tie between the struggling retailers.

This report includes material from Bloomberg News and the Star-Telegram.

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