SunEdison Drops After Suspending Dividend, Two Downgrades

  • Analysts at Needham, Macquarie cut their ratings to hold
  • Company suspended quarterly dividend on preferred shares

SunEdison Inc. fell after suspending its preferred dividend in an effort to conserve cash and two analysts reduced their ratings on the world’s largest renewable energy developer.

SunEdison fell 15 percent to $1.52 at the close in New York. The Maryland Heights, Missouri-based company has slumped 93 percent in the past year as it loaded up on debt in a global acquisition spree.

Analysts at Macquarie Group and Needham & Co. cut their ratings to the equivalent of hold after SunEdison said after the close of trading Wednesday that it had suspended dividends on preferred shares.

Patrick Jobin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, estimates that delaying the dividend payment may save about $8.3 million a quarter, conserving cash as the company conducts an internal investigation into its financial situation and fends off shareholder lawsuits.

“Bottom line -- more uncertainty in an already uncertain environment,” Jobin said in a research note Thursday.

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