Can you believe it? Some investors still hold out hope that Enron (ENE) will make it, even after it filed for bankruptcy.
Their logic is that the $1.5 billion Enron received as part of its debtor-in-possession financing will turn things around. But I'm here to tell you, don't jump on that bandwagon.
Enron may survive in some form. But as is usually the case when a company declares bankruptcy, the common shareholder will almost certainly get nothing. Enron's senior debt is trading for about 25 cents on the dollar. And in order for the common shareholder to receive a dime, those guys have to be made whole first. Slim chance.
But you wouldn't know this bet was a sure loser to look at the stock lately. After plunging to a quarter on Nov. 30, Enron stock has done nothing but gain ground over the last week. Yesterday it closed at $1.01, meaning it's up 300% from its low. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Sure, an awful lot of big money players out there, including
, are hoping that Enron makes it as a going concern. Counting loans, bonds and contract exposure, a
report this morning pegs total corporate losses (as the result of the bankruptcy filing) at more than $6 billion. So clearly some people are invested in seeing this company survive.
But the bottom line is this: With the Labor Department investigating the management of its 401k plans, the SEC probing third-party transactions and some 15 lawsuits pending, the risk to the common shareholder is simply too great. There are too many bad things that could happen to Enron and very few good ones.
So don't bet on a turnaround -- you can't assume that the common shareholder will get anything in a reorganization. There is still too much that's unknown to justify speculating on this stock. Put your money toward something with more value -- one of those $3.50
hot dogs at Enron Field.
In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, Glenn Curtis doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Curtis welcomes your feedback and invites you to send it to