Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rare Earth: Largest U.S. Producer, Molycorp Has Filed For Bankruptcy Protection (MCPIQ)

"...Words like "uranium", "rare earths", etc. seem to be magic to
 those unsuspecting who are often fleeced..."
Gerald M. Loeb
The Battle for Investment Survival
Simon & Schuster, 1935

Oh we had fun with this one.
We posted on it pretty much from Tombstone to tombstone.*
There are a lot of lessons for commodity investors wrapped up in this tale.
And for equity investors as well. The stock went from being part of Goldman Sach's odds & sods ends bin to "UPDATED-Rare Earth: "Molycorp Looks Like One Of The Greatest Private Equity Deals Ever" (MCP)"
To last week's filing.

From 24/7 Wall Street:
Molycorp Files for Chapter 11, Delisted From NYSE
When Molycorp (MCPIQ) held its initial public offering in July of 2010, the company priced the shares at $13.25, below the IPO range of $15 to $17 that the company had hoped for. The stock rose to an all-time high of around $77 a share by April of 2011, before collapsing to just over a dime on the OTC Pink market Friday morning, following the stock’s delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. 
The company’s Mountain Pass mine in California was touted as the answer to global dependence on China’s rare earth metals mining industry. In an attempt to clean up the country’s illegal rare earth mining operations  (and to keep global prices high in the face of the threat from Molycorp), China imposed export restrictions on certain rare earth metals. Then the unexpected happened.
Major users of rare earth metals began to explore for substitutes for the expensive minerals — and users found them. Add to that the lifting of China’s export restrictions, and it was just a matter of time before new rare earth mining companies like Molycorp folded....MORE
This brings back memories, Stutz Bearcats, raccoon coats and Molycorp.
I may be confusing my geologic eras here but Molycorp was a wonderful trader back in the day. There were three separate times we had triples in the little bugger, long and short, from the very first tick, July 29, 2010:
Rare Earth Metals: Molycorp IPO Very Weak (MCP) to the May 2011 top tick at $79 and change to Feb. 2012's: Molycorp Earnings: "I Could Not Be More Proud of The Molycorp Family" (MCP)
I hate it when they talk like that, it triggers alarm bells and Sister Sledge tunes....
 Here's a Stutz Bearcat:
In the early '20's the company was majority owned by "a young Wall Street sharpie" who decided to run what appeared to be a successful corner in the stock that ran it from around $100 to $700. He went bust in 1922:
ALLAN A. RYAN FAILS; DEBTS $32,435,477, $27,806,984 SECURED; Stutz Corner Started War Which Made Thomas Fortune Ryan's Son a Bankrupt. 
And the company followed in the middle of the Depression.