Legal firm asks Sunnova investors burnt by IPO to get in touch

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The uneven stock market debut experienced by U.S. third-party solar company Sunnova has taken a fresh twist with a legal firm that specializes in shareholder rights appealing for holders of the new stock burned by the Houston business’ performance to come forward.

Sunnova raised a reported $168 million for a net initial public offering (IPO) profit of $158 million when it made its bow on the New York Stock Exchange a month ago.

That was a windfall far below expectations of up to $300 million from the sale of 17.6 million shares at $16-18, with the share price eventually fixed at $12 and 14 million sold.

Far from representing a bargain, investors have had a rough ride in their first few weeks with the stock sinking as low as $10.36, or 14% below the IPO price, according to law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP.

First-half loss

The San Diego legal practice announced on Friday it was investigating for “potential violations of federal securities laws” in connection with the IPO. Robbins Arroyo cited the first-half figures reported by the newly public company a week ago as a cause for concern, with the revelation of first-half losses of $85.3 million seeing the stock price tumble 8%. Sunnova registered losses of only $22.7 million in the first six months of last year.

Sunnova’s solar leasing model, like that of its U.S. peers involves the capital intensive deployment of residential solar systems onto customers’ roofs with the aim of generating long-term revenue streams. The result is continual quarterly losses, with repeated financing exercises keeping the company on top of its balance sheet: in a securities filing about the company ahead of the IPO, Sunnova reported assets of $1.77 billion against liabilities of $1.07 billion for 2018.

Announcing its investigation, Robbins Arroyo appealed for “concerned” shareholders to get in touch.