“NEW YORK (Reuters) -- American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. shares sank on Monday after the home loan provider announced "major" writedowns, delayed a dividend and said lenders were demanding it put up more cash.
Shares of American Home were down 39 percent, falling in pre-market trading to $6.39 from Friday's close of $10.47. On Friday the shares hit their lowest level since April 2003. Trading on Monday was halted for news pending.”
The beating AHM is taking is predominantly on their announcement to delay dividends on their stock. Guess when they announced this. Late Friday! Since AHM knew that if the announcement came any earlier, it would take a beat down like any of the housing related stocks last week. So they let it fester over the weekend and as of this posting, trading has halted on further “news.” But how much market cap was lost over the weekend? We always hear that massive corrections cannot occur over night but really in terms of money, how much was lost? Well let us take a look at some details regarding the company:
American Home Mortgage
Shares Outstanding: 54.28M
Price Per Share on Friday: $10.47
Current Pre-Market Share Price: $6.39
Friday Market Cap: $568,290,000
Pre-Market Cap: $346,849,000
Down in Two Days: $221,441,000
Here’s the thing. All things real estate can go down fast and dirty. Keep in mind this is only one example of many companies. The fact of the matter here is that this company has a market cap of half a billion dollars and is rather large. The disturbing part, as highlighted by the CNN article is you have a company as of the end of March, that had $4.01 billion in “warehouse” credit lines. It is becoming apparent that the subprime contagion is spreading all across the housing sectors.
In reality companies are valued on multiple fronts including their potential earnings or cash flow. For example, say you and I own a company with $40,000 in assets. We decide that we will only have two owners (shareholders) and have two shares outstanding. Therefore each of us would have a “stock” of $20,000 in the company assuming we have $0 in liabilities. Say we expect to earn $100,000 next year in revenue. Obviously the share price of $20,000 will jump up because of the projected earning potential. But what happens should we have negative cash flow? That is what is occurring with these companies but on a larger scale. Of course this is a rudimentary explanation but many of these companies are in similar situations like home owners facing massive resets yet have negative cash flow that they didn’t expect. In addition, your underlying asset gets impacted by negative growth potential. The market is calling it liquidity issues but ultimately it boils down to being unable to pay your bills.
Issues on the Home Front
And then we have stories like this one submitted by a reader of a Ventura Country couple trying to sell their home at bubblicious prices. From the Ventura County Star:
“The Conroys might have aimed high at a time when the market is soft. The most comparable home with similar square footage in the Golf Course Villas had an asking price of $759,000 and sold for $773,500 in October, said Joe Virnig, president of
Coastal Association of Realtors. He said he believes the same pricing strategy would have been successful for the Conroys. Ventura County
Doughtery thinks the weekend's event will likely expedite the sale, but not without a cost.
"I think if you want to unload a property for less than the actual value, then this is the way to go," he said.
Still, Virnig warns there must be a catch to this type of marketing tactic, and calls it a "gimmick" to get people to see the house. It's the first time he's seen such a strategy in
. Ventura County
"I have trouble believing they'd honor the $594,000 price if that's all they get," he said. "I see all kinds of problems with real estate agents adopting these tactics. I'm not about to adopt it — it's fraught with risk. Until the inspection period is up, it would be difficult to be sure that you didn't end up buying a problem."
You should really examine the entire article but the fact of the matter is we have people stuck on housing bubble yesteryear prices. They are asking $849,000 when a comparable home sold last October for $773,500. Even the fact that they are "entertaining" offers above $594,000, they are still in the belief that they can yield top prices from their rhetoric. In addition, I’m not sure if they are aware, we are in full out suprime and Alt-A meltdown mode therefore limiting access to whacky LaLa land credit. So the pool of buyers is limited in comparison to October of last year. In fact, standards didn’t get tighter until Q1 of this year. So they may look at the $773,500 price and laugh at it, but they’d be lucky to even get that. And the scary part of the article is that there are many folks still looking to jump into the game. Thankfully, I’m sure many of these would be buyers are having issues getting mortgages since they probably don’t have a sufficient down payment and Wall Street is done with the creative financing game. Even in today’s absurd market, all you need is 5 to 10 percent to get top notch mortgage products and rates. Yet with our negative savings rate, this is obviously too much to ask.
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