Mexican building materials firm Cemex (
) took the
first necessary steps this week
to refinance a loan and help emerge from a crippling debt that has
seen the stock drop significantly over the past few years.
[caption id="attachment_58482" align="alignright" width="300"
caption="Cemex has struggled since building slowed down in the wake
of the financial crisis"]
This week, Cemex announced that the firm would sell off a number
of assets worldwide in order to improve its much maligned balance
sheet. The firm has a
$7.3 billion loan coming due in 2014
, and the sale of assets will allow the company to pay back a $1
billion tranche of said loan. However, given the company's
geographic diversity of assets -- it has interests in more than 50
countries -- it remains to be seen where the company will decrease
As well, Cemex will engage in another round of debt sales to
raise an additional $500 million -- bonds that will come due in
2018 -- which should help assuage investor concerns over the near
Cemex struggled mightily in the wake of the financial crisis. As
home prices collapsed and firms around the world stopped building,
leveraged companies with large exposure to housing prices were
As a result, over the past five years, Cemex's ADR is down
roughly 75%. However, because the stock has rallied more than 150%
since its lows for the year and is bouncing up against its 52-week
high, this is not yet a clear entry point in the stock.
If the stock were to make a new 52-week high with heavy volume,
Cemex could break out. However, long-term investors
would like to see profitability on the horizon
before jumping in with two feet into Cemex. The stock's current
earnings per share is a miserable -1.19; as a result, for value
investors, it's hard to justify entering Cemex at these levels.