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Molina Healthcare's Convertible Exchange Is a Win-Win


Now may be the time to hitch a ride on Molina Healthcare's stock.

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Convertible bond repeat-offender Molina Healthcare (MOH) has done its third deal, this one through an exchange offer.

The transaction involves just over one-third of Molina's 3.75% convertibles maturing this fall. Instead of delivering par value in cash, Molina will give exchanging bondholders a new piece of paper with the following terms:
  • 1.625% coupon
  • 30% conversion premium based on a 10-day averaging period starting August 19
  • 30-year maturity
  • Four years of call protection
  • A sequence of puts beginning in four years.
The trade seems to make sense for both sides. Bondholders -- presumably hedge funds set up with full or nearly full hedges on the 3.75% bonds -- will get an attractively priced new security that figures to trade higher in the aftermarket. Based on the current price of the existing MOH 1.125% convertibles, the new bonds look to be theoretically worth somewhere in the 104-105 range. Meanwhile, the company restrikes a big chunk of its obligations higher, reducing some dilution.

The press release suggests that current bondholders will be buying back stock during the averaging period to adjust their hedges from those appropriate for the old bond (100%) to the new bond, which looks to have a delta closer to 60%. The difference between a full hedge on the old bond and a 60% hedge on the new one looks to be about 20,000 shares per $1 million face amount, or about 1.38 million shares in aggregate.

This translates to about 138,000 shares daily, or 20-25% of Molina's average daily volume -- seemingly enough to give the stock a boost during a typically slow trading period.

Managed care stocks have struggled of late and Molina is no exception, down about 15% over the past few weeks. Investors looking for an entry point may want to get in before the averaging period begins on August 19.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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