Guggenheim Investments, the fund sponsor behind the BulletShares family of target maturity date corporate bond ETFs, today carried out a 1-for-10 reverse share split on its Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN), which lost two-thirds of its price last year as part of broad weakness in solar stocks.
The reverse split, which became effective today for shareholders of record as of the Feb. 14 market close, shrinks the number of outstanding shares by a factor of about 10, while pumping up share price about 10 times. The ETF was trading on a post-split basis on Wednesday at just over $32 a share, according to information posted on Google Finance.
Solar stocks were hurt by all of last year’s market volatility plus the highly publicized bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra. TAN was the second-worst-performing ETF last year, losing more than 66 of its value. However, it has climbed almost 40 percent this year. Still, TAN was trading just shy of $3.50 per share on a presplit basis last Friday, which is below a $5 threshold that exchanges are said to deem crucial.
Despite the setbacks for TAN and other solar-related investments, many analysts and investors still see a bright future for solar energy, especially with upward pressure again on crude oil.
Jeffrey Bussgang, managing partner at the Boston-based venture capital firm Flybridge Capital Partners, is one of those optimists. He told IndexUniverse in a recent interview that, high-profile Solyndra-like failures notwithstanding, solar retains a vast potential based on either U.S. or Chinese innovation.
The total market value of outstanding shares isn’t affected by the reverse split, except for any fractional shares that result from the action, the company said in a press release.
Because fractional shares can’t be traded, firms with shareholders holding fractional shares will sell the fractional holdings on the open market on Feb. 15 or as soon as possible thereafter, Guggenheim said.
Such sales could cause holders to realize a gain or loss, and could thus result in a taxable event.
Otherwise, the reverse split won’t result in any taxable transactions for shareholders, Guggenheim noted.