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Carvana shares pop as company offers first-quarter guidance, restructures debt

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A Carvana glass tower sits illuminated on Feb. 23, 2022, in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Armando L. Sanchez | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Shares of Carvana

The company’s stock rose by nearly 30% on Wednesday morning before leveling off at around $9.50 a share, up roughly 20%. The stock has more than doubled this year following a rapid decline last year as the company’s operations and earnings disappointed Wall Street.

Carvana expects a first-quarter loss of between $50 million and $100 million, drastic improvement from a loss of $348 million it reported a year earlier, despite significantly lower sales and revenue.

As for Carvana’s debt, the company is offering noteholders the option to exchange their unsecured notes at a premium to current trading prices in exchange for new secured notes. The actions will provide exchanging noteholders with “collateral while reducing Carvana’s cash interest expense and maintaining significant flexibility,” the company said in a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If fully subscribed, the exchange offer would reduce the face value of Carvana’s outstanding $5.7 billion of unsecured bond debt by $1.3 billion and its annual cash interest bill by roughly $100 million, according to the Financial Times.

Carvana was a coveted stock during the Covid pandemic, as consumers moved toward online car purchasing and the used vehicle market skyrocketed due to a lack of inventory of new vehicles. But the company failed to capitalize at the right time and launched a restructuring of the business focused on cost reductions rather than growth.

“2022 was a really hard year for us by any measure. It was a year that provided experiences we never wanted to have. It was a year we didn’t foresee. While experiences you don’t foresee and always hoped to avoid are difficult, they are often where you learn the most,” Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia said Tuesday in the company’s 2022 annual report.

For the first quarter, Carvana said it expects retail units sold to be between 76,000 and 79,000, compared with 105,185 a year ago, on net sales and operating revenues of between $2.4 billion and $2.6 billion, down from $3.5 billion a year earlier.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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