GreenHunter shares surge

By Nicholas Zeman | June 09, 2009
Posted June 16, 2009

On the same day that Texas-based GreenHunter Energy Inc. announced the appointment of Ronald Ormand to the company's board of directors, its shares surged 62 percent to close at $1.86 on June 9, and rose to $2.15 in after-hours trading. Ormand had been previously employed with WestLB AG, a German bank that has served as GreenHunter's primary lender, the company stated.

In a stunning turnaround, GreenHunter received notice in early June from the New York Stock Exchange that its stock was not meeting listing requirements and there was speculation that the company might seek bankruptcy protection. Though reluctant to comment directly on stock moves of publicly traded companies, Biodiesel Magazine sources said intuition indicates that Ornand's connections to GreenHunter's primary lender gives stock buyers more faith in the future performance of the company and their ability to meet debt requirements.

In addition, GreenHunter announced on Friday that its largest investor, West Coast Opportunity Fund LLC has opted to convert 5,000 shares of its preferred stock to ownership of the company into 1,000,000 shares of common stock at a price of $5 per share.

"When you start a company and you've burned through all your money, you might get an investor to come in at a preferred position," said Jim Eiler of Eiler Capital Advisors in Des Moines, Iowa. "A party with a preferred position will get their money paid out before other equity holders, and therefore it's usually a good sign if they are willing to convert their preferred stock to common stock. It means that their faith in the future performance of the company is growing."

Gary Evans, CEO of GreenHunter stated that West Coast has continually supported the biodiesel producer since they first started raising outside capital in 2007. "We are pleased with their recent decision to convert a large portion of their existing preferred stock ownership into common shares of the Company," he said. "This decision should benefit all common shareholders of GreenHunter Energy, Inc. by providing our Company greater financial flexibility in our ability to access capital markets in the future."

According to NYSE Amex, GreenHunter opened today at $2.35 per share and is currently trading at $2.54 per share. Headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, GreenHunter acquired Channel Refining Corp. in 2007 with a 20-acre site along the Houston Ship Channel where GreenHunter converted the existing facilities into a 105 MMgy biodiesel refinery. The facility also has excess methanol distillation capacity, giving GreenHunter the ability to recover its own methanol, as well as processing off-spec methanol from third-party sources.
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