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Merge Healthcare Incorporated. Message Board

  • sol_rosenberg212 sol_rosenberg212 Apr 3, 2014 4:50 PM Flag

    Debt covenants?

    On the sidelines here but thinking about buying. The reason for pause is that MRGE looks destined to trip its debt covenant in 2014. Can anyone refute this conclusion?

    I'm all ears, I just don't see how the company won't violate this covenant.

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    • thanks for asking a good question. I learned something about the issues on this company from the question, and responses.

    • Legitimate question. They could violate covenants. However, new CEO is laser focused on balance sheet and debt reduction. MRGE voluntarily repaid $19 mil in principal in 2013 and should pay down another $15 to $20 million in 2014. That brings net debt to under $200 million or slightly under 5x EBITDA.

      Dearborn appears to be conservative, and analysts are only projecting about a $0.055 EPS Quarterly run rate in 2015 - which appears to be sandbagging since MRGE is now doing $0.04 per quarter. If covenants are missed, interest payments probably increase 50 to 100 basis points. That is $1 to $2 mil of net income in 2015 or 1 to 2 pennies per share.

      Even if you reduce 2015 EPS to $0.20 because of additional debt costs, and give it a conservative 20 multiple, that still gives you a $4 stock. MRGE appears to provide good upside on fundamentals and also has strong strategic value in the HCIT market where the average stock trades at over 40x 2015 EPS estimates. Monetization of eClinical also gives you a safety valve. You also have a large 30% shareholder that has never sold stock and needs a transaction to get liquidity. Strategic value and fundamental value. Worth it to me, but you have to make your own decision.

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