The actual numbers on an audited/stated balance sheet is not usable for bk. Keep in mind, a typical balance sheet includes goodwill, and assets are marked to purchase price. Balance sheet assets are not discounted. In other words, the assets on a balance sheet are marked down to pennies on the dollar. Stated simply, someone who wants to purchase the assets won't offer Box Ships what they think the ships are worth. They will pay scrap prices, discounted for current location.
Currently shipping is unique, in that ships are sometimes scrapped as soon as the long-term contract expires. The reason for this are varied, but include improved new build operating efficiency(vs older ships- even ones less then 2 years old), dry stacking costs, and the low cost of financing new builds.
This "new" environment means that a ship is an asset on the books for as long as the contract runs. This is a big problem in the industry. There are a large number of new builds in the pipe, which makes it hard to keep the "old" new builds on a contract when the contract expires. ie the option to extend is not exercised.
However, it's scrap when the contract runs out. When that happens, the asset is marked down to scrap prices, and the loss is used to offset profit(if any). When selling a ship, you ship owner does not collect the "scrap metal" weight value. The scrap brokers, have to discount because breaking down a ship includes hazard disposal costs, which are high in the EU.
There is a pivot point at which things have gotten so bad, there is only one high probability outcome. Either a full bk, where everyone loses everything, or a pre packaged bk. In both cases, common is wiped out, with no recovery, ie cancel common shares.
The problem here is the relationship between Box Ships and it's vendors.
The vendors are controlled in part by the CEO, which means that there are competing interests. Yes, there are supposed to be legal protections, but that does not mean the vendor's can't use legal protections of their own.
As the prospect of a bk becomes more real, the vendor contracts will be updated to enhance recovery on payment default. In other words, the vendors may end up with the assets, rather than the creditors in this case.
Bankruptcy does not mean a company goes away. Under most circumstances, there can either be a court asset forfeiture/collection or negotiated conversion to equity (debit). The risk of restructuring and dilution affects existing equity holders. This is especially true, when outstanding share levels are due to previous fund raising.
Layoffs can occur at anytime. Negotiators are prevented from disclosing progress. In other words, the lawyers and top management are REQUIRED to hide the possibility of a BK from everyone, until it occurs. This "rule" is to prevent any one from profiting, or exiting positions before the BK announcement.
It's always good to hope for the best. But it's better to be realistic and prepared, and to profit from knowledge.
The "general" investment news sites reported on SDOC's credit line covenants and review. Some investors interpreted the news in the context of the other non-major Oil companies.
More than likely, some investors read the news and bet that the end of April would result in a BK announcement, so they shorted prior to April 22th. Since, it's past that point, it's possible that we are seeing the unwinding of shorts; and reinterpretation of the news(or lack of) such that short sellers are no longer placing new short sale orders, while longs are sitting on their shares(or adding). On the other side are investors who waited on the sidelines and who now think that the end of April will result in a good news report that drive the share price up - so they are buying.
The reality is SDOC's auditors have issued a "going concern" risk statement. It's possible that SDOC has entered the typical penny stock stage. The volume will cycle with the news on the path to a BK. Or the path to recovery. The news & uncertainty fuel price & volume swings.
The two corporate structures are different. Owners in LINE were more like general (but silent) partners in an LLC. SD is a corporation. What is traded on an exchange is not necessarily a "straight" ownership share in a company. The previous version of LINN Energy sold units, not a shares, unit owners probably received royalty distributions and an annual K-1. Keep in mind this is not the only way to structure a "company". There are also structured products, with income guarantees like SDT & PER. There are also debt products being traded.
This is not to shareholders of SDOC is free from risk. It's just to say the risks you are outlining are not applicable to SDOC.