Carvana stock nosedived in early Wednesday morning trading as the possibility of bankruptcy loomed over the online used-car retailer.
Its shares fell by more than 40% after Carvana’s biggest creditors signed an agreement requiring them to work together to negotiate with the company. The creditors hold about 70% of Carvana’s outstanding unsecured debt.
Agreements like the one among the some 10 Carvana creditors are intended to simplify negotiations on debt restructuring and new financing and to prevent creditor infighting during the process.
One person with knowledge of the deal told CNBC confidentially that they downplayed the agreement indicating the possibility of bankruptcy due to Carvana’s liquidity, though at least one analyst said bankruptcy is more likely and downgraded Carvana’s stock to underperform. Another analyst said imminent bankruptcy potential appears slight.
Tempe, Ariz.-based Carvana’s third-quarter sales missed Wall Street expectations, falling 8% year-over-year. Gross profit dropped 31%. It blamed high used-car prices and rising interest rates for dampening consumer demand. Last year, used-car prices got a lift from inflated new-car prices due to decreased inventories.