Microstrategy’s potential BTC sale in a bear market is an overhang – Bernstein

© Shutterstock Microstrategy’s (MSTR) potential BTC sale in a bear market is an overhang – Bernstein


By Sam Boughedda

In a note to clients Wednesday, Bernstein analysts said the possibility of Microstrategy’s (NASDAQ:MSTR) BTC tokens needing to be sold for repayment of debt is closely tied to how BTC prices perform.

While the analysts don’t think MSTR’s position is not large enough to distort prices in itself, they believe it presents a sentiment risk to BTC prices during down cycles.

“MSTR’s ability to repay debt is simply tied to BTC prices. Its debt stands at ~$2.2 Bn (BTC held ~$4 Bn), with debt repayments only due in/after 2025 and 15K BTC pledged, out of 140K held. High BTC prices mean a stronger balance sheet, higher stock prices, and easier debt repayment (through conversion of 2025/27 notes, or from new debt/equity issuance) without selling its BTC holdings,” the analysts wrote.

They feel MSTR adds reflexivity but is not a concentration risk. However, in a bear market, the company’s potential BTC sale is an overhang.

“Like all levered longs, MSTR adds some reflexivity to BTC markets,” the analysts added. “However, it holds only ~0.7% of total BTC in circulation, and its holdings form ~20% of daily average traded volume in BTC spot markets. The small proportion of total market cap/daily volumes means MSTR does not necessarily pose a concentration risk, even if we consider that trading volumes drop during crypto bear markets.”

“MSTR’s large Bitcoin position could be an overhang during bear markets (H2CY22). In a potential bear market, MSTR’s balance sheet could appear weak, and it may not be able to raise capital to repay debt, forcing it to sell its BTC tokens. The potential liquidation of MSTR’s BTC during bear markets creates an overhang for BTC in a down cycle.”


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