Siemens Slumps to 2-Year Low After Energy Writedown

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Siemens Slumps to 2-Year Low After Energy Writedown
Credit: © Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- Siemens (NS: SIEM ) (ETR: SIEGn ) stock fell to a new two-year low on Friday after the German engineering giant counted the cost of spiraling problems at its energy unit.

By 09:20 AM ET (1320 GMT), Siemens AG ADR (OTC: SIEGY ) shares in New York were down 2.2% in premarket at $51.08. The German-listed stock had earlier fallen as low as €95.01 before paring losses.

Siemens said it would write down the value of its 35% stake in Siemens Energy (ETR: ENR1n ) to reflect the sharp drop in the latter's share price over recent months, which has seen a succession of profit warnings from the division's biggest asset, wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (BME: SGREN ). The impairment will lead to an after-tax non-cash charge of €2.8 billion ($2.93 billion) in its upcoming quarterly results on August 11.

Gamesa has been hit by massive cost inflation for its raw materials, and by component shortages resulting from the pandemic. Those have made it all but impossible for the company to deliver turbines profitably, after prices were bid down by years of ferociously competitive bidding in auctions to equip new wind farms around Europe and the rest of the world.

Siemens has already said it won't take part in any capital-raising measures needed by Siemens Energy to finance the €4 billion buyout of Gamesa's minority shareholders. Siemens Energy announced that step in May, hoping that full control of the company would help it turn its finances around.

Siemens spun its energy business off just under two years ago, one of the last in a series of unbundling transactions that aimed to make the sprawling conglomerate more flexible and dynamic. Its exposure to the wind sector made it a favorite play of growth investors in the early stage of the pandemic, but the stock has lost over two-thirds of its value from its 2021 peak and around one-third of its initial value at the time of the spin-off. 

Siemens Energy stock has also struggled this year due to the fact that much of its conventional power business, making equipment for fossil fuel power stations, is based in Russia and Ukraine. The company is at the center of the ongoing dispute between Russia and Germany over gas supplies: Russia has attributed the 60% cut in its shipments to Germany to Siemens' inability to return equipment for a compressor station that was sent for maintenance in Canada. Canadian sanctions on Russia have led to it being trapped in Canada. 

Germany's government has pointed out that Russian gas monopoly Gazprom (MCX: GAZP ) has chosen not to reroute supplies through other pipelines, however.

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