(Rewrites top of story, adds detail on yieldcos, company walking away from certain countries to preserve cash)
Nov 10 (Reuters) - Shares of SunEdison Inc slid 24 percent to a nearly two-and-a-half-year low on Tuesday after the U.S. solar company posted a wider-than-expected loss, raising fresh concerns about its ability to fund its operations, projects and acquisitions.
The stock was down $1.49, or 20.1 percent, at $5.91 in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has lost 82 percent of its value since hitting a year high of $33.44 on July 20.
The company also said it would stop selling projects to its two “yieldcos” - bundles of solar, wind or other power assets it spun off into dividend-paying public entities.
The yieldcos had become an important source of funding for SunEdison. The solar industry bellwether said in its quarterly report on Monday that there were no assurances it would be able to raise the $6.5 billion to $8.8 billion needed to fund the construction of renewable energy assets through 2016.
Investors are concerned SunEdison, with its two yieldcos and $6 billion of acquisitions in the last year, is doing too much too fast.
The company has been working to shore up investor confidence by laying off 15 percent of its staff and pausing asset sales to its yieldcos. Chief Executive Ahmad Chatila also said on Tuesday that the company was starting to walk away from some countries as it focused more on gross margins and cash.
Yieldcos such as SunEdison’s Terraform Power Inc and Terraform Global Inc have surged in popularity with solar developers over the last two years because they provide stable, fat yields and are a less risky way to invest in solar.
But they have taken a beating this year in part because low oil prices have damped investor interest in all renewable energy stocks. Wall Street is also concerned that an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve could make yieldcos less attractive against other investments.
Under the yieldco model, companies bundle power plants and then spin them off into separate listed entities.
The cash flow from contracts with utilities are paid out as dividends to the parent company and other investors, with the remainder invested in new plants.
SunEdison, which has not turned a profit in three years, said it might renegotiate or terminate existing acquisition deals, even though it had "adequate funding or financing commitments in place." (bit.ly/1PmiR3J)
In its biggest deal this year, SunEdison agreed to buy Vivint Solar Inc for about $2.2 billion in July to expand in the residential solar market.
However, analysts are skeptical of the deal, which has not yet closed.
“SunEdison really doesn’t need the deal,” S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino told Reuters.
TerraForm Global and TerraForm Power shares have halved since the former’s IPO on July 31.
SunEdison reported a third-quarter loss of 91 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 70 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Ted Kerr)
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