Shares of Core Scientific (CORZ), the largest bitcoin miner by computing power, continued to plummet on Friday after it warned investors this week that it may have to explore bankruptcy if it fails to improve its financial condition. Shares have fallen about 80% in value over the last five days.
The stock garnered multiple analyst downgrades this week owing to the miner's financial concerns. Most recent was Barclays, which cut the stock to equalweight from overweight, and its price target by 92% to 25 cents from $3.
“We are moving to the sidelines as we await further clarification on strategic alternatives and potential capital structure changes,” Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal wrote in a research note to clients. Another Wall Street investment bank, BTIG, lowered the stock's rating to neutral from buy on Thursday, echoing similar sentiment.
Core Scientific's woes reflect the depressed state of the bitcoin mining industry, with firms squeezed between high electricity costs and a muted bitcoin price. Most recently, one of Core Scientific's peers, Compute North, filed for bankruptcy in September owing as much as $500 million to at least 200 creditors.
Meanwhile, the broader markets were mixed on Friday following a week of big tech earnings. Bitcoin (BTC) continues to hover around the $20,655 level.
“Bitcoin is forming a trading around the $20,000 level as many investors await to see what happens with next week’s market reaction to the FOMC decision,” Ed Moya, analyst at Oanda said in a note Friday.