Wires

TEXT-Fitch rates RadioShack's new term loans

(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Oct 8 - Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating actions on RadioShackCorporation

(RadioShack):--Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) affirmed at 'CCC';--$450 million senior secured revolving credit facility affirmed at 'B/RR1';--$50 million senior secured term loan assigned 'B/RR1';--$100 million senior secured term loan facility assigned 'B-/RR2';--Senior unsecured notes downgraded to 'CC/RR6' from 'CCC-/RR5'.

The ratings reflect the significant decline in RadioShack's profitability, whichhas become progressively more pronounced over the past four quarters. Resultshave been disappointing, due in particular to pressure on the company's mobilitysegment, leading to a marked deterioration in the company's credit profile.

There is a lack of stability in the business and no apparent catalyst tostabilize or improve operations. In addition, sharp declines in cash flow,together with the expected repayment of the $375 million of convertible notesmaturing in August 2013, is expected to materially reduce the company'sfinancial flexibility.

RadioShack's comparable store sales were flat in the second quarter ended June30, 2012, and have been negative in four of the past five quarters due to mixedresults in the mobility segment (51% of 2011 sales), sharp declines in theconsumer electronics segment (19% of sales), and flattish sales in the signaturesegment (29% of sales).

Weakness in sales have coincided with significant margin compression, with thegross margin off by over 800 basis points in the second quarter versus thesecond quarter of 2011 (2Q'11), due primarily to pressure within the mobilitysegment. EBITDA for 2Q'12 was negative $0.1 million (assuming stock based compof $1.8 million) versus $83 million in 2Q'11. In the 12 months ended June 30,2012, EBITDA fell to $145 million from $284 million in 2011 and $473 million in2010.

This caused lease adjusted debt/EBITDAR to increase to 6.8 times (x) at June 30,2012, from with 5.1x at end-2011. Fitch now expects leverage will trend above 7xover the next two years as EBITDA will likely erode further, potentially to the$60 million-$80 million range for 2012.

RadioShack's mobility segment generated 3.3% growth in the second quarter, whilemargins declined sharply due to the growth of smart phone sales (iPhones inparticular). The mobility segment is a lower-margin business operating in acompetitive space, and consumer awareness of RadioShack's mobile phone offeringsis low, as the bulk of industry-wide wireless transactions are completed at thecarrier's stores. The longer-term prospects for this segment are uncertain.

The signature business (29% of 2011 sales), which includes sales of accessories,power and technical products sales, generates healthy margins but had flat salesin the second quarter following a 4% sales decline in 2011. The consumerelectronics (19% of 2011 sales) segment experienced a 26.5% sales decline in thesecond quarter and a 19% sales decline in 2011, reflecting the competitivenature of that business as sales shift to the online channel. Overall, Fitchexpects that the company will need to continue to be promotional given thechallenging economy, price-sensitive consumer and largely commoditized consumerelectronics space.

RadioShack currently has adequate liquidity, with $517 million in cash(excluding restricted cash) and $393 million available on its secured creditfacility as of June 30, 2012. RadioShack has suspended its dividend (annualrate of $50 million) to preserve liquidity. In addition, while the company hassufficient cash on hand to repay its nearest debt maturity, the $375 million of2.5% convertible notes due August 2013, doing so is expected to materiallyreduce its financial flexibility. The $150 million in new notes will be used torefinance up to 40% of the convertibles and Fitch expects the remainder to bemainly paid down with cash.

The ratings on the various securities reflect Fitch's recovery analysis which isbased on a liquidation value of RadioShack in a distressed scenario of around$600 million. Applying this value across the capital structure results in anoutstanding recovery prospect (91%-100%) for the asset-based facility whichincludes both the revolver and the new $50 million term loan (which has alast-out provision) tranche and are therefore rated 'B/RR1'. The ABL facility iscollateralized by a first lien on receivables, inventory and select real estate.

The $100 million term loan facility has a first lien on (i) intellectualproperty, (ii) furniture, fixtures, machinery & equipment; and, (iii) all otherowned real estate (which is very minimal). The term loan facility also has asecond lien on the collateral securing the ABL facility. Fitch anticipates thatrecovery to the term loan facility will primarily depend on its second liencollateral as it does not attribute material value to its first lien collateral.As the $100 million term loan facility is essentially 'third' in line on theinventory and receivables collateral, Fitch rates this one notch lower than theABL facility at 'B-/RR2', indicating recovery of 70%-90%.

Fitch estimates very little remaining proceeds to unsecured creditors and hasdowngraded the rating unsecured senior notes and convertible notes to 'CC/RR6'from 'CCC/RR5'. These notes have poor recovery prospects given default (0%-10%).

WHAT COULD TRIGGER A RATING ACTION?

Positive: Stabilization in the business leading to a sustainable recovery inoperating trends and financial flexibility could lead to an upgrade. This is notexpected in the near to intermediate term.

Negative: Continued deterioration in EBITDA that further constrains cash flowand liquidity and impedes the company's day to day operations would lead to adowngrade.

(Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)

((Caryn.Trokie@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6318; Reuters Messaging:rm://caryn.trokie.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords:

Related Tags