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Bombardier CEO meets investors as stock dives 21 percent

Bombardier CEO meets investors as stock dives 21 percent
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MONTREAL (Reuters) – Bombardier Inc’s <BBDb.TO> top executives met with investors in Montreal on Friday after a disappointing free cash flow forecast and regulatory action, which sent the plane and train maker’s shares down 23 percent in afternoon trading, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The Montreal meeting with Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare and Chief Financial Officer John Di Bert was previously scheduled but “the (high) participation and level of interest was driven by recent events,” said one of the sources.

Bellemare has already met with investors in New York and Toronto following the free cash flow forecast on Nov. 8, which sent its shares down more than 23 percent on that day.

The Canadian company said on Nov. 8 it would only be able to meet its 2018 free cash flow estimate by using $635 million in proceeds from the sale of a Toronto plant earlier this year. Analysts had expected Montreal-based Bombardier to achieve its target of roughly breaking even on cash without relying on those proceeds.

The sources, who declined to be identified as the information is not public, did not disclose what was said at the Montreal meeting. A Bombardier spokesman declined to comment when asked about the meeting.

On Thursday the province of Quebec’s securities watchdog asked Bombardier to halt stock trades under a plan set up to facilitate share sales by certain senior company executives.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) said in a statement released after markets closed on Thursday that it is “reviewing” transactions and “various announcements” related to Bombardier’s creation of an Automatic Securities Disposition Plan on Aug. 15.

By Friday afternoon, the stock was down 23.44 percent at C$1.60, adding to last week’s 31 percent slide.

The sell off in stock also spread to bonds.

Bombardier has about C$12.3 billion ($9.35 billion) of bonds outstanding, much of which has been issued in U.S. dollars, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The yield on Bombardier’s 7.5 percent U.S. dollar bond maturing in March 2025 has jumped by nearly 300 basis points over the last two weeks to 9.87 percent, its highest since July 2016.

($1 = 1.3155 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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