Molycorp downward spiral resumes as SEC casts doubt on its numbers

A day after rare earth producer Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) surprised investors with top line growth of 49% that sent its shares soaring after hours, the stock is falling again.

This time traders are reacting to news that a formal investigation by the SEC related to the accuracy of the company's public disclosures have been launched.

StreetInsider has the filing:

In August 2012, the staff of the SEC notified the Company that a formal order of investigation had been issued regarding, among other things, the accuracy of the Company's public disclosures. The Company is cooperating with the staff of the SEC in connection with the investigation. The Company cannot predict the length, scope or results of the investigation or the impact, if any, of the investigation on the Company's results of operations.

By the close Friday Molycorp was changing hands for $7.50, down $1.18 or more than 13%, wiping out all its gains from the day before. The counter is now down 68% for the year to date and at a new 52-week low.

On Thursday the Colorado-based company showed revenue  jumped 49% to $205.6 million, but sold 4,391 tonnes of total rare earth and rare metal products at a loss of $18.9 million or 19 cents a share on the back of higher production costs and significantly lower prices for its rare earth oxides.

Molycorp also took a once-off charge related to the $1.3 billion takeover of Neo Material Technologies, now known as Molycorp Canada, and inventory writedowns.

Molycorp – destined to become the number one producer of the 17 elements outside China – is aiming for an ultimate production capacity target of 40,000 tonnes per annum from its Mountain Pass mine in California.