MicroStrategy shares rise after firm reveals plans to sell convertible debt to buy more bitcoin

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Shares of MicroStrategy were higher by more than 5% in premarket trading Tuesday after the enterprise software company announced intentions to purchase more bitcoin.

In a press release, MicroStrategy said it plans to offer $600 million of senior convertible notes and use the net proceeds to buy bitcoin.

The company already owns nearly 72,000 units of bitcoin, as of a Feb. 2 regulatory filing. That’s worth nearly $3.6 billion based on the price of the virtual currency Tuesday.

It’s the second time MicroStrategy has raised funding to finance a purchase of the cryptocurrency. In December, the Virginia-based company closed a $650 million senior convertible note offering.

Convertible notes are debt but they can be turned into a company’s stock, cash or a combination of both at a later date.

Under the leadership of chairman and CEO Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy became an early adopter of companies buying bitcoin as an investment. The company disclosed its first purchase of the cryptocurrency in August, acquiring 21,454 bitcoins using existing cash on its balance sheet.

Saylor advocates for other companies to do the same, hosting a virtual conference earlier this month called “Bitcoin for Corporations.” Saylor publicly encouraged Tesla CEO Elon Musk to follow his “playbook” in a Twitter conversation in December. A little over a month later, Tesla announced it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and had plans to eventually accept the digital coin as payment for its products.

The price of bitcoin hit $50,000 per coin for the first time Tuesday morning, continuing its rally in recent days as a number of established financial firms such as BNY Mellon and Mastercard announced moves in the crypto space.

MicroStrategy shares have been on a tear since August, as some investors have looked at the stock as a way to gain exposure to bitcoin. Shares are up more than 660% since Aug. 11, the date the company revealed its first bitcoin buy.

The stock hit a 52-week high of $1,315 on Feb. 9.

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