Large price fluctuations are usually a hallmark of small companies whose stocks have low trading volumes or whose business models are unproven - or whose intrinsic value is disputed.

Looking at the recent price history of Uniper's stock, one might conclude that investors have come to the latter view.

Martin Hock

Editor in Business.

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Until the end of last year, the course of the former conventional power generation business of the energy giant Eon developed quite properly.

Having started at EUR 10.30 in September 2016, the listing marked its high of EUR 42.11 on December 28 of the previous year.

Not only has the price fallen by 70 percent this year and, at currently EUR 12.31, is getting closer and closer to the starting level of 2017.

The price moved by more than 5 percent on every sixth trading day.

In previous years, that had only been the case on three days.

The past few days have been particularly bad: On Thursday and Friday of the past week, it first fell by 14 percent and then went up by 10 percent.

On Monday the minus was 27 percent and now on Tuesday the plus was temporarily 10 percent again.

This movement, which can really be described as a roller coaster ride, hardly comes as a surprise.

Due to the falling gas flows from Russia, the group got into trouble within a very short time.

But possible state aid gives stock investors hope again and again that the price losses have gone too far.

At present, an entry by the federal government is not ruled out.

According to a spokeswoman, the Ministry of Economics is working "under high pressure" on a solution.

One is in talks about stabilization measures.

Discussions continued within the government about changes to the Energy Security Act.

The aim is to prepare for a continued tense situation on the energy markets and to fill the toolbox.

According to information from the Bloomberg news agency, it is about possible aid of up to nine billion euros, consisting of a mixture of loans and the acquisition of a stake in the company.

An aid package of this magnitude seems high, especially compared to Uniper's current market capitalization of 4.1 billion euros and around 15 billion euros at the beginning of the year, says Vincent Ayral, analyst at Bank JP Morgan.

For the market, the question arises as to whether the utility will become "Lufthansa 2.0", commented Lueder Schumacher, analyst at the French Société Générale on Tuesday.

Uniper had stated that participation in the form of equity was also possible.

Investors, on the other hand, are worried about a possibly massively diluting capital increase, says Schumacher.

A state entry would also calm banks, but would not solve the problem of high gas prices.

Investors' concerns also explain why the price gain of 10 percent did not last again and why the plus shrank again.

The spokeswoman Habecks pointed out that Uniper had not yet drawn an existing credit line from the state bank KfW of 2 billion euros.

As a major gas importer, the Düsseldorf-based group plays a central role in Germany's energy supply and supplies many municipal utilities.

However, Uniper is currently unable to pass on additional costs when purchasing gas to customers - the company had announced that this would result in significant financial burdens.