CAM High Yield Weekly Insights
Fund Flows & Issuance: According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$0.6 billion and year to date flows stand at -$8.0 billion. New issuance for the week was $2.7 billion and year to date HY is at $231 billion, which is up 19% over the same period last year.
(Bloomberg) Historical Fundamentals: High Yield Corporates
- 3Q is poised to deliver a sixth-straight quarter of Ebitda margin expansion across the high yield index, though such gains have resulted in only a marginal improvement in leverage trends. Double Bs have seen more fundamental improvement vs. single B, while commodity sectors have been notable outperformers. Almost half the Russell 1000 has reported 3Q results to date.
- Double B total debt-to-Ebitda is modestly lower vs. year-ago levels, though remains almost half a turn above the 10-year average. Basic industries, consumer cyclicals and transportation have leverage below the long-term average, while other sectors are higher, notably energy and technology. The BB technology sector has become a more frequent issuer over the last decade amid mergers such as Dell-EMC and increased leverage at more cyclical memory suppliers such as Western Digital and Micron.
- Ebitda margin has increased almost 200 bps vs. year-ago levels, given 3Q quarter-to-date earnings reports, paced by gains in the energy sector, where margins have expanded to 21.5% from 4.2% for 3Q16. Only consumer staples have seen margins decline over the period, though leverage for the sector is also lower on both a gross and net basis. Free cash flow trends across single B corporates are relatively unchanged on the year, though up from the flat-to-negative levels of 2013-15.
(The Verge) T-Mobile makes Sprint new offer in hopes of saving merger
- T-Mobile and Sprint aren’t calling it quits on their potential merger yet despite recent disagreements over which side would have control over the combined company. The Wall Street Journal reports that T-Mobile US has restarted talks by presenting Sprint with a revised offer, and it’s still possible that a deal could be struck “within weeks.” T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure spoke on Wednesday, with Legere making it clear that T-Mobile doesn’t want the deal to collapse.
- Earlier this week, SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly wanted to walk away from negotiations after his shareholders expressed concern about handing over control of Sprint if the merger were successful. Deutsche Telekom would presumably hold a majority stake in a combined T-Mobile/Sprint, but SoftBank has reportedly been exploring ways to guarantee itself a powerful say in the company’s direction.
(Business Wire) Community Health Systems, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2017 Results
- Net operating revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2017, totaled $3.666 billion, a 16.3 percent decrease, compared with $4.380 billion for the same period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2017, was $331 million compared with $465 million for the same period in 2016, representing a 28.8 percent decrease.
- The consolidated operating results for the three months ended September 30, 2017, reflect a 14.8 percent decrease in total admissions, and a 15.5 percent decrease in total adjusted admissions, compared with the same period in 2016. On a same-store basis, both admissions and adjusted admissions decreased 2.3 percent during the three months ended September 30, 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. On a same-store basis, net operating revenues decreased 1.5 percent during the three months ended September 30, 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.
- Commenting on the results, Wayne T. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Community Health Systems, Inc., said, “Numerous factors affected our operating and financial results in the third quarter, including lower volumes, divestiture activity and extreme weather events. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma directly impacted operations at a significant number of our hospitals, forcing evacuations at some facilities and requiring others to take extraordinary measures to remain operational during these storms.”
- Smith added, “Looking forward, we remain focused on strategic initiatives that we believe will yield positive results in the future. We’ve made substantial progress in our portfolio rationalization initiative with 30 hospital divestitures now complete. Our goal is to emerge from this process with a sustainable group of hospitals that are positioned for long-term success and growth.”
(Bloomberg) Frontier Faces Tough Road With Declines, Dividend Cut
- While subscriber trends are improving in acquired Verizon markets, Frontier Communications still faces steep revenue declines. Management will need to continue delivering on initiatives to bolster gross subscriber additions and reduce churn. In legacy markets, this may not happen until 2018. Even after customer trends improve, stabilizing revenue will remain a challenge, given the company’s large exposure to declining legacy services. Cost synergies from the acquisition should help stabilize its Ebitda margin.
- The company cut its common dividend by 62% in May to help pay down debt amid declines in profit and free cash flow. Near term, this saves cash to use toward improving leverage. Yet the same risks remain long term, and Frontier will have to stabilize revenue and profit.
- Customer revenue in acquired markets declined 14.2% in 3Q, after falling 17% in 2Q, highlighting the long path to stabilization. This compares with a 8.1% drop in legacy market revenue.