Category: High Yield Weekly

10 May 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$0.7 billion and year to date flows stand at $16.2 billion.  New issuance for the week was $12.8 billion and year to date HY is at $90.8 billion, which is +14% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk issuers continue to rush in as if the window is closing, pricing another $3 billion in bonds yesterday despite secondary market weakness. This week’s $12 billion total makes it the busiest since September 2017.
  • The high-yield index fell 0.22%, the biggest decline since March 8 and the fourth straight day of losses, as stocks fell and VIX rose
  • Yesterday’s new issuance was oversubscribed as investors fought for allocation
  • Junk bond returns dropped across ratings for 4 straight sessions, the first time since early March, with the exception of BBs which turned positive one day of the week
  • Yields surged across the risk spectrum and saw the biggest jump in almost seven weeks
  • BB yields rose to a more than 3-month high, saw biggest rise in 12 weeks
  • Energy returns were negative for the 10th session with a 1-day break on Friday last, the longest streak since December 13-26
  • Energy return YTD 9.040%, ex-energy 8.19%
  • CCCs lost most, falling 0.23%
  • CCCs are up 8.6% YTD
  • Junk bond returns are 8.31% YTD
  • BBs have returned 8.03%, single-Bs 8.41%
  • Loans have returned 5.61% YTD


(Business Wire)  AmeriGas Reports Second Quarter Results

  • GAAP net income of $219.1 million, compared with $191.8 million in the prior-year period; adjusted net income of $203.1 million, compared with $222.7 million in the prior-year period
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $290.3 million, compared with $309.5 million in the prior-year period
  • AmeriGas expects to be at the low end of its fiscal 2019 Adjusted EBITDA guidance range of $610 million – $650 million
  • Hugh J. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of AmeriGas, said, “Overall, AmeriGas experienced weather that was colder than the prior year, however our results were impacted by warm weather during the critical heating months in the southeastern U.S. During the quarter, we remained focused on our growth drivers and built on our history of solid volume and customer additions in our Cylinder Exchange and National Accounts programs. Our team did a great job managing expenses throughout the entire heating season and we continue to look for additional opportunities to improve efficiencies. AmeriGas remains on pace to deliver adjusted EBITDA towards the low end of its guidance range.
  • While degree days for the quarter were 4% colder than normal and 5% colder than last year, January and February were a combined 17% warmer than normal in the southeastern U.S.
  • Retail volumes sold decreased by 4% primarily due to warm weather in the southeastern U.S. during critical heating months


(PR Newswire)  TransDigm Group Reports Fiscal 2019 Second Quarter Results 

  • During the quarter, on March 14, 2019, TransDigm completed the acquisition of Esterline Technologies Corporation, a supplier of products to the global aerospace and defense industry.
  • Also during the quarter, on February 13, 2019TransDigm completed the private offerings of $4.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 6.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2026 and $550 million aggregate principal amount of 7.50% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2027.
  • The net proceeds of the $4.0 billionsecured notes were used to both fund the purchase price of the Esterline acquisition and to allow for substantial near term financial flexibility.
  • The net proceeds from the $550 millionof subordinated notes were used to redeem all of the Company’s outstanding senior subordinated notes due 2020 and replaced them with notes due 2027.
  • These events above significantly impacted certain year-over-year comparisons.
  • Net sales for the quarter rose 28.2%, or $262.8 million, to $1,195.9 millionfrom $933.1 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. Organic sales growth was 11.0%. Acquisition sales contributed $160.4 million, of which $122.0 million were from Esterline for the 17 days of ownership in the quarter.
  • EBITDA for the quarter increased 15.9% to $509.4 millionfrom $439.4 million for the comparable quarter a year ago.  EBITDA As Defined for the period increased 23.5% to $571.8 million compared with $463.1 million in the comparable quarter a year ago.  EBITDA As Defined as a percentage of net sales for the quarter was 47.8%. Esterline contributed $26.7 million of EBITDA As Defined in the current quarter. Excluding Esterline,  EBITDA As Defined as a percentage of net sales for the quarter was 50.8%.
  • “We are pleased with our second quarter results and the strength of our base business,” stated Kevin Stein, TransDigm Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Organic revenue growth was 11% in the quarter driven by good growth across all major end markets. Our core EBITDA As Defined, excluding the dilutive impact of Esterline and the acquisitions completed in fiscal 2018, continued to expand sequentially and over the prior year period to 51.5% in the quarter.
  • In addition to the focus on our base business, it was a busy quarter with the completion of the Esterline acquisition, our largest acquisition to date. Our second quarter results include $122 millionof revenue and $27 million of EBITDA As Defined reflecting 17 days of Esterline ownership. Please note the implied Esterline margin from this short period is higher than should be expected for the balance of the fiscal year primarily due to an elevated level of shipments at quarter end.”
  • He continued, “Lastly, our decision in the quarter to borrow substantial additional funds impacted our quarterly net income, but we believe the significant near term flexibility and attractive cost will serve us well in the future.”


(Bloomberg)  EQT and Digital Colony Agree to Buy Zayo for $14.3 Billion

  • Fiber network owner Zayo Group Holdings Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Digital Colony Partners and EQT Partners for $14.3 billion including debt in a deal that will
    take the fiber-network owner private.
  • The deal values Zayo at $35 per share in cash and includes $5.9 billion in debt, Zayo said in a statement Wednesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report.
  • Zayo struggled through organizational changes and concerns that the market for fiber lines was becoming overcrowded. In March, Zayo announced that they were evaluating strategic alternatives.
  • “I am confident this partnership with EQT and Digital Colony will empower Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Caruso said in the statement.
  • The transaction is scheduled to close in the first half of 2020, pending regulatory clearance and approval by Zayo shareholders.


(Bloomberg)  Investors Suing JPMorgan May Redefine the Leveraged Loan Market

  • A group suing JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other Wall Street banks over a loan that went sour four years ago is alleging the underwriters engaged in securities fraud. If successful, the lawsuit could radically transform the $1.2 trillion leveraged lending market.
  • The defendants say there’s one key problem — unlike bonds, loans aren’t securities. As a result, they’ve filed a petition asking the court to dismiss the suit on those exact grounds.
  • “There are absolutely enormous market consequences if a court determines that leveraged loans are securities,” said J. Paul Forrester, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown who’s not involved in the litigation. “Leveraged loans and lenders would be potentially subject to the same offering and disclosure requirements as securities and would face the same regulatory oversight and enforcement consequences.”
  • The suit stems from a $1.8 billion loan that JPMorgan and others arranged for Millennium Health LLC — then owned by private-equity firm TA Associates — and sold to investors in 2014. Within a matter of months, lenders saw the value of their loan plunge as the company disclosed that federal authorities were investigating their billing practices. Millennium agreed to pay $256 million to resolve the probe, and would go on to file for bankruptcy.
  • JPMorgan knew U.S. officials were investigating Millennium when it sold the loan, but didn’t tell investors who were about to buy the debt, Bloomberg reported in 2015. The bankers did not provide the information because Millennium told them it wasn’t material at the time.
  • “Styled as ‘leveraged loans,’ the debt obligations that defendants sold to the investors back in April 2014 have all the attributes of and, in fact, constituted credit agency-rated and tradeable debt ‘securities,’” the lender trustee wrotein the 2017 suit. As such, the defendants are liable “for sponsoring the materially false presentation of Millennium’s financial condition and business practices.”
  • “The sophisticated entities that lent Millennium money now try to classify the loan as a ‘security’ and the loan syndication as a ‘securities distribution’ in an attempt to manufacture a securities fraud claim where none is viable, and to avoid the express language of the contracts into which they willingly entered,” JPMorgan and Citigroup wrote in a memorandum last month.
03 May 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

CAM High Yield Market Note



Fund Flows & Issuance: According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $0.07 billion and year to date flows stand at $16.9 billion. New issuance for the week was $5.0 billion and year to date HY is at $77.9 billion, which is +1% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg) High Yield Market Highlights


  • U.S. junk bond returns turned negative across all ratings yesterday, with the index falling most since March 8 as stocks and oil prices fell. Equity futures rose this morning as bright spots appeared in corporate earnings ahead of jobs data.
  • Yields jumped across the risk spectrum, marking the biggest increase in eight weeks as oil closed at a 4-week low
  • Yields had been at 12-month lows
  • Energy sector yields hit a 3-week high and returns were negative for 6 straight sessions, for the first time since mid-December
  • Despite this, investors made a beeline to new bonds in the primary market
  • U.S. high-yield funds reported a modest inflow this week ended
  • Flows turned negative last week, for the first time time in seven weeks
  • Junk bond returns dropped to 8.69% YTD, still the best since 2009 for the comparable period
  • Energy returns dropped below 10% to close at 9.61% after six consecutive sessions of negative returns
  • CCC were still on top of the pack, with 9.175%
  • BBs stood at 8.75% and single-Bs at 8.378%
  • Loans at 5.746% and IG at 5.367% 


  • (Bloomberg) The Junkiest Corporate Bonds Divide Wall Street
  • Bank of America sees a further “melt-up” in triple-C debt, while Citigroup urges caution.
  • Triple-C debt has returned 9 percent this year, according to Bloomberg Barclays data, compared with a 2.8 percent gain for the aggregate bond index. At first glance, that seems pretty good. But the broad high-yield index, which includes less risky borrowers, is up almost the same amount, at 8.6 percent.
  • Ordinarily, such a return on the broad index would equate to gains of close to 15 percent for triple-C debt, according to strategists at Citigroup Inc. “The inability of triple-C credits to materially outperform has puzzled many investors,” Michael Anderson and Philip Dobrinov wrote. This means one of two things: Either triple-C securities are cheap, or bond traders aren’t fully buying into the risk-on environment.
  • Bank of America Corp in an April 26 report, strategists Oleg Melentyev and Eric Yu made a bold proclamation: “A further CCC melt-up still appears inevitable to us.”
  • The two sides: Those who favor triple-C debt argue that there’s a bit more juice left to squeeze out of this high-yield rally, even if the rebound from last year looks extreme and unsustainable. The bearish strategists are cautious about wading into triple-C debt and break down which kinds of companies make up the index. According to Citigroup, about half is health-care, energy, retail and communications companies — precisely those that have too much leverage or face a much-changed business climate from even a few years ago.

(Company Filing) Western Digital Announces Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2019


  • Western Digital Corp reported revenue of $3.7 billion for its third fiscal quarter ended March 29, 2019. The operating loss was $394 million with a net loss of $581 million. Excluding certain non-GAAP adjustments, the company achieved non-GAAP operating income of $186 million and non-GAAP net income of $49 million. Both the GAAP and non-GAAP results include lower of cost or market inventory charges of approximately $110 million in cost of revenue, primarily related to certain flash memory products that contain DRAM components.
  • In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $5.0 billion, operating income of $914 million and net income of $61 million. Non-GAAP operating income in the year-ago quarter was $1.3 billion and non-GAAP net income was $1.1 billion.
  • The company generated $204 million in cash from operations during the third fiscal quarter of 2019, ending with $3.8 billion of total cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities. The company returned $146 million to shareholders through dividends. On February 14, 2019, the company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share of its common stock, which was paid to shareholders on April 15, 2019.
  • “Market conditions have generally been consistent with our expectations, and while the business environment remains soft, there are initial indications of improving trends,” said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer, Western Digital. “Our expectation for the demand environment to further improve for both flash and hard drive products for the balance of calendar 2019 is largely unchanged. We are executing well on enhancing our product portfolio, driving technology advancements, rightsizing our factory production levels and lowering our cost and expense structure, all of which position us to emerge stronger as market conditions improve.”

(Business Wire) The GEO Group Reports First Quarter 2019 Results


  • GEO reported first quarter 2019 net income attributable to GEO of $40.7 million compared to $35.0 million for the first quarter 2018. GEO reported total revenues for the first quarter 2019 of $610.7 million up from $564.9 million for the first quarter 2018. First quarter 2019 results reflect a $1.5 million loss on real estate assets. Excluding this loss, GEO reported first quarter 2019 Adjusted Net Income of $42.2 million.
  • GEO reported first quarter 2019 Normalized Funds From Operations (“Normalized FFO”) of $60.3 million compared to $52.6 million in the first quarter 2018. GEO reported first quarter 2019 Adjusted Funds From Operations (“AFFO”) of $80.3 million, compared to $69.8 million in the first quarter 2018.
  • George C. Zoley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GEO, said, “We are pleased with our strong quarterly financial and operational performance, as well as, our improved outlook for the balance of the year. We have taken important steps to reactivate our idle capacity, and we are proud of the continued success of our GEO Continuum of Care enhanced rehabilitation and post-release programs. We remain focused on effectively allocating capital to enhance long-term value for our shareholders, and we believe we will continue to have access to cost-effective capital to support the growth and expansion of our high-quality services.”    
26 Apr 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$0.7 billion and year to date flows stand at $16.9 billion.  New issuance for the week was $1.2 billion and year to date HY is at $72.2 billion, which is -2% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • Gains in U.S. junk bonds have started to sputter, with the Bloomberg Barclays high-yield index poised for its weakest two-week stretch since the start of March. The oil rally, a big driver in recent days, lost its momentum and cautious investors pulled cash out of high-yield funds.
  • The reported an outflow was the first in seven weeks
  • Returns turned slightly negative on Thursday with the exception of CCCs, which have gained each day this week
  • Returns in the energy sector also turned negative, and could be poised for the same on Friday as WTI prices were down this morning by the most since March 1
  • While there was caution, investors made a beeline to new issues
  • The market remains ripe for borrowers. While investors withdrew cash from funds this week, retail funds have seen net inflows of ~$17 billion YTD amid a supply shortage
  • The month is on track to be the slowest April since 2017
  • Junk bond YTD returns dropped to 8.62%, still the best since 2009
  • CCC returns rose to 9.016%, the best asset class in fixed income
  • BBs stood at 8.28% and single-Bs at 8.64%
  • Energy returns dropped to 10.29% while ex-energy rose at 8.53%
  • Loans lagged junk bonds with 5.53% YTD


(PR Newswire)  Steel Dynamics Reports First Quarter 2019 Results 

  • Steel Dynamics, Inc. announced first quarter 2019 financial results.  The company reported first quarter 2019 net sales of $2.8 billionand net income of $204 million.
  • Comparatively, prior year first quarter net income was $228 million, with net sales of $2.6 billion.  Sequential fourth quarter 2018 net income was $270 million, which included additional company-wide performance-based compensation and lower earnings associated with planned maintenance outages at the company’s liquid pig iron production facility and its two flat roll steel mills.  Excluding these items, the company’s fourth quarter adjusted net income was $302 million.
  • “The team delivered a strong first quarter performance in a somewhat challenging flat roll steel pricing environment,” said Mark D. Millett, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “A downward trend in flat roll steel prices began in the second half of 2018, and continued through mid-first quarter 2019, reaching an inflection point in February 2019.  The teams were able to increase shipments and offset some of the margin compression, resulting in first quarter 2019 consolidated operating income of $292 millionand adjusted EBITDA of $382 million.  The continued stabilization and improvement in flat roll steel prices are having a positive impact, resulting in increased flat roll order activity and solid order backlogs.  We are seeing continued strength in the automotive, energy and industrial sectors, and as evidenced by strong steel fabrication backlogs, strength in non-residential construction.”
  • The company generated cash flow from operations of $182 millionduring the first quarter 2019 and maintained liquidity of $2.2 billion at March 31, 2019.  On March 1, 2019, the company used available cash of $93 million to fund the purchase of a 75 percent controlling interest of United Steel Supply, a leading distributor of painted Galvalume® flat roll steel used for roofing and siding applications.
  • As evidence of the confidence in the company’s sustainable long-term cash flow generation capability, the board of directors approved a 28 percent increase in the company’s first quarter 2019 cash dividend, reflecting the strength of the company’s capital foundation and liquidity profile.  The company also repurchased $84 millionof its common stock during the first quarter of 2019.


(Investor’s Business Daily)  New-Home Sales Surge To 16-Month High

  • New home sales unexpectedly rose 4.5% in March to a 692,000 annual rate, the best since November 2017, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Home sales have picked up in recent months as the Fed suspended rate hikes and mortgage rates fell, hitting a one-year low last month. That’s given new life to homebuilder stocks. Pulte Group (PHM) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings early Tuesday.
  • Earlier on Tuesday, Pulte Group reported flat first-quarter EPS of 59 cents a share, 12 cents ahead of estimates. Revenue rose 1.4% to $2.0 billion. Still, new orders were valued at $2.7 billion, down from $2.9 billion a year ago.
  • Pulte CEO Ryan Marshall said, “Helped by the recent decline in mortgage rates, homebuyers have been steadily returning to the market after a period of slowing demand that began in the second half of 2018.”
  • Lower rates should allow housing to help cushion the landing for an economy that has slowed somewhat as tax-cut stimulus fades. Still, most economists expect the pace of improvement to be modest.
18 Apr 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bond returns turned negative yesterday across ratings for the first time in almost four weeks. Yields were off their near 12-month low as equities faltered and oil lost momentum.
  • Issuers were undeterred, selling 5 deals for $2.6b, the busiest day in more than 4 weeks, with triple Cs accounting for almost 70% of the volume
  • Junk bond returns remain best since 2009, with 8.47% year- to-date
  • Retail funds estimate inflow of $926m at Tuesday’s close, JPMorgan wrote, citing Lipper
  • Funds have reported inflows for the last five consecutive weeks
  • 1Q saw an inflow of $13b, most since 3Q12’s $13.8b
  • Energy returns stood at 9.93% YTD
  • Ex-energy dropped to 8.2% after losing 0.06%
  • Single-Bs and CCC returns were at 8.55% and 8.59% YTD, respectively
  • BBs were at 8.2%
  • Loans lagged bonds at 5.265%
  • Steady growth, low default rate, and strong technicals provide friendly turf for junk bonds
  • Moody’s global high-yield default rate dropped to 1.9% for the 12-month period ended March 2019, lowest since October 2011
  • S. high-yield default rate is expected to close 2019 at 2.2%


(PR Newswire)  U.S. Concrete Names Ronnie Pruitt President and COO

  • S. Concrete, Inc., a leading supplier of ready-mixed concrete and aggregates in active construction markets across the country, announced today that Chief Operating Officer (“COO”), Ronnie Pruitt, 48, has been named President and COO, effective April 15, 2019. Mr. Pruitt will continue to report to Chairman and CEO, William J. Sandbrook, and in this expanded role will take over many corporate functions that support the Company’s operational business units.
  • Pruitt, who has been with U.S. Concrete since 2015, has over 25 years of industry experience.  Prior to joining U.S. Concrete, Mr. Pruitt served as Vice President of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., and as Vice President of Cement Production and Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Texas Industries, Inc.
  • “Ronnie has been instrumental in the strategic growth of our Company including very successfully integrating Polaris Materials, a major aggregates acquisition. His leadership and record of success with our ready-mixed concrete and aggregates operations has earned him this expanded role,” said U.S. Concrete Chairman and CEO William J. Sandbrook. “Ronnie is a champion for the health and safety of our employees, is dedicated to our environmental and sustainability initiatives and is laser focused on creating enhanced shareholder value through operational excellence. I am proud of Ronnie’s success and look forward to his enhanced contributions in his expanded role.”


(CNET)  T-Mobile’s John Legere denies Justice Department pushback on Sprint merger

  • The Justice Department’s antitrust division is determining whether a combination of the US’ third- and fourth-largest wireless service providers would pose a threat to competition, according to a Tuesday report by The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month, staffers reportedly shared concerns about the deal and the carriers’ arguments that merging would lead to key efficiencies for the company.
  • Legere tweeted that the premise of the Journal’s story “is simply untrue,” adding the company has no further comment.
  • Last year, the two carriers announced their $26 billion deal to merge. It may still take several weeks for a final decision to be made, as several state attorneys general are reviewing the deal and the Federal Communications Commission is seeking more data from the companies about the proposed merger, according to the Journal.


(Company Filing)  Western Digital Appoints Robert Eulau As Chief Financial Officer

  • Western Digital Corp. announced the appointment of Robert Eulau to lead the company’s finance organization as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), reporting to Steve Milligan, Western Digital’s chief executive officer (CEO). Eulau will join Western Digital on April 22, 2019 to begin his transition into the new role and will formally take over the CFO role from Mark Long on May 9, 2019. Eulau, who joins Western Digital with more than 30 years’ experience in financial and operational leadership roles in the technology industry, succeeds Long, who, as previously announced, will be leaving the company in June 2019.
  • “Western Digital occupies an increasingly strategic position in today’s data-driven world. Bob Eulau’s background in optimizing financial and operational performance, paired with his strong leadership skills, will help position us to make the most of exciting short- and long-term growth opportunities,” said Milligan. “I’m thrilled to be adding an executive of Bob’s caliber to our leadership team and I look forward to working with him.”
  • “I’m honored to join Western Digital at such an important time in the company’s history,” said Eulau. “The team has built a strong platform for growth and value creation, and I look forward to helping maximize the many opportunities ahead for the company.”
  • Eulau was most recently CEO at Sanmina Corporation where he previously served for eight years as CFO. Previously, Eulau held chief financial officer positions at Alien Technology Corporation and Rambus Incorporated, and held a number of financial leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard Company. Eulau earned a Master’s in Business Administration (Finance/Accounting) from The University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Pomona College. He will be based at the company’s San Jose, CA headquarters location.
08 Apr 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $1.9 billion and year to date flows stand at $15.2 billion.  New issuance for the week was $3.8 billion and year to date HY is at $61.8 billion, which is 4% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bonds saw the biggest fund inflow in 10 weeks as the rally extended with yields dropping across the risk spectrum.
  • Junk bonds have seen cash inflows for four consecutive weeks and in 10 of the last 12 weeks
  • Retail funds have reported net inflows of ~$15b YTD vs the $19b outflows for the same period in 2018
  • Yields were near 6-month lows and spreads held firm near the October levels as oil was above $60 and equities rebounded
  • On Staples’ aggressive $2.125b 2-part offering to fund a dividend distribution to equity sponsors, a secured tranche had orders of more than $2.5b, while the unsecured tranche was about deal size
  • Staples is out with initial price talk of 10% area for a $1.375b 8-year unsecured tranche and about 7.5% on a $750m 7- year secured bond
  • Junk bond returns rose to 7.64% YTD making it still the best since 2003
  • CCCs slid to 7.54% YTD after posting negative returns yesterday
  • Single-Bs beat CCCs with 7.65%
  • BBs return is 7.5%
  • IG returns are 4.78%
  • Loans have gained 4.54%
  • The energy sector posted the best 1Q return since 2009 with 8.3% and it continued to be the best performing sector YTD, with 9.32%
  • Low default, steady oil, a dovish Fed, strong technicals — reflected in net inflows and slow issuance — boost risk assets


(Reuters)  UGI to buy rest of AmeriGas Partners in $2.44 billion deal

  • Energy distributor UGI Corp said on Tuesday it would buy the remaining nearly 75 percent it does not own in retail propane marketer AmeriGas Partners LP in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.44 billion.
  • Pennsylvania-based UGI also cut its fiscal 2019 profit forecast because of a warmer-than-normal winter in Europe
  • In the AmeriGas deal, shareholders will receive 0.50 shares of UGI in addition to $7.63 in cash for each share owned, the companies said in a statement.
  • The offer represents a premium of 13.5 percent to AmeriGas’s Monday closing price. The company’s shares were up 13 percent in morning trade on Tuesday.
  • “This transaction significantly enhances UGI’s free cash flow, one of the key elements of our long-term success,” UGI Chief Executive Officer John L. Walsh said on a conference call with analysts.
  • “It will allow us to increase our dividend by a cumulative 25 percent,” he added.


(Business Wire)  U.S. Department of Energy extends AECOM-led joint venture contract at the Savannah River Site for an additional 18 months

  • AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Savannah River Operations Office in Aiken, South Carolina, extended the current liquid waste management contract with AECOM-led Savannah River Remediation LLC. The approximate US$750 million extension will run from April 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. The value of the contract extension was included in AECOM’s backlog in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
  • “We are pleased that the DOE has decided to extend Savannah River Remediation’s contract,” said John Vollmer, president of AECOM’s Management Services group. “AECOM has a long history of supporting the DOE at the Savannah River Site and extensive experience in liquid waste disposition. We are committed to safely managing the radioactive waste system at the site while reducing the state of South Carolina’s critical environmental risk.”
  • During the contract extension period, services that the AECOM-led joint venture will perform are operating the Defense Waste Processing Facility and Saltstone Production Facility, and continuing progress on the Tank Closure Cesium Removal demonstration and construction project and the construction of Saltstone Disposal Unit 7.


(Wall Street Journal)  T-Mobile Spells Out CFO Exit Plan

  • T-Mobile US filed an amended employment agreement for its finance chief that spells out a plan for him to leave the company as it awaits regulatory review of a proposed merger with rival Sprint Corp.
  • CFO Braxton Carter has been a key figure in the mobile carrier’s pending deal to buy Sprint. A spokeswoman for T-Mobile declined to comment on whether a successor had been chosen.
  • Carter’s last day at T-Mobile will be decided by the status of the merger, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Carter is scheduled to leave at one of three fixed dates, depending which arrives first: the end of 2019; 20 days after the first quarterly filing of the merged company; or 20 days after an announcement the deal is off.
  • Analysts speculated about the departure of Mr. Carter in September, when T-Mobile said Sunit Patel would join the company to lead its expected integration with Sprint. Mr. Patel had been chief financial officer at CenturyLink Inc.
29 Mar 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • March has priced $19.4b so far, the slowest third month since 2009
  • Average March issuance has been $31b in last five years
  • This will be the slowest 1Q since 2016, which was hit by WTI dropping to a more than 13-year low
  • Inflows slowed a bit this week as markets stalled
  • Net inflows total ~$11b YTD vs outflows of ~$18b in the same period last year
  • S. high yield returns of 6.99% YTD is best since 2003
  • BBs beat single Bs and CCCs with a YTD return of 6.99%
  • Single-Bs beat CCCs, with YTD return of 6.949%
  • CCCs YTD was 6.76%, the lowest in the high yield space
  • CCCs are having best 1Q since 2012
  • Leveraged loans, higher in the capital structure, have YTD returns of 3.85%
  • S. junk bonds operate against backdrop of strong technicals as reflected in net inflows into retail funds and light supply, low default rate, steady corporate earnings, Fed accommodation
  • Markets imply more than a 55% probability of the Fed cutting rates as early as September and 62% in October


(Reuters)  Leverage levels peaking again on US mega buyouts 

  • Leverage levels on US private equity buyouts are returning to record levels and private equity firms’ equity checks are shrinking as banks underwrite more aggressive loans, safe in the knowledge that they will not be penalized by regulators.
  • Average leverage levels of 6.8 times in 2019 so far are rebounding towards a recent record of 6.97 times in the third quarter of 2018, before year-end volatility cooled the market and the number fell to 6.09 times, according to LPC data.
  • As leverage and the amount of debt that sponsors are piling on businesses is rising, the amount of equity they are contributing is falling. Equity checks of 35.7% in the first quarter of 2019 so far are lower than 38.7% in 2018 and 43.3% in 2017, the data shows.
  • Huge highly leveraged buyout loans are contributing to the spike, including US$3.2bn of loans for travel commerce platform Travelport and a US$6.4bn dual-currency loan for Power Solutions, which backs the buyout of Johnson Controls’ battery unit.
  • Current leverage ratios are the highest debt-to-Ebitda levels seen since the second quarter of 2007, before the financial crisis, when leverage also averaged 6.8 times. This is due to regulators giving more freedom to arranging banks and investors’ hunt for higher yield, market participants said.
  • US regulators implemented Leveraged Lending Guidance (LLG) in 2013 to limit systemic risk. This imposed extra scrutiny on loans with leverage greater than 6 times and also required all secured debt or half of total debt to be able to be paid down within five to seven years.
  • LLG was relaxed last year when government agencies said that it was guidance and not a rule, which is encouraging banks to arrange more highly leveraged deals without fear of regulatory penalties. It is also producing riskier deals and more aggressive market conditions.


(CNBC)  Bond market says not only is a recession coming, but the Fed will cut interest rates to stop it 

  • Fed funds futures were pointing to a quarter point in easing, as traders said scary signals continued to emanate from the bond market
  • There was an inversion in the yield curve, meaning very short rates rose above longer 10-year note rates, a fairly reliable recession signal
  • Traders say the bond market may be overreacting, while stocks seem to be ignoring the recession warnings and fears the Fed will have to jump in with one or more rate cuts to stop the economy from rolling over
  • One strategist commented that he believes some of the moves in the market Monday were more about technical signals and short squeezes than real fear about recession. The Fed changed the tone in markets significantly when it was even more dovish than expected and cut its rate forecast to just one for this year from two.


(Bloomberg)  Here’s Why U.S. Bond Yields Plunged So Much Over the Past Week

  • The Federal Reserve’s surprise policy shift last week shook markets, but, even still, the intensity of the ensuing drop in U.S. bond yields has puzzled many observers. A massive wave of hedging in the swaps market helps explain the scale of the eye-catching move.
  • Treasuries rallied after the Fed signaled it was done raising interest rates for the moment, driving yields on 10-year notes down to levels last seen in 2017. That forced two sets of
    traders — those who had bought mortgage bonds and those who had bet markets would remain calm — to turn to derivatives markets to tweak their portfolios or stanch their losses. They snapped up positions in interest-rate swaps, pushing Treasury yields down even more.
  • What’s the evidence? While yields on 10-year Treasuries declined to as low as 2.35 percent, the rate on similar maturity swaps dropped to as little as 2.30 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 10-year swap spread, as the gap between the two is known, had shown the swap rate at a premium for nearly all of the past year until last week. But that has now flipped to a discount and the gap has gone to a level unseen since 2017, indicating a flurry of activity in the derivatives market.
  • The Treasuries rally and resulting volatility surge quickly burned those who had sold options, pressuring them to hedge in the swaps market by receiving fixed rates. That’s tantamount to going long Treasuries and is a profitable trade if yields keep falling. The intensity of that trading — along with the actions of mortgage investors — accelerated the drop in Treasury yields.
22 Mar 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $2.3 billion and year to date flows stand at $12.7 billion.  New issuance for the week was $8.4 billion and year to date HY is at $53.0 billion, which is -0% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bond returns hit 7 percent for the year-to-date as BB yields fell to a 13-month low after the Fed’s mid-week dove surprise.
  • S. high-yield funds have seen net inflows in 8 of the last 10 weeks
  • Junk bond rally also boosted by S&P 500 at a 5- month high, oil at a 4-month high
  • Supply was steady, with another $1.8b pricing led by ADT’s senior secured tranches
  • Senior secured notes dominated junk bond supply year-to-date accounting for 30% of the issuance activity, the highest proportion in at least 2 years
  • They accounted for 13% of the supply last year and 21% the year before
  • ADT cut its bond offering to $1.5b after dropping the $1.25b 8NC3 senior unsecured tranche as there was not enough demand for those notes at an acceptable rate
  • Both secured tranches priced at lower end of talk, had orders above $3b for the 2 tranches combined
  • With loan supply lagging this year, senior secured notes are being used to repay loans and/or fund acquisitions as in Power Solutions
  • High-yield returns YTD surged to 7%, the best in fixed income
  • Single-Bs beat CCCs for second time this year, with YTD return of 6.97%
  • BBs and CCCs were at 6.93%
  • Loans lag high yield, with YTD return of 4.2%


(Business Wire)  B&G Foods Announces that Bill Herbes, EVP of Operations, Plans to Retire

  • B&G Foods announced today that William F. Herbes, the Company’s Executive Vice President of Operations, plans to retire at the end of December 2019. Mr. Herbes, age 64, has served as Executive Vice President of Operations since joining the Company in August 2009.
  • Commenting on Mr. Herbes’ retirement plans, Kenneth G. Romanzi, who currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and, as previously announced, will become B&G Foods’ next President and Chief Executive Officer on April 6, 2019, said, “Bill has been a very important member of our management team since joining B&G Foods almost ten years ago. It has been a privilege to work with Bill and I am delighted that Bill has agreed to remain with B&G Foods through year end and partner with Erich Fritz, our Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, to continue to evolve our operations to become even more efficient and cost effective.”
  • Robert C. Cantwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&G Foods said, “Bill has been a tremendous contributor to B&G Foods’ growth over the past ten years. Since assuming responsibility for our supply chain and manufacturing operations in 2009, our company’s net sales have more than tripled and our domestic and international sourcing and manufacturing operations and capabilities have greatly expanded. Mr. Herbes has played an integral role in our growth, including through post-M&A integration of numerous manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and co-pack arrangements, including B&G Foods’ two largest manufacturing facilities. Under Bill’s strong leadership, we also successfully established a frozen distribution network following our acquisition of the Green Giantbrand and successfully outsourced our shelf-stable distribution network to a third-party logistics provider. Over the years, Bill has also played a key role in our cost savings initiatives. I am very pleased that Bill will continue with B&G Foods through the remainder of 2019 and wish him the best of luck in his retirement.”


(PR Newswire)  Steel Dynamics Provides First Quarter 2019 Earnings Guidance

  • Steel Dynamics provided first quarter 2019 earnings guidance in the range of $0.88 to $0.92 per diluted share.  Comparatively, the company’s sequential fourth quarter 2018 earnings were $1.17 per diluted share and prior year first quarter earnings were $0.96 per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2018 results included additional company-wide performance-based compensation of $0.04 per diluted share and lower earnings of $0.10 per diluted share, associated with planned maintenance outages at the company’s liquid pig iron production facility and its two flat roll steel mills.
  • First quarter 2019 earnings from the company’s steel operations is expected to decrease in comparison to sequential fourth quarter results, primarily related to lower earnings from the company’s sheet operations.  However, recent increases in sheet steel prices are having a positive impact, resulting in increased order activity and reconstituted order backlogs.
  • Overall steel shipments are expected to increase in the first quarter 2019, compared to fourth quarter 2018 results, and average quarterly steel product pricing is expected to decrease more than the cost of average scrap consumed.  The company believes domestic steel consumption will continue to improve through the year.


(New York Times)  Fed, Dimming Its Economic Outlook, Predicts No Rate Increases This Year

  • The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the United States economy was slowing more than it had previously thought as it left interest rates unchanged and signaled little appetite for raising them again in the near future.
  • The Fed now expects 2.1 percent growth this year, down from the 2.3 percent it forecast in December. The outlook for 2020 is even more bleak, with the Fed now projecting growth of just 1.9 percent.
  • The downbeat assessment comes as the Fed sees signs of weakness in areas like consumer spending and business investment, which Mr. Powell said “suggest that growth is slowing somewhat more than expected.” Average monthly job growth, while strong, “appears to have stepped down from last year’s strong pace,” he added.
  • Powell tried to reassure markets by saying “economical fundamentals are still very strong,” but he acknowledged that recent developments both domestically and abroad were making it harder for the American economy to grow as quickly as it did last year.
  • Forecasts released at the end of the two-day meeting show the typical member of the Federal Open Market Committee now expects not to raise rates at all this year. Most officials now expect a single rate increase in 2020 and none in 2021.
15 Mar 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $1.4 billion and year to date flows stand at $11.1 billion.  New issuance for the week was $4.6 billion and year to date HY is at $42.7 billion, which is -12% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bonds extended this week’s rally, as dedicated funds received fresh cash inflows.
  • Yields held firm as oil rallied to close at a 4-month high after rising for 4 straight sessions
  • Returns were at new YTD highs across ratings, with high-yield index at 6.52%
  • Triple Cs were best performers yesterday, held top rank YTD, with 6.83% gain
  • BBs returned 6.35%, single-Bs 6.45%
  • Loans lagged high yield bonds, with YTD return of 4.2%
  • S. junk operating against backdrop of strong technicals as reflected in slow issuance activity, net inflows into retail funds, low default rate, steady corporate earnings


(Fierce Wireless)  New details cause FCC to pause T-Mobile/Sprint merger for third time

  • The FCC has stopped the clock on a proposed merger between wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile. The agency said it has received “significant new information” regarding the deal and has opened up a three-week period ending March 28 for public comment. The pause comes on day 122 of the 180-day review period the FCC holds for mergers.
  • Opposition to the merger gained momentum when the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) joined a coalition of rural wireless providers that oppose the merger. The 4Competition Coalition is comprised of 25 organizations, including WISPA, Dish, C Spire and the Rural Wireless Association (RWA). The coalition has argued that the merger, which would reduce the number of nationwide wireless carriers to from four to three if successful, would hamper rural consumers’ access to wireless service. “The combined company would have significant new incentive and ability to raise prices and preemptively stamp out competition from newcomers. And the merger would result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the process,” the coalition claims on its website.
  • Earlier this week, T-Mobile filed new plans for the combined company to provide residential broadband service. T-Mobile CEO John Legere seemed to respond to the opposition in a blog post this week, which claimed that the combined company will pose a competitive challenge to cable broadband providers.
  • “We’ll give millions of Americans—especially those in underserved rural areas—more choices and options for connecting to the internet and participating in the digital economy,” Legere wrote. “With the New T-Mobile and our unique 5G capabilities, we’ll be able to offer a fast and reliable alternative for in-home broadband.”


(Company Filing and CAM)  AMC Entertainment notes downgraded to CCC+ by S&P 

  • AMC launched a potential refinancing of their existing credit facilities. They intend to use a portion of the net proceeds of such refinancing to redeem all of the outstanding 5.875% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2022 and 6.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 pursuant to the provisions of the indentures pursuant to which such notes were issued. There can be no assurance as to whether and when such refinancing and redemption will occur and on what terms such refinancing will occur, if at all.
  • While the refinancing is for the most part leverage neutral, S&P lowered the ratings on the existing senior subordinated notes due to the added secured debt placed above the notes in the capital structure.
08 Mar 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$1.2 billion and year to date flows stand at $9.7 billion.  New issuance for the week was $5.0 billion and year to date HY is at $38.0 billion, which is -6% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bond yields jumped the most in four weeks, closing at a two-week high, as returns turned negative across ratings for a third consecutive session, the worst run since January. Triple C bonds suffered the biggest decline since December.
  • Yields rose in 5 of the last 9 trading sessions as S&P 500 dropped the most in 4 weeks to close at 3-week low
  • Equity fell for 4 straight sessions for first time since December
  • VIX rose for 4 straight sessions for the first time since October, closing at a 5-week high
  • Nervous junk bond investors withdrew cash from high yield funds, the first negative flow since January
  • Resilience of high yield was evident in steady pricing of new issues
  • Biggest LBO deal YTD, Power Solutions, had $15b in orders for senior secured and unsecured tranche combined, after just two days of roadshow
  • Junk bonds still remain best-performing in fixed income, with YTD return of 6.07%
  • CCC bonds fell 0.18% yesterday, have gained 6.38% YTD
  • High yield maintained lead over loans, which returned 4.16% YTD
  • S. junk bonds operate against the backdrop of strong technicals as reflected in slow issuance, low default rate, steady corporate earnings


(Bloomberg)  CenturyLink Finds ‘Material’ Accounting Issues With Level 3

  • CenturyLink Inc. discovered a “material weakness” in accounting involving the value of assets acquired with the 2017 purchase of Level 3 Communications and notified regulators that its 10-K filing will be late.
  • CenturyLink said it found problems with “internal controls” in its books involving recording and “measuring fair value of assets and liabilities” it took over with the Level 3
    acquisition, according to a filing Monday. The rural telephone company said it needs to audit the accounting before it can report its year-end numbers, but that the problem won’t cause any material changes to the results it reported Feb. 13.
  • Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink bought Level 3 to strengthen its sales to businesses and cope with a long-running decline in landline demand. The company — one of the largest junk-bond issuers in the U.S. — is part of a challenging industry that includes Windstream Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection last month.


(Bloomberg)  Digital Colony Is Said to Weigh Bid for Zayo 

  • Digital Colony, a communications infrastructure-focused firm formed by Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital Inc. and Digital Bridge Holdings LLC, is part of a potential buyer group weighing a bid for Zayo Group Holdings Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
  • The group, led by Digital Colony and investment firm EQT, has fully committed debt financing, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. A Digital Colony representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, and an EQT representative declined to comment.
  • Zayo is a Boulder, Colorado-based owner of fiber networks across North America and Europe on Wednesday said it’s “evaluating strategic alternatives.”
  • Zayo, led by Chief Executive Officer Dan Caruso, postponed its analyst day, and said it will take “a minimum of several weeks to months” to consider its options, though there’s no set timetable nor assurance a strategic alternative will result.

(Bloomberg)  T-Mobile’s Sprint Deal Draws State Concerns Over Consumer Harm

  • State antitrust enforcers are expressing deep concerns that T-Mobile US Inc.’s proposed takeover of Sprint Corp. could raise prices for consumers, signaling they might seek to thwart the deal.
  • Some state attorneys general who are investigating the $26 billion transaction took the unusual step this week of publicly voicing worries that the combination could harm competition, offering insight for the first time into how they view the tie- up.
  • Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, said combining T-Mobile and Sprint would further concentrate an already consolidated industry by leaving just three national carriers. “That’s dangerous for competition. That’s dangerous for consumers,” Frosh said in an interview on the sidelines of an annual conference in Washington for state attorneys general.
  • The comments come after more than a dozen states joined to investigate the deal in parallel with the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, which are nearing the end of their reviews.
  • The tie-up has been widely criticized by consumer groups and Democratic lawmakers who want officials to oppose the deal. The states can sue to block the merger on antitrust grounds even if federal officials approve the takeover.
04 Mar 2019

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $0.2 billion and year to date flows stand at $11.0 billion.  New issuance for the week was $2.2 billion and year to date HY is at $31.4 billion, which is -10% over the same period last year.


(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • U.S. junk bond supply has revved up, with $21 billion priced in February making it the busiest month since March 2018. It was the highest-volume second month in four years.
  • 30 deals priced, all oversubscribed multiple times, most priced at lower end of talk
  • About 26% of the supply was to fund LBO suggesting strong demand for risk
  • About 25% was rated CCC, some funding dividend distributions to equity sponsors
  • About 54% of total supply was drive-by offerings
  • S. high yield returned most YTD since 2001, up 6.26% after the best January since 2009
  • Triple-Cs led the gains in junk bonds with 6.96%, also best since 2001
  • CCCs January performance was best in almost 3 years, at 5.28%
  • Junk bond yields dropped across ratings closing February near 4-month lows, with the exception of BBs, which closed at a 10-month low of 5%
  • CCC yields and spreads dropped most for the month, closing at 10.52% and +780bps, respectively
  • CCC spreads fell below +800 for first time since early December
  • Low default, better-than-feared corporate earnings, firm oil and above all a dovish Fed boosted risk assets


(Globe Newswire)  Windstream Holdings, Inc. Files for Voluntary Reorganization Under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code Following Judge Furman’s Decision

  • The Company intends to use the court-supervised process to address debt maturities that have been accelerated as a result of the recent decision by Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York against Windstream Services, LLC, a subsidiary of the Company.
  • “Following a comprehensive review of our options, including an appeal, the Board of Directors and management team determined that filing for voluntary Chapter 11 protection is a necessary step to address the financial impact of Judge Furman’s decision and the impact it would have on consumers and businesses across the states in which we operate,” said Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Windstream. “Taking this proactive step will ensure that Windstream has access to the capital and resources we need to continue building on Windstream’s strong operational momentum while we engage in constructive discussions with our creditors regarding the terms of a consensual plan of reorganization. We acted decisively to secure the long-term financial stability of Windstream, and we are confident that, upon completion of the reorganization process, we will be even better positioned to invest in our business, expand our speed and capabilities for our customers and compete for the long term.
  • As previously announced on February 15, 2019, Judge Furman ruled that Windstream Services, LLC’s 2015 spinoff of certain telecommunications network assets into a real estate investment trust (REIT) violated its agreements with bondholders. The decision arose from challenges by Aurelius Capital Management (“Aurelius”) and U.S. Bank National Association that the spinoff was invalid under the terms of those agreements.
  • The effect of Judge Furman’s decision was that an event of default under the relevant indenture had occurred that had not been cured or waived. The acceleration of the obligations outstanding under such indenture gave rise to a cross-default under the indentures governing Windstream’s other series of secured and unsecured notes. In addition, the decision gave rise to a cross-default under the credit agreement governing Windstream’s secured term and revolving loan obligations.


(PR Newswire)  S&P Global Ratings Upgrades Equinix to Investment Grade (‘BBB-‘) On Improving Credit Quality

  • Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, announced that S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) has upgraded all of Equinix’s ratings with S&P by one notch to the investment grade rating of “BBB-“, including its issuer credit rating, its global multi-currency credit facility and term loan ratings, and all of the company’s senior unsecured notes.
  • “We are very pleased to have received an investment grade credit rating from S&P, which reflects increased confidence in improving leverage levels and our demonstrated commitment to fund expansion in a disciplined and balanced manner,” said Keith Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, Equinix.


(PR Newswire)  Huntsman Receives Investment Grade Ratings from Moody’s and Fitch

  • Huntsman Corporation announced that Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. has upgraded our senior unsecured rating from “Ba1” to “Baa3” with a “stable outlook”.  In addition, Fitch Ratings, Inc. published an initial Long-term Issuer Default Rating for the Company of “BBB-” with a “positive outlook”.
  • Peter Huntsman, Chairman, President and CEO commented: “We are pleased to receive today the formal recognition of Investment Grade.  This has been our objective for many years and reflects the significant transformation of our balance sheet and downstream portfolio of businesses. This action will further strengthen our shareholder base, provide greater flexibility with our balance sheet and allow us to continue to expand our downstream businesses.”