More than $15 million of Centennial Cellular bank debt crept up to the 81 level last week despite mixed investor opinions on the name. Market players explained that the pricing on the wireless company's bank debt had been pushed down by a few dealers dumping the paper in the mid 70s almost a month ago. The name has since recovered some ground with a $25 million auction at 77 on March 22, another $5 million reported to have moved to retail in the 78-79 context early last week and other trades were reported in the 80-81 by the end of the week.
Some dealers say the name was oversold and investors, sensing a bargain, have driven recent trades upward. One market player predicted that the paper would continue to change hands in the 80-85 context over the next couple of weeks. Other traders question the fundamentals of the company. "They have some operating issues that they need to work through," said one dealer. Calls to Peter Chehayl, company cfo, senior v.p. and treasurer, were not returned by press time.