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The market continues to be red hot. A flood of new supply is expected to come soon and cool things down, but so far investors are still ravenous. The U.S. dollar portion ofVivendi Universal's new $1 billion deal, 9.25% notes of '10, priced at par on Thursday and bolted to 105 by the close of the day.AMR Corp.'s benchmark 9% notes of '12 went from 14 to 32 after the company reached a deal with its unions and dodged a bankruptcy filing. Here was other selected action through last Thursday.
Charter Rallies On Strong Numbers
Charter Communications saw its issues climb steadily after its earnings call last Tuesday. The 10% notes of '09, which stood at 46 before the call, had reached a bid of 54.5 by mid-morning last Thursday.
Oren Cohen, a former sell-side cable analyst now at Trilogy Capital LLC, a hedge fund, says restated earnings for 2000 and 2002 were not nearly as bad as had been feared. He says that while other distressed sectors have few transactions, making it difficult to value assets, the cable space has had a number of recent deals that make Charter's assets seem like they will fetch an attractive price. He continues to see value in the bonds, but would not discuss Trilogy's position.
Tesoro Gets Richer As New Deal Is Announced
Tesoro Petroleum's 9.625% notes of '12 surged from an 84 bid to 92 after the refiner announced a $400 million new offering that would give it some covenant relief from its banks. The deal was expected to come last Friday.
Brendan White, portfolio manager at Fort Washington Investment Advisors, says he is encouraged to see that the company has access to capital, and was planning to look at the deal. "We've been pretty constructive on the refiners for some time. They have a real opportunity to generate significant cash flow in the current environment," he says.
Orion Power Jumps After Reliant Bank Deal
Orion Power's 12% notes of '10 were up nine points after Reliant Resources, its parent, completed a new bank agreement.
Greg Sullivan, director of high-yield sales at BNY Capital Markets, says banks are loosening up on utilities in 2003. "Last year, banks were playing the tough guy, asking for more restrictive covenants. A lot of the banks this year are more amenable to renewing credit agreements. From bondholders' perspective, that's a positive," he says.