Corporate bond prices remained unchanged as traders yawned through Veterans Day yesterday.
"There's nothing doing," said one high-yield analyst.
"There's no trading going on," a high-grade trader said, "There's nobody here."
Among yesterday's few highlights, Embassy Suites Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Promus Companies Inc., said if filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue $200 million of senior subordinated notes due 2001.
Promus will guarantee the unsecured notes, but that guarantee will be subordinate to Promus's guarantee of Embassy's secured debt, said Charles Atwood, corporate director of asset management at Promus.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. will serve as lead underwriter, with BT Securities Corp. and First Boston Corp. as co-managers.
Proceeds from the offering will be used to refinance some of Promus's existing secured debt, Mr. Atwood said.
"The offering is part of Promus's strategy to reduce its principal payment obligations over the next several years and to lengthen the maturities of its long-term debt," a company release said.
The notes will be sold in the United States, the release said.
The offering is subject to Promus's bank lenders' consent, Mr. Atwood said.
Promus is among the nation's leading casino and hotel companies, according to the release. Its Harrah's gaming division operates six properties located in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Laughlin and Reno, Nev., and Atlantic City, N.J.
The company also owns, runs, or franchises more than 400 hotels under the Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites brands, the release added.
In yesterday's rating activities, Fitch Investors Service Inc. downgraded Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s $1.6 billion of senior debt to A from A-plus and affirmed the company's F-1 commercial paper rating, according to a Fitch release.
The rating agency affirmed Westinghouse Credit Corp.'s A-rated long-term senior debt shelf registration, A-minus subordinated debt shelf registration, and F-1 commercial paper rating, as well as the F-1 commercial paper rating of Westinghouse/Shidler Funding Corp.
Fitch removed all Westinghouse ratings from Fitch Alert, where they were placed with negative implications on Oct. 7.
"The senior debt downgrade reflects financial pressure placed on the total company as a result of Westinghouse Credit Corp.'s weakened asset quality, particularly its commercial real estate portfolio," the agency said. "The $1.6 billion pretax reserve established in the third quarter of 1991 to address potential losses at Westinghouse Credit Corp. puts an additional cash flow burden on Westinghouse Electric Corp. at a time when other business segments are being hurt by weak economic conditions."
Standard & Poor's Corp. affirmed the ratings of USX Corp. and its units after the company announced it planned to issue about $600 million of USX-Marathon Group common stock, because the impact on the company's capitalization "will not be substantial," a Standard & Poor's release said.
Scott Sprinzen, a Standard & Poor's analyst, explained that while an equity issue is a positive step, in this case it was not enough to prompt an upgrade.
The agency affirmed USX affirmed USX Corp.'s senior debt training at BBB-minus, subordinated debt at BB- plus, preferred stock at BB-plus and commercial paper at A-3. It affirmed Marathon Oil Corp. and Texas Oil & Gas Corp. senior debt at BBB-minus. Long-term debt outstanding totalled $6 billion as Sept. 30.
Also yesterday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Nevada Power Co.'s senior secured debt to BBB-minus from BBB, its senior unsecured debt to BB-plus from BBB-minus, and its preferred stock to BB from BBB-minus, according to a Standard & Poor's release. Standard & Poor's separately affirmed the company's A-3 commercial paper rating. Nevada Power has about $514 million of debt and $43 million of preferred stock outstanding.
"The Nevada Public Service Commissions's recent rate action, granting an $11 million -- 2% -- base-rate hike will not be sufficient to permit enhancement of key financial indicators to levels appropriate for prior ratings," the release said.