New issues cruised through the primary sector yesterday, while secondary prices were unchanged to 1/8 point higher, except for Denver Airport bonds, which fell around 1/2 point.
The new deals came at expected levels. Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. led activity by pricing and then repricing $444 million of North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency power system revenue bonds. Yields were lowered 1.66 basis points on the term bonds in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
A Smith Barney officer said retail took the shorter maturities while bond funds and trust departments bought the higher yields. The Street will get bonds, the officer said, but noted that the deal was "fairly tight."
"There was more interest in the higher-coupon bonds than the discounts than we expected," the officer added. "It seems to be an indiseus of a subtle change in market psychology and indicative of a little more caution and posturing on the part of investors."
The final pricing included $398 million of current interest bonds priced to yield from 4.90% in 1993 to 6.45% in 2006.
There are term bonds priced to yield 6.75% in 2012, 6.83% in 2017, 6.734% in 2018 and 2019, and 6.70% in 2021.
There also are capital appreciation bonds priced to yield 6.30% in 2004, 6.35% in 2005, and 6.40% in 2006.
The issue is rated A by Moody's Investors Service, A-minus by Standard & Poor's Corp., and A by Fitch Investors Service.
In other action, First Boston as senior manager tentatively priced $216 million of George Municipal Electric Authority bonds.
The offering included serial bonds tentatively priced to yield from 4.80% in 1993 to 6.43% in 2006, while term bonds in 2012 were tentatively priced to yield 6.567% and a 2018 term was tentatively priced to yield 6.65%.
First Boston planned to reprice the issue, but the final yields were not available.
The managers said they expected an A1 rating from Moody's and an AA-minus rating from Standard & Poor's.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. as senior manager priced and repriced $114 million of Sacramento Municipal Utility District electric revenue refunding bonds to lower serial yeilds five to 10 basis points and the term maturity by five basis points.
A Goldman officer said the deal saw a mix of investors and better participation from buyers, including trust departments, that have not traditionally bought the bonds.
The final pricing included serials priced to yield from 4.50% in 1992 to 6.40% in 2005.
A 2010 term was priced as 6.45s to yield 6.55%.
The issue is backed by Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. and is rated triple-A by Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
Goldman also priced and repriced $109 million Houston Airport System subordiante lien revenue bonds to lower yields two to three basis points.
The final pricing included series A bonds, subject to the federal alternative minimum tax, priced to yield 6.85% in 2008 and 6.918% in 2021. Series B bonds, non-AMT, were priced to yield 6.72% in 2022. Series C bonds, non-AMT, were priced to yield from 4.50% in 1992 to 6% in 2001.
The issue is FGIC-insured and bears triple-A's from Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
In follow-through business in the competitive sector. Goldman Sachs, senior manager for $120 million of Maryland general obligation bonds sold competitive last week, reported an unsold balance of $59 million late in the session.
Market sources said that some of the bonds changed hands professionally at levels down five basis points less 1/4.
Secondary action was relatively light in New York but the bid was firm with scattered odd lots and some small customer lists out for the bid. National traders reported brisker bid-wanted activity at improved levels.
However, Denver Airport bonds from last week's $600 million deal traded down about 1/2 point on the day. Denver Airport 7 3/4s of 2021 were quoted late in the session at 95 5/8-lock to yield approximately 8.14%. The bonds were originally priced to yield 8.05%.
In other dollar bond activity, yields were mostly unchanged to up 1/8 point, traders said.
East Bay California 6 1/2s of 2016 were quoted at 99-1/2 to yield approximately 6.54%. New York City Water Authority 7s of 2015 were quoted at 99 1/4-3/8 to yield 7.05%, while Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority insured 6 5/8s were quoted at 99 1/4-3/8 to yield 6.67%.
In the debt futures market, the December municipal contract settled up 6/32 to 95.01. The December MOB spread was calculated at negative 159.
In short-term note trading, yields backed up five to 10 basis points as paper came out for the bid and last week's New York city note sale settled.
In late secondary trading, Los Angeles notes were quoted at 4.25% bid, 4.20% offered, while March New York State Trans were quoted at 4.85% bid, 4.80% offered. Texas notes were quoted at 4.24% bid, 4.20% offered, and Pennsylvania paper was quoted at 4.30% bid, 4.25% offered. New York City notes were quoted at 4.91% bid, 4.88% offered.
Pre-refunded bonds were mostly unchanged on the day. Pre-refunded bonds with national names, callable in 1995, were quoted near the end of cash trading at 5.23% bid, 5.20% offered. Bonds pre-refunded into 1996 were quoted at 5.27% bid, 5.25% offered.
Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. priced $60 million of Roanoke, Va., water system revenue bonds.
The offering included serials priced at par to yield from 5.15% in 1996 to 5.50% in 1999. A 2021 term was priced as 6 1/2s to yield 6.586% and a 2031 term is priced as 6s to yield 6.54%.
Capital appreciation bonds were priced to yield from 5.80% in 2000 to 6.55% in 2009.
The issue is FGIC-insured and bears triple-A's from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch.
Alex. Brown also priced $15 milllion of Roanoke general obligation water system bonds at par to yield from 4.25% in 1992 to 6.30% in 2006. As 2011 term is priced as 6.375s to yield 6.45% and a 2021 term is priced as 6 1/2s to yield 6.55%.
The bonds are rated Aa by Moody's and Standard & Poor's.