Corporate issuers seem to have unlocked the market for 30-year bonds, despite the continued existence of a 14-basis-point spread between the Treasury's most recent long bond and the previous benchmark issue.
Amoco Canada Petroleum Co., for example, sold $300 million of 30-year debentures, priced off the older Treasury bond due in February 2023.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. priced the triple-A rated Amoco debentures at a spread of 60 basis points to the old Treasury bond, or 74 points above the newer Treasury bond.
Traders noted that the deal was priced 10 basis points cheaper than an identical issue from Amoco last October.
"I think that shows the ambivalence in the market," said one underwriting official not on the deal. "Even if they priced the spread to the new benchmark, they're still close to their last new long issue."
Champion International Corp. sold $100 million of 30-year debentures earlier in the day.
Before the two deals, several issuers had balked at issuing long bonds priced off the older, higher-yielding Treasury bond.
Yesterday morning, FMC Corp. tried to price $100 million of 10-year bonds and $100 million of 30-year bonds. The 30-years were shopped at 130 basis points over the old Treasury bond, traders said.
But buyers wanted a wider spread and FMC balked. The deal was ultimately priced as $200 million of 10-year bonds.
Late in the day on Wednesday, Westinghouse Electric sold $325 million of 30-year notes, but at a spread of 155 basis points, significantly wider than the company's outstanding long-term bonds, traders said.
Earlier in the week, Corning Inc. and Consolidated Natural Gas Co. passed on offering 30-years priced off the older Treasury bond.
In the private placement arena, Dell Computer Corp. announced that it had completed two private offerings totaling $225 million.
The first offering, a $125 million convertible preferred stock issue, was purchased by Goldman Sachs. The second offering, a $100 million 11% senior unsecured seven-year note issue, was sold to Goldman Sachs and Citicorp Securities Inc. and resold to investors.
In secondary trading, investment grade issues again battled to keep up with the high-octane rally in the Treasury market. Traders said corporate bond prices were up across the board, but spreads widened as the Treasury's long end outran everything else in the market.
Below-investment grade bonds were mixed, with some issues down as much as 1/4 and some up as much as 1/2, traders said.
Several companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for debt offerings. Rykoff-Sexton Inc. plans to issue $130 million of senior subordinated notes due in 2003. Merrill Lynch & Co. will manage the deal.
CMI Industries Inc. filed to issue $100 million of senior subordinated notes due in 2003.
Primark Corp. filed to issue $100 million of senior notes due in 2000. BT Securities and PaineWebber will manage the deal.
And AIM Management Group Inc. plans to issue $100 million of senior secured notes due in 2003.
Citicorp issued $798 million of asset-backed certificates in a two-part offering through Standard Credit Card Master Trust I 1993-2. The first part consisted of $750 million of 5.95% senior class certificates with a 10-year average life.
The certificates were priced at 99.88 to yield 5.966%, or 50 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Goldman Sachs managed the issue.
The second part consisted of $48 million of 6.15% subordinate class certificates with an average life of 10 years. The certificates were priced at 99.601 to yield 6.204%, a spread of 74 basis points to comparable Treasuries.
Amoco Canada Petroleum Co. issued $300 million of 6 3/4% debentures due 2023. The debentures, noncallable for 10 years, were priced at 98.733 to yield 6.85%, or 60 basis points more than the February 2023 Treasury bond. Goldman Sachs managed the deal.
John Deere Capital Corp. issued $200 million of 4 5/8% notes due in 1996. The notes were priced at 99.98 to yield 4.632%, or 47 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Merrill Lynch managed the deal.
FMC Corp. issued $200 million of 6.45% noncallable senior notes due in 2003. The notes were priced at par to yield 6.45%, a spread of 100 basis points to comparable Treasuries. Morgan Stanley & Co. managed the deal.
Hillhaven Corp. issued $175 million of 10 1/8% senior subordinated notes due in 2001. The notes were priced by manager Merrill Lynch at 99.625 to yield 10. 195%, or 477 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. The notes are rated B2 by Moody's Investors Service and B-minus by Standard & Poor's Corp.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $150 million of 4.90% step-uo notes due in 2003. The notes were priced at par to yield 4.90%, a spread of 75 basis points to comparable Treasuries. Goldman Sachs managed the deal.
NWNL Cos. issued $120 million of 6 5/8% notes due in 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.829 to yield 6.648%, a spread of 120 basis points to comparable Treasuries. Merrill Lynch managed the deal.
Champion International Corp. sold $100 million of 7 5/8% debentures due in 2023. The debentures, noncallable for 10 years, were priced at 99.276 to yield 7.687%. or 140 basis points more than the February 2023 Treasury bond. Goldman Sachs managed the issue.