The tax-exempt market took it on the chin for the ninth consecutive session yesterday as dealers found trading difficult ahead of this week's May inflation reports, which are expected to show higher-than-desired increases.
Dollar bond prices were off 3/8 point on average from Tuesday's closing levels, while high-grade serial yields backed up about five basis points, traders said. Note trading was very quiet ahead of today's $1.3 billion Los Angeles County tax and revenue anticipation note offering, but yields on California paper closed higher by five basis points.
The competitive new-issue slate was relatively light and received a good investor response at yields that were at least 20 basis points higher than where comparable bonds were trading in the secondary at this time last week.
A Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. account won $97.6 million Georgia State Tollway Authority state-guaranteed revenue bonds in a close contest with a true interest cost of 6.725%. A Lehman Brothers group was a close second with a 6.7305% TIC.
Reoffering yields on the Georgia issue ran from 5.45% in 1995 to 6.25% in 2001, 6.75% in 2006, and 6.95% in 2011. There was an unsold balance of $39 million reported late yesterday.
The bonds are rated triple-A by Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Investors Service, and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's Corp.
Bidding was also close for $65 million Washington Suburban Sanitary District, Md., various purpose unlimited tax bonds with the award going to a Goldman, Sachs & Co. account at a true interest cost of 6.8133%. A J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. group was less than a basis point away with a 6.8185% TIC.
The "Washtub" issue was very well received, selling down to a $7.2 million balance at yields ranging out to 6.45% in 2001, 6.90% in 2006, 7% in 2011, and 7.05% in 2014.
The bonds are rated Aa1 by Moody's and AA by Standard & Poor's.
Goldman Sachs & Co., and Lehman Brothers headed an account that had the successful bid for $75 million Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority revenue bonds (St. Luke's Medical Center).
The majority of the issue was concentrated in two term maturities: $45 million of 2019 priced at 98.198 as 7.10s to yield 7.25% and $14.4 million of 2011 offered at 99 1/4 as 7.10s to yield at 7.17%.
Serial yields went out to 7.05% in 2006 with the serial balance down to $8.7 million late in the afternoon.
The issue is backed by MBIA Corp. and will carry triple-A ratings by Standard & Poor's and Moody's.
In the short-term market, Nassau County, N.Y., awarded $140 million of tax and revenue anticipation notes with Lehman Brothers getting the lion's share of $110 million.
Lehman Brothers reoffered $80 million revenue notes, due April 15, 1992, at 4.60% and $30 million tax notes, due March 2, 1992, at 4.55%.
In secondary dollar bond trading, New Jersey Turnpike Authority 7.20s, due 2018, were actually up 1/8 on the day at 101 1/8-1/2 to yield 6.94% to the 1999 par call. But Florida State Board of Education 7 1/4s of 2023 fell 1/2 to 100 1/2-101, where they returned 7.10% to their par call in 2004.
New York LGAC 7s of 2016 slipped to 93 5/8-94 to yield 7.54%. Hawaii AMT 7s of 2020 inched down to 96 3/8-5/8 to yield 7.28%. And Los Angeles Transportation Commission uninsured 6 3/4s of 2020 dropped to 94 7/8 offered to yield 7.17%.
In prerefunded bond trading, the market for issues with a 1995 call was at 5.98% bid, 5.90% offered in late trading.
California issues dominated what little activity there was in the note sector, traders said. Recently issued big county names were being offered in the 4.40%-4.45% range. The offering for California paper maturing near the end of this month was around 5%.
In another short-term market development, traders who attended an information meeting for next week's $3.9 billion New York State tax and revenue anticipation note offering said that price talk for the notes ranged from a 4.80% to 5.10%.
Charlotte County, Fla., $92.1 million utility system revenue bonds.
Ratings: Moody's Aaa; Standard & Poor's AAA. FGIC insured.
Serial yields were scaled out to 6.60% in 2002. The term bonds include a $22.8 million 2014 maturity priced at 99 1/4 as 7s to yield 7.065% and a $36.3 million 2021 maturity offered at 97 1/4 as 6 7/8s to yield 7.096%.
William R. Hough & Co. was senior manager for the underwriters.
New York State Dormitory Authority, $49.9 million FHA-insured mortgage revenue bonds (St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York).
Ratings: Moody's Aa; Standard & Poor's AAA.
The $26.5 million term bonds, due 2030, were offered at 99 1/4 as 7.40s to yield 7.459%. The $13.9 million term bonds of 2011 were priced at par to yield 7.375%. And the $9.5 million term bonds of 2001 were priced at par to yield 6.80%.
The issue was marketed through an account led by Goldman, Sachs & Co. The verbal award was received yesterday.
Tulsa Industrial Authority, Okla., $41.9 million hospital revenue bonds (Tulsa Regional Medical Center) series 1991A.
Ratings: Standard & Poor's A-minus.
The offering is expected to be comprised of: $27 million serial bonds priced at 97 as 7 1/2 to yield 7.77%; $6.8 million term bonds of 2006 offered at 98 1/4 as 7 1/2s to yield 7.698%; and serials priced at par and scaled from 5.25% in 1992 to 7.40% in 2001.
The issue is being negotiated by First Boston Corp. The official award is expected tomorrow.
Broward County Health Facilities Authority Fla., $25.3 million health facility revenue bonds (North Beach Hospital) series 1991.
Ratings: Moody's Aaa; Standard & Poor's AAA. MBIA insured.
Reoffering yields ranged from 4.75% in 1992 to 6.65% in 2001, 7.13% in 2006, and 7.16% in 2011.
The bonds were offered through an account headed by Bear, Stearns & Co. The formal award is expected today.