Fidelity National Financial FNF announced the pricing of $600 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes. The notes carry an interest rate of 2.450% and are scheduled to mature on Mar 15, 2031.
The interest will be paid semi-annually on every Mar 15 and Sep 15.
The company plans to deploy the net proceeds to repay all outstanding debt under the term- loan credit agreement as well as for general corporate purposes.
The company displayed prudence by issuing senior notes amid a low interest rate environment to procure funds and enhance financial flexibility without affecting liquidity. As of Jun 30, 2020 cash balance increased about 71% from 2019 end level.
By capitalizing on the low interest rate environment, the company is also attempting to reduce its interest burden, thus facilitating margin expansion. Also, the company’s operational strength should enable it to service debt uninterruptedly, thereby maintaining the stock’s creditworthiness.
In June, the company issued $650 million of 3.4% senior notes due Jun 15, 2030. The net proceeds were deployed to repay $640 million of principal amount borrowed under the term loan credit agreement.
However, with the new issuance, interest expense will increase. But we still believe that the company is in a strong position to clear debts, banking on operational efficiencies.
As of Jun 30, 2020, total debt of the company was about $2.4 billion, up about three-fold from 2019 end. Debt-to-total capital ratio of 27.7 deteriorated 1420 basis points. The latest offering will increase the debt-to-capital ratio by 510 basis points.
Fidelity National has been strengthening its liquidity as evident from its improving cash and investment portfolio. Moreover, the company has a credit agreement for $1 billion, 364-day delayed draw term loan.
Shares of this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) title insurer have lost 27.1% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 6.6%.
Recently, American Financial Group AFG issued 4.50% $200 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due Sep 16, 2060 while W. R. Berkley Corporation WRB announced the pricing of $170 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes. The notes carry an interest rate of 4.00% and are scheduled to mature on Aug 15, 2050. CNA Financial Corporation CNA issued 2.050% $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due Aug 15, 2030 to capitalize on the low interest rate environment.
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