|Bid||0.00 x 800|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||147.11 - 149.31|
|52 Week Range||95.69 - 153.91|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.99|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.86|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.88 (2.65%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- To get a sense of how the market feels about the day-to-day drama coming out of WeWork, investors have little choice but to turn to its bonds.After all, the company has no publicly traded shares — and, if the latest twist in its saga is to be believed, that might be the case for longer than anticipated. Executives of WeWork and its largest investor, SoftBank Group Corp., are discussing whether to shelve plans for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the talks told Bloomberg News. On top of that, the office-rental company may rely on junk bonds for funding for the foreseeable future or even explore a whole-business securitization, a WeWork executive said, according to a person familiar with the matter.Not surprisingly, WeWork’s junk bonds are tumbling. They fell below 100 cents on the dollar on Tuesday for the first time since the company filed to go public last month, with both the number of trades and overall volume reaching the highest in about a month. While a dip below face value doesn’t inherently spell doom, it’s nevertheless a sign that the bad news is starting to take its toll on investors.But here’s the mystery: Who exactly are those investors?We know who holds about 25% of WeWork’s $669 million in high-yield debt due 2025 because Bloomberg aggregates data from the most recent public filings. So, for instance, Lord Abbett & Co. held about $43.8 million as of May 31, or about 6.5%. The second-largest holder is Allianz SE, which includes funds from Pacific Investment Management Co.; grouped together, it owns about $21 million, or a bit more than 3%. Three State Street Corp. exchange-traded funds hold a combined $9.6 million, or 1.44%. In the period through July 31, funds from TIAA-CREF and Ameriprise Financial Inc. pared back their exposure. Still, that’s far from a complete picture. Only knowing who owns 25% of a company’s bonds is minuscule, even for the high-yield market. WeWork makes up about 0.05% of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index. Here’s a sampling of other debt with nearly identical weightings and comparable maturities, and how much of its ownership is public:Lamar Media Corp. bond maturing in 2026: 47% known Seven Generations Energy bond maturing in 2025: 72% known J2 Global bond maturing in 2025: 51% known Navient Corp. bond maturing in 2021: 57% known Antero Resources Corp. bond maturing in 2023: 67% known CVR Partners LP bond maturing in 2023: 64% knownSuffice it to say, bonds in the high-yield index with lower publicly reported ownership than WeWork are few and far between. So if active money managers, ETFs, pensions(1) and life insurers make up only a quarter of investors, who else is left? Hedge funds would be a likely place to start looking. WeWork’s bond matures in less than six years and offers a yield of more than 8%. (At the height of the rally last month, it yielded closer to 7%.) The Bloomberg Barclays high-yield index has a comparable average maturity of 5.76 years, but its yield is just 5.6%. There’s been no indication that SoftBank and its affiliates own any of the securities, but they do own about 29% of WeWork stock, which shows just how much the Japanese conglomerate has riding on the company’s success. Opportunistic investors appear to have jumped into WeWork’s bond at least twice this year. The bond soared after the company’s April 29 announcement that it filed paperwork confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold an IPO and then again after it filed its S-1 prospectus in August. As I wrote in May, an IPO could give WeWork a cash injection that ought to cover interest for a while. It would also give bondholders a layer of protection in the capital structure because public shareholders would take the biggest hit if WeWork fizzles.These big investors, whoever they may be, can’t be feeling too comfortable right now, given the state of the IPO. As for We Co., the parent of WeWork, becoming a regular presence in the capital markets, I’ll just say this: It’s one thing to be Netflix Inc. — whose stock price has more than doubled since the start of 2017 — and tap the high-yield bond market again and again (its bonds maturing in 2026 have 73.5% public ownership). It’s quite another to be WeWork, given that its IPO range could wind up closer to $20 billion, compared with the $47 billion valuation it had earlier this year. There is no shortage of investors, analysts and commentators who see WeWork as the height of market folly. It’s a company with an unusual corporate structure and a business model that seems destined to implode when the economic cycle turns.So far, the bond market isn’t convinced that WeWork is about to crash and burn. That is, if anyone can trust trading among investors who are largely unknown.(1) The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, held about $2.6 million of the bond as of June 30, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It's possible other pension funds don't disclose such precise figures.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For 47 years, the Business Roundtable has lobbied on behalf of corporate America. Much of that time, it maintained a fiction(1) -- that the sole purpose of a corporation was to maximize profits on behalf of shareholders. This philosophy has been under assault for several years now, and this week the Business Roundtable announced it wants to put it to rest.In a widely circulated memo, the 200-member organization reversed itself, writing that "shareholder primacy” is no longer the sole purpose of a corporation. Instead, corporations must include a commitment to “all stakeholders,” which includes customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.Some kudos are in order for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, and chairman of the Business Roundtable, for driving these changes. He has been discussing the need for a more inclusive form of capitalism, both in public speeches and in his letters to shareholders, for some time.But turning this aircraft carrier around won’t be easy, in large part because of the group's own history. Indeed, the Roundtable has spent most of the past four decades advocating against the interests of those exact stakeholders. To cite some of the more notable examples:\-- It fought the rise of labor unions and pro-union legislation;\-- Helped to defeat antitrust bills;\-- Prevented the formation of the Consumer Protection Agency;\-- Opposed corporate governance changes to make boards of directors and CEOs more accountable to stockholders;\-- Fought proper accounting of stock options given as compensation to executives and insiders;\-- Opposed increases in the national minimum wage (it now favors increases);\-- Lobbied to prevent restrictions on executive compensation;\-- Fought legislation that would create cleaner energy and address climate change;\-- Pushed for corporate income-tax cuts;\-- Supported anti-consumer Supreme Court decisions, including the fiction that corporations are legal people, and that campaign donations equal speech. The Roundtable might respond that this is all in the past. Let’s hope so. But the organization has an even greater challenge: Scan the list of 181 signatories to the recent memo and it's a Who’s Who of corporate behavior that has burdened and disadvantaged the very stakeholders they will now champion.Consider a few of the signatories:\-- Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc.: Two of the most valuable companies in the world are famously effective at using various tax dodges to avoid paying their fair share. I can recall when the Internal Revenue Service went after maneuvers that serve no valid business purpose other than tax avoidance. Consider that what isn't paid in tax by those who avoid them must be made up for by those who do -- mostly average Americans who also happen to be customers of these companies.The share of federal tax revenue paid by corporations has dropped by two-thirds in the past seven decades -- from 32% in 1952 to 10% in 2013; and corporate income tax as a share of gross domestic product has fallen from about 6% in 1946 to about 1.5% today.\-- Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co.: Show good faith -- working with card-issuing banks as needed -- by simplifying the incomprehensible small print in the cardholder agreement and spell out in clear language the terms and penalties for late payment. Second, do the same for mandatory arbitration clauses that take away the right of customers to seek redress in public courts.\-- Ameriprise Financial Inc., Morgan Stanley and Principal Financial Group Inc: The brokers and insurers on the list have been zealous opponents of the fiduciary rule. Instead, they prefer a less stringent rule that allows them to sell products that are better for them than for their customers. Until those firms -- and Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan are in this group -- embrace a higher duty of care, their gestures toward stakeholders are hollow. Oh, and they should drop the requirement that customers agree to mandatory arbitration clauses as one of the conditions for opening a brokerage account.\-- Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.: For years these companies have been helping the American public achieve record levels of diabetes and obesity by selling health-damaging sugary drinks. They should acknowledge and warn customers of the consequences of consuming too much of their products, and accept the same kinds of taxes and health warnings now affixed to cigarettes.\-- Deere & Co.: The maker of farm machinery has led the fight against customers, insisting that they not make repairs to the equipment they own, and denying them access to parts and instructions. Repairs can only be made by Deere service technicians in what has come to be known as a “repair monopoly.” Apple, by the way, does the same thing.\-- Walmart Inc. and McDonald's Corp.: Both were steadfast opponents of increases in minimum wages for years. Although both now offer higher minimum pay, it was only after a tightening labor market forced them to increase wages. But this wasn't a case of corporate altruism -- their stores were messy and employees were sullen, and pay increases were part of plans to keep ill-treated customers from defecting. (McDonald's is not a signatory to the Roundtable memo).For the Roundtable commitment to be meaningful, the signatories are going to have to alter their behavior in ways large and small, and maybe even in ways that aren't always optimal for maximizing short-term profits. Still, we should be encouraged. But the proof will be in the follow through and the actual actions of the Roundtable members.(Corrects to clarify section on credit-card companies to indicate the role of banks in setting terms for customers. )(1) In “The Shareholder Value Myth,” Lynn Stout explained how the entire theory is based on a misreading of a 1919 court case -- Dodge vs. Ford – at the time, both privately held, non-public companies.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Focus on core operations, a strong balance sheet and efforts to improve revenues are likely to aid Ameriprise (AMP). Yet, significant asset outflows and mounting expenses remain on the downside.