Analyzing Debt Terms, Yields, Prices, and Credit Ratings
Analyzing Debt Terms, Yields, Prices, and Credit Ratings
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Assume Reproduced below is the long-term debt footnote from the 10-K report of Southwest Airlines.
|Long-Term Debt (in millions)||2012||2011|
|7 7/8% Notes due 2012||$ —||$ 100|
|French Credit Agreements due 2017||35||37|
|6 1/2% Notes due 2017||385||369|
|5 1/4% Notes due 2019||350||336|
|5 3/4% Notes due 2021||300||300|
|5 1/8% Notes due 2022||311||300|
|French Credit Agreements due 2022||94||100|
|Pass Through Certificates||480||—|
|7 3/8% Debentures due 2032||103*||100|
|Less current maturities||42||122|
|Less debt discount and issuant costs||19||16|
|$ 2,049||$ 1,567|
* The carrying value of these debentures is 103 while the face value is 100. The company marks these debentures to market each period because the debentures are hedged with interest-rate swaps. The swap and the debentures are both marked to market, where any gains and losses offset each other.
As of December 31, 2012, aggregate annual principal maturities of debt and capital leases (not including amounts associated with interest rate swap agreements and interest on capital leases) for the five-year period ending December 31, 2017, were $39 million in 2013, $41 million in 2014, $54 million in 2015, $48 million in 2016, $412 million in 2017, and $1.5 billion thereafter.
Assume below is a summary of the market values of the Southwest Airlines’ bonds maturing from 2017 to 2032 (from Capital IQ).
|Maturity Date||Security Type||Coupon||Offer Date||Amt. Outstanding ($mm)||Current Price||Yield|
(a) What is the amount of long-term debt reported on Southwest’s 2012 balance sheet?
What are the scheduled maturities for this indebtedness? Year ($ millions)
Why is information relating to a company’s scheduled maturities of debt useful in an analysis of its financial condition?
We are looking to see if all payments are approximately equal. If so, the expected drain on cash flow will be constant.
The information relating to a company’s scheduled maturities is not important.
We prefer to see liabilities coming due in the near future if interest rates are expected to decline; but deferred if interest rates are expected to increase.
Excessive payments in any one year can create a cash flow problem, especially if the debt cannot be refinanced.
(b) Southwest reported $119 million in interest expense in its 2012 income statement. In the note to its statement of cash flows, Southwest indicates that the cash portion of this expense is $63 million. What could account for the difference between interest expense and interest paid?
The difference arises because the amount of interest paid is based on prevailing interest rates that change frequently.
There is never any difference between interest expense and interest paid.
The difference arises because the amount of interest expense is based on prevailing interest rates that change frequently.
The difference arises from the amortization of any discounts or premiums on the debt.
(c) Southwest’s long-term debt is rated “BBB+” by Fitch and similarly by other credit rating agencies. What factors would be important to consider in attempting to quantify the relative riskiness of Southwest compared with other borrowers?
Credit rating agencies assess companies’ default risk by comparing the target company against companies that have defaulted on their debt.
Credit rating agencies assess companies’ default risk by gauging the level of debt in relation to the companies’ operating cash flow, profitability ratios, and the ratios for long-term creditworthiness.
Credit rating agencies assess companies’ default risk by focusing primarily on macroeconomic factors such as the projected level of interest rates.
Credit rating agencies assess companies’ default risk by focusing primarily on non-quantitative measures such as the quality of the company’s management team.
(d) Southwest’s $385 million 6.5% notes traded at 97.290, or 97.29% of par, as of December 2013. What is the market value of these notes on that date? (Round your answer to one decimal place.)
How is the difference between this market value and the $385 million face value reflected in Southwest’s financial statements?
The balance sheet is unaffected, but the income statement reflects increases (decreases) in interest rates as increases (decreases) in interest expense.
The current market value of the notes is reflected in the balance sheet as an increase (decrease) in liabilities if rates have declined (increased).
The current market value of the notes is not reflected in Southwest’s balance sheet.
Only the statement of cash flows is affected as cash is needed to retire the liabilities when they mature.
What effect would the repurchase of this entire note issue have on Southwest’s financial statements?
Only the balance sheet and statement of cash flows would be affected as they reflect the cash payment and consequent reduction of liabilities.
If Southwest were to repurchase these notes, the difference would be reported as a gain in the current income statement.
Southwest is prohibited from repurchasing the notes before maturity and, thus, no financial statements would be affected.
There would be no effect on the financial statements if Southwest were to repurchase these notes because the repurchase would be made at book value.
What does the 97.290 price tell us about the general trend in interest rates since Southwest sold this bond issue?
Because these notes have declined in value subsequent to their issuance, market interest rates must have increased.
The price of the bonds is unrelated to the general level of interest rates, only the rate of interest on Southwest’s debt. Because that hasn’t changed, other causes must be considered.
The market price of the debt relates only to investor’s expectations about the general condition of the airline industry and is unaffected by the level of interest rates.
Because these notes have declined in value subsequent to their issuance, market interest rates must have decreased.
Please answer all parts of the question.