The Great Corporate Bond Bubble's Call Risk

Includes: KMB, PFE, SII, VZ
by: Stephen Rosenman

The herd is stampeding into bonds. Yields have tumbled. Corporates are being bought at startling premiums. Simply put, those buying bonds are late to the prom and are going to get a haircut. Look at these babies and think about the call risk.
KMB.GV Coupon 7.5% yielding 3.04%, maturity 11/1/2018, Price $132

VZ.SH Coupon 8.5% yielding 3.6%, maturity 11/15/2018 Price $134
SII.GD Coupon 9.75% yielding 3.9%, maturity 3/15/19 Price $142
PFE.GM Coupon 7.20% yielding 4.56%, maturity 3/15/39 Price $142
Bonds are no bargain. The premium is jaw dropping. Imagine the reverse stampede if interest rates rise. Imagine the carnage if any of the above bonds are called. Investors stand to lose $32 to $42 of the bond price in one fell swoop on a call. Think about it. Buy some PFE.GM or SII.GD at $142 and potentially lose 30% in a day if the bonds are called, a depressing possibility to say the least, and all for a 4% yield.

Disclosure: Long PFE, none of the corporate bonds mentioned