Interest rates on the new bond sales, of $1.75 billion, $1.5 billion and $1.25 billion, are, respectively 1.5%, 2.45% and 2.65% (lower than rates on the outstanding debt). The nation’s healthiest companies, with strong credit ratings, have switched from fear selling early in the coronavirus pandemic when they were raising cash for a cushion to see them through the COVID-19 crisis. Now they’re taking advantage of low interest rates sustained by the Federal Reserve and reinforced by the Fed’s corporate bond buying program to refinance.
The pandemic is still very much a factor in media and entertainment and having a major financial impact but consensus is generally that things hit a trough in the recently finished April to June quarter.
AT&T chief financial officer John Stephens noted at a Q&A during a media conference earlier today that low rates mean that while AT&T’s debt is hefty, the cost of borrowing is cheap.
Outstanding debt targeted includes Comcast’s 3.125% notes due July 15, 2022 ($1 billion principal amount outstanding), 2.85% notes due January 15, 2023 ($750 outstanding), NBCUniversal Media’s 2.875% notes due January 15, 2023 ($1 billion outstanding), 2.75% notes due March 1, 2023 ($1.1 billion outstanding) and some other debt with near term maturities.