In a concerted effort to fortify its long term financials and refinance an earlier debt, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF - Snapshot Report), is issuing notes worth $400 million. The company, on August 21, announced the pricing of the notes which bear an interest rate of 5.50% and are scheduled to mature on September 1, 2022.
The notes being priced at 99.513 are slated to yield an interest rate of 5.564%. Starting March 1, 2013, these notes are scheduled to pay interest twice a year, on March 1 and September 1.
As mentioned earlier, the proceeds from this issue will be used to pay back Fidelity National Financial’s previous 5.25% senior unsecured notes worth $236.5 million, scheduled to mature in March 2013. Also, it will cushion the capital requirement for the daily operations of the company and will do away with all debt repayments until May 2017.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, the financial management and advisory unit of Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Analyst Report), Barclays Capital Inc., an operating unit of Barclays PLC (BCS - Analyst Report), J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, the investment research unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Analyst Report), and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, a unit of WELLS FARGO & COMPANY (WFC - Analyst Report), are the joint bookrunning managers for the sale of these notes.
Jefferies & Company, Inc., of Jefferies Group, Inc. , Stephens Inc., Dowling & Partners Securities, LLC and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. will be the co-managers for the sale.
Over the years, Fidelity National Financial has maintained a sound financial position. It has reduced its total debt amount from time to time and worked towards improving its cash position. However, we believe the company should put in more effort to do away with refinancing of debt by issuing senior notes as this will allow it to focus more on its business and deploy cash raised from such issues into its core operations.
Shares of Fidelity National Financial lost almost 2% since Tuesday to close at $18.51 yesterday.
According to Reuters, Moody’s Investor Service of Moody's Corp. (MCO - Analyst Report), has conferred a rating of Baa3 to the senior unsecured notes issued by Fidelity National Financial. Another credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings has also assigned a 'BB+' to these notes with a stable outlook.
Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC - Snapshot Report), which competes with the company on the same lines, has also received a similar debt rating of 'BB+' from Fitch with a stable outlook. Both Fidelity National Financial and Stewart Information retain a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term Strong Buy rating.