Peabody Energy Bonds, Shares Soar to Highest Levels in Weeks

Troubled Peabody Energy Corp.’s shares doubled in value this week and its bonds rose to highs not seen since last month. 

The moves come after it emerged that Franklin Resources Inc. was pushing the largest coal miner in the U.S. to restructure its $6.4 billion of debt in court, people told Bloomberg last week. The company had previously said in a filing that one of its lenders was urging a reorganization. With the coal market experiencing its worst downturn in decades, investors are concerned that Peabody might be under pressure to file for bankruptcy.

The company’s $650 million of 6.5 percent senior unsecured notes maturing in September 2020 rose 2 cents to trade at 6.2 cents on the dollar at 10:08 a.m. in New York Friday, the highest since Feb. 5, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. 

In addition, its $1 billion of 10 percent notes due 2022 jumped to the highest level in the past month on Friday, trading at 8.375 cents on the dollar at 11:55 a.m., according to Trace. 

Peabody shares also roughly doubled this week, rising to $6.82 at 1:02 p.m. Friday, up from $2.44 on March 2 when it was revealed that Franklin pushing for a debt reorganization. 

Junk bonds in general are rallying. High-yield funds have experienced inflows for four straight weeks, with $1.8 billion poring in during the week ended March 9 following a record $5 billion in the previous week.

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