12 December 2018 by lberuti
SRAC (Sears) has been the first name to default in series 31 of CDX HY on October 15th, even though the auction that will help determine the payout of CDS contracts has still not been held. The second default happened overnight, as PKD ( Parker Drilling Company ) voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection under an agreement with a group of debtors that will allow it to quickly restructure. Drilling contractors have struggled to recover from a steep drop in oil prices which reached a trough in 2016. The recent step-down in crude levels – Brent lost roughly 30% since early October to close at $60/barrel tonight – threatens to derail a long-predicted recovery for off-shore companies, which typically handle more expensive projects that require higher energy prices to turn a profit. As recently as November, PKD warned its investors it might not be able to repay certain debts. Since then, its obligations have been trading at levels implying a near certain default and today’s announcement did not come as a big surprise to investors. The question is rather whether PKD is only the first shoe to drop and whether they should expect more decompression between the energy heavy CDX HY and other credit indices.