Illiquid Securities

On this page folks should comment and write about illiquid securities–preferreds and baby bonds. By Illiquid I am talking about those issues that seldom trade–or only trade in very small volumes.

We have a lot of discussion on the site about these types of securities–normally $50 and $100/shares issues and the commenting gets scattered about–by using this page we can keep this topic more centralized.

A caution to all investors, but in particular those will little experience in illiquid securities. Tight limits must be used on all of these securities–if you don’t use limits you will butchered. Also while some of these issues have been outstanding for more than 50 years they can still be called–it happens and if you overpay (pay more than liquidation price) you may be setting yourself up for a loss. Always do your own due diligence–always double check the facts–everyone makes errors (certainly I do) and you need to know the facts.

Investors should know that illiquid securities will drop like a rock if there is a large move higher in interest rates. One of my current and long time holdings has been a $50/share issue from CEF Tricontinental (TY-P or TY-) with a 5% coupon–very high quality. This issue is now trading around $56, but in its life (issued in 1963) it has traded as low at $18/share–so there should be no doubt they can move sharply.

372 thoughts on “Illiquid Securities”

  1. Grid, did you mention IPWLK in a post in the past couple of days? Thought you wrote something about a $102 redemption price. But I must be dreaming because the prospectus clearly states $100…

    1. Bur, No I havent mentioned it recently. But it admittedly is my biggest hold. Im not really looking to buy or sell now but need to. Been fortunate all divi cycles to flip them all and rebuy a few times for $1-$2 each divi cycle and not miss the divi either. So basically its a core hold for me. But no, its $100 redemption, no bonus. I think you are referring to AILLN yesterday with $102 redemption that had a seller out at $103.10. After I posted it they were gone in minutes though.

      1. Noticed IPWLK dropped a buck and a half or so I think yesterday, just a couple hundred shares. I have a lowball GTC buy order hanging out there. It’s been hanging for quite a while now.

        1. D, You can get some drops every now and then. But rarely below $100. Even around 2013 Taper Tantrum it was around ‘hundo.

          1. Grid, thanks for the info. You may recall that there were a couple of days in April 2019 with relatively higher volume of IPWLK – shares traded under $100. If my memory serves me, Inspy, you and I (and several others) bought some of them. I still have mine.
            Thanks again and BR, No. 4 + 8

  2. Ocean Spray again, but this time OCESO.

    Last trade $10 for a 10% yield.

    Stating the obvious, but not available through Fidelity.

    1. I put in an order for some at 10. I do not have much hope for it. Someone had a lucky GTC order on it that I can no longer seem to do as of recently on these situations. It would be a nice score.

      I have a list of other odd balls that these new rules might cause people to dump but so far only Ocean Spray has really dropped from what I can see.

      1. OSECO had this lot of shares available at $14 yesterday. Out of uniqueness and rarity I called Ally to place an order for those shares this morning. They said they could not place an order for it, but could OSESP. I just have too many issues border lining this new rule so I passed. Its a helluva annuity for those that bought! Congrats.
        BTW, OSECO is a participating preferred, but it is not really participating. I bought a test share this past year or so and it only paid the same 50 cent divi as its sister OSESP does.

        1. Oh really. It did not pay anything extra? That is disappointing. Now I don’t want them because they are even more ill then their sister P. The past year Ocean Spray made a lot of money so if they were going to enjoy anything extra it would have been 2020. Maybe they pay the extra at the end of the year instead of the middle?? Did you get two divs from it?

          As for ally.. they placed my order just fine for OCESO today. They must have a note under your account that states “act like fools when grid calls and make his life difficult”. 😉

          1. FC, I guess its just who you get. The lady I contacted worked hard for me…Just not very smart I guess. This was no 10 minute call. It lasted 30 minutes, she was trying. Just not in the right spot. The fact she offered OSESP meant she was giving it her all! 🙂 Im not upset, because I tried. Because I have sooo many dancing close to that new ruling, I really just dont need any more.
            I cant remember and maybe you can dig in old links here to find out clearer. But it particpated only if common had a greater than 4% yield if memory serves. I have no clue what the common pays. There really arent many of these shares left. Less than 2500 shares have traded since 2008. And that is including todays volume.

            1. OSESP Shares outstanding by year…

              83,000 shares in 1956.
              62,000 shares in 1972.
              61,500 shares in 1974.
              60,800 shares in 1978.
              58,800 shares in 1979.
              ??? shares in 2021.

              In 1979, only 30k OSESO shares were outstanding…down from 118k in 1978. Does someone have access to an annual report in the 2000s? We need to find out the current outstanding for both of these issues. I would certainly be interested.

              https://content.wisconsinhistory.org/digital/collection/cran/id/2088/rec/1

              1. Let me correct the tickers.

                OCESP Shares outstanding by year…

                83,000 shares in 1956.
                62,000 shares in 1972.
                61,500 shares in 1974.
                60,800 shares in 1978.
                58,800 shares in 1979.
                ??? shares in 2021.

                In 1979, only 30k OCESO shares were outstanding…down from 118k in 1978. Does someone have access to an annual report in the 2000s? We need to find out the current outstanding for both of these issues. I would certainly be interested.

                https://content.wisconsinhistory.org/digital/collection/cran/id/2088/rec/1

                1. While I was waiting to do some night work tonight on a piece of telecom gear I tried for about 40 minutes to dig up an annual report from the last 20 years. I failed. I consider myself pretty good at digging but nada.

                  We really should just email them. This forum probably owns 20% of the preferred shares now days. We are the closest thing they have to shareholders besides the farmers themselves. No voting power tho!

  3. APRDM from AL Power has been trading right around redemption price today and yields around 4.75%. More volume than usual. BBB+ rated by S&P and A3 by Moodys.

    1. 600 shares of AILLN sitting there at $103.10. 4.9% par with $102 redemption, but goes exD in 2 weeks so no call loss risk if one is interested in these types.
      I picked up 51 shares to add to mine fwiw.

  4. OCESP – Who was providing liquidity at $14 today. Hopefully the movement continues tomorrow.

  5. There is an assload of HAWLI at ask for $20.65. Redemption price is $21. 4.75% $20 par old issuance from Hawaii Electric if one is looking for below redemption price electric ute issues. Goes exD next month early.

    1. Grid:
      – Any idea why HAWLI is not listed with the other HECO pfds at https://innovativeincomeinvestor.com/master-list-utilties/?
      – Are you sure the liq pref is $21? The others have a $20 liq pref, and preferredstockinvesting shows HAWLI at $20 as well.
      – Do you have a link to the prospectus for HAWLI? Couldn’t find it based on an admittedly quick search online. I reached out to HECO IR, we’ll see if they respond…

      1. Bur, I appreciate the fact you are back checking and researching. That is very important! Unfortunately they are wrong and or uninformed….or both.
        Its backwards, all the HE preferreds carry a $1 premium redemption with exception of HAWLN which doesnt.
        Also note the fact preferreds take majority control of HE board if dividends suspended 4 quarters. Its never happened and the preferreds are 70 plus years old.
        https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/46207/000035470720000045/heexhibit4vi201910-kus.htm

        Redemption Provisions.

        Each series of Preferred Stock is redeemable at the option of Hawaiian Electric, in whole or in part, on any dividend payment date upon 30 days’ prior notice to the holders of the series to be redeemed, without redeeming in whole or in part any other series of Preferred stock, except that the Series I preferred stock may redeemed, in whole or in part, at any time upon 30 days’ prior notice.

        The shares of Preferred Stock of all series except the Series I Preferred Stock are redeemable at a redemption price per share equal to the par value of each share plus all accrued and unpaid dividends thereon, plus a premium of $1 per share. The shares of the Series I Preferred Stock are redeemable at a redemption price per share equal to the par value of each share plus all accrued and unpaid dividends thereon, without premium.

        1. So HAWLN is the Series I and HAWLI is not? That kinds of irks me and my sense of order….
          And I am really surprised they were assigned a ticker of HAWLI, as that sounds really similar to the word Haole, which is a word with a checkered past.

          1. Justin, HE would probably cut my preferred yield 100 bps if they knew I was a Haole, lol. I dont think there is anything checkered about that word its derogatory, ha. Yes, HAWLI is the Series J, not Series I.

          1. Good morning Tim, The Series I (HAWLN) issue is not $21. Its the sole $20 redeemable price. Also you are missing HAWLM
            You probably missed it because Quantum never had it. They didnt have HAWLM either and I messaged them. They did such a poor job of describing HAWLM Im not telling them about HAWLI.

          1. thanks bur–changed it. Tossed them in on the fly–hopefully will get a little ‘meat on the bones’ this weekend

    2. Probably due to your comment, there is now an assload of HAWLI bid at 20.65. I need to check the illiquid securities board more often for alerts! This was available at the open and missed it by about two minutes.

      1. Who knows, Landlord. This big sell order came out very very late in day, and the ask volume wasnt hidden which it almost always is. It showed over 10,000 shares available. And then they all get plucked instantly. I have seen this a few times before and it always ended the same. They got bought in mass and quick. I know because I have before pissed around trying to get lower and then they were all gone.
        I decided to buy 100 more to what I got what at close and what I previously owned. Look at the other HE preferred bid and asks. I wonder if they think they are $25 par issues.

        1. I remember the days when people were tired of discussing this subject and finally got a thread created. Nice work Grid as this is the top x buys for this year for preferred in an overpriced market.

          1. With Friday’s closing price hovering around five year highs, HAWLI looks more like a sell, than a buy to me….especially if you had accumulated some long term gains from 2019-2020.

        2. Grid, thanks for the heads-up on HAWLI.

          I was able to grab 400 shares this morning at $20.65.
          Bid now at $21, ask $21.25

        3. Speaking of pissing around… I’m now kicking myself because last night I was looking at a 20.35-20.65 spread but didn’t pull the trigger ‘cos I wanted to confirm that redemption was in fact $21 (hey, I wasn’t going to pay 0.65 more than liq pref if you’d been wrong). Ha!

        1. Kapil, some fund must have exited the position. 20,000 shares traded. It can go years and not trade that much let alone in a day. Only 250,000 shares to begin with and that is assuming company doesnt possess any.

          Bur, I dont possess the understanding of legal reasonings for set up, but its pretty normal. Golden Gate Capital set something up to get Phoenix I remember, and currently CNIG is getting acquired by a newly created entity by private investment firm Argo to buy it.

            1. Yes, they were laying there for the taking about 10 min. before market close on Thursday. And then I bought 100 more at open yesterday. I already had some to begin with so I didnt buy a big amount. I try to stay balanced with a hi-low—yo strategy and largely was unwilling to part with what I had to buy more.

              1. I imagine you saw someone buy 100 of HAWLM the other day.. at 28. I have generously offered mine for future buyers at 27.50.

                1. Fc, I hope you get it! Unfortunately I “panic sold” mine a few weeks prior at around $24, lol.

    1. Justin, Thanks for posting! It seems that the changes were many as the July 21 list was trimmed from 162 to 56 pages in the Aug 21 version. On a cursory read, these illiquids are still listed: AGRIP, IPWLG, IPWLO, MSSEL.
      Best regards, No. 12

      1. I should have published it in the right section.
        I didn’t realize there was a section for it until now..

  6. The “Pink No Information” issue that fell the most today was the $100 par AWRY, Allegheny and Western Railway 6% coupon. It traded a whopping 100 shares @ 110.50, down from the previous close of 129.0 on 7/27 for a 14.3% loss. This was the lowest close since March 2020 at the depth of the Covid crash. Don’t know if there are any more shares for sale at that price. I assume that the same brokerages that stopped offering LTS* will not offer AWRY either.

  7. For some of the so-called “Illiquid” utes, like Ameren, CT Light and Power, and Pacificorp, there is little daily volume but, occasionally, a share or two may trade. Usually the single share will trade at or close to the most recent bid. For example, one or two shares may trade at, say, $138 which was the last bid, with a much higher current ask. What causes this? Is a buyer “fishing” for the lowest price that a seller might accept? When this occurs, seldom is there a subsequent trade at the price paid for the single share. I’ve wondered about this for a while and thought someone could provide an explanation and cure me of this ignorance (though I have much more!). Thanks.

  8. CRLKP… Well SP Plus FINALLY got it right latest quarterly filing, yippee! Maybe Karma kept the whip cracking on them….
    This is what they had Spring of 2020 and earlier, implying a wrong $19.18 maturity..
    The Company acquired Subordinated Convertible Debentures (“Convertible Debentures”) as a result of the October 2, 2012 acquisition of Central Parking Corporation. The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share upon their stated maturity (April 1, 2028) or upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures. There were no redemptions of Convertible Debentures during the periods ended March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. The approximate redemption value of the Convertible Debentures outstanding at March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 was $1.1 million for both years.

    The annual filing from this spring changed a word and implied maturity of $25 but didnt state it explicitly.

    Subordinated Convertible Debentures
    The Company acquired Subordinated Convertible Debentures (“Convertible Debentures”) as a result of the October 2, 2012 acquisition of Central Parking Corporation. The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share before their stated maturity (April 1, 2028) or upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures. There were no redemptions of Convertible Debentures during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The approximate redemption value of the Convertible Debentures outstanding at each of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 was $1.1 million.

    Finally last filing they finally stepped up and clarified to the way it should be and was when it was correctly stated by Central Parking and later when KKR owned it.
    Subordinated Convertible Debentures
    The Company acquired Subordinated Convertible Debentures (“Convertible Debentures”) as a result of the October 2, 2012 acquisition of Central Parking Corporation. The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures. The Convertible Debentures mature April 1, 2028 at $25 per share. There were no redemptions of Convertible Debentures during the periods ended June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively. The approximate redemption value of the Convertible Debentures outstanding at each of June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 was $1.1 million.

    1. My last communication was February when I told them the revised language still wasn’t clear. It takes a little time sometimes.

      1. They should just redeem this and put it out of its little 1.1 million misery and bury it into the revolver. But they are so disinterested in this, I suspect you will have to notify them in May, 2028 that it should have been redeemed a month ago, so we can collect our proceeds.

        1. I think the revolver has a covenant that subordinated debt can’t be redeemed without the lender’s approval. Perhaps the lender is very conservative and has blocked redemption.

  9. SLMNP…. Well I guess we can put this part to rest anyways. I emailed head of IR to find out if ultimate obligator of payment for this subsidiary preferred is LYB. He said it wasnt.

    Thank you for your ownership of the convertible shares. These shares are not guaranteed by LyondellBasell. But the issuer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LyondellBasell.

    Best regards –
    David Kinney
    Head of Investor Relations

    1. Thank you for the info. Now I wonder how we can figure out a way to determine how safe these preferred are. It appears it is not as simple as just looking at numbers located in a doc saying the subsidiary is profitable. What if they strip out everything good from the subsidiary and leave it just a shell of it’s former self? I will freely admit this is confusing to me.

      1. Fc, I wish I was equiped to answer that question. Since they went to the effort and treasury to purchase A Schulman and then fold it into another existing subsidiary one would hope the parent and its strong finances support it.
        But other than “doing well” vague references, I have no insight to actual financials. It certainly is better off now than A Schulman was and it always paid then. But I cant counter or discount your concerns though.

        1. Well I took several minutes looking over their SEC filings and the $15 per quarter payment they owe SLMNP holders is a tiny insignificant drop in the bucket compared to the common. It is almost amusing how little money it is for such a large company. I compare how much they have to pay to the APS segment which Schulman seems to be part of mostly which is doing well.

          I guess what I am saying is that I could dig deeper for more info but what I saw in just a few minutes already makes me more comfortable. This is a pretty well ran company.

          1. “What if they strip out everything good from the subsidiary and leave it just a shell of it’s former self?”

            How much time, effort and cost would this require? And what would be the benefit? You can still put SLMNP back to the company at $800ish plus CVRs which I’ve heard have a value of $40ish.

            “These shares are not guaranteed by LyondellBasell. But the issuer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LyondellBasell.”

            But on the plus side, SLMNP is structurally senior to all of LYB’s debt. So long as the subsidiary makes money or has asset value, SLMNP gets paid regardless of how the rest of the company is doing. And I don’t believe the subsidiary has any debt, so SLMNP is top of the capital stack at the sub.

    2. SLMNP issuer being wholly owned LyondellBasell is indeed comforting.

      Question for now is if this security is subject to the new SEC rule and will delist end of September. If so, what happens to us small investors? Do we get to go to our broker and have them liquidate the shares when we wish or will truelove become ‘illiquid’ and we keep getting the dividend but cannot redeem it!!!

      1. M, What broker you have and its procedures will determine that. Most have shown limit to liquidation trades if put on the bad boy list. Technically SLMNP has been delisted since LYB delisted it several years ago. Its potential lack of bid ask pricing and brokerage self imposed restrictions that are the potential problem.

        1. I hold SLMNP at Schwab. I guess the redeem value is $1,000, so we have $25-30 or 2 Quarters worth of dividends at risk?

          Anyone have experience of having dealt with Schwab Bond-desk for such illiquid security redemption?

          1. mSquare…it is my understanding that SLMNP is not subject to redemption. How about this: if LYB wants to get SLMNP off the books, they could try a tender…at a higher price. One can dream….

          2. Msquare, Its $1000 liquidation value, not redemption value. Big difference. It can be tendered back to company at close to $850 anytime though. As Retired Broker said they can tender with an offer. There has never been a mention or sniff of it though.

      2. According to the SEC Rule 15c2-11 Restricted Securities list put out by TD Ameritrade on August 2nd, SLMNP was not on the list. I make no warranties or representation as to the accuracy of their information.

        1. It is listed at OTC Pink Sheet Current Information. It should not be impacted. Hopefully someone gets scared anyway and tries to offload.

    3. I’m a holder. I suspect there would be lawsuits galore if LYB tried to skip a payment; more trouble than the dollar savings.

      1. It’s a preferred stock, so they can choose not to pay dividends at any time and there’s no legal case to force them to do it. They can’t pay any dividends on common stock during a deferral on preferred dividends, but usually that’s the only meaningful limitation.

        1. Karma, Im holding mine, no worries, but only because I traded it often when it was a dirtbag A Schulman issue playing with it in the $500-$800 range when I could snag a few shares (it was harder then).
          But here is the question, is the common divi of hold co directly held hostage to the subsidiary “special stock” payment?
          The old ute subsidary preferreds have written the standard payment before common. But those common shares being mentioned are the actual common stock shares held by hold co. The hold co issues separate common stock unrelated to the aforementioned common stock of subsidiary held on balance sheet. Of course the hold co needs the upstream dividends themselves to fund their debt and capital activities.

        2. Karma, of course you are correct. I didn’t mean that LYB could never choose not to pay, but could not choose not to pay while paying common. Thanks for pointing out my unclear post.

          1. I can’t imagine they would ever attempt to pay a common dividend when not paying preferred. But if there comes a time that they don’t anticipate paying a common dividend for some period, they can certainly defer the preferred if they choose to.

  10. Today’s big illiquid mover is FIISO. The difference is that it is “Pink Current Information” so will presumably NOT be subject to the new SEC rule.

    Today it traded a whopping 116 shares @ 148.50, down 36.9% from its previous close of 244 on 4/23/21. Still above most trades in the last year which were ~130-140. Does not seem attractive to me @148.50 and sure to heck NOT at 244.

    Never owned or had orders in any account we manage.

    1. FIISO has become a kind of trophy, like a Lion’s head you mount on the wall after Safari. Good conversation piece but not worth what it cost you.

      Point of comparison: BAC-L is uncallable and pays a qualified 5%.

  11. Good comments on Illiquid Securities the past couple of weeks. A friend of mine owns a few shares of Mortgage Oil Company(MGAG) that was bought in the past couple of months. The market cap is very small and they don’t trade often at all. Well, at least until the past year. Small owner of a number of REIT partnerships.

    The new rules on Illiquid stocks are killing the small investors. Small companies will now have to pay very large fees to CPA firms and attorneys to file documents with the SEC. Wishing everyone the best with the new rules.

  12. Today’s illiquid issue is: MSSEL, Massachusetts Electric Company, it has a 4.44% coupon, $100 par, callable anytime according to QOL @ $104.07. It traded 102 shares today @ $95.00 down 36.6% from $150 on 5/31/21. It is the lowest price since 2015. Topped the largest losers list today. Not sure if any more shares are available @ 95.00 ish. Would seem like a good investment IF you like illiquids. Appears to be on the “Pink no info” list and might NOT be tradeable after brokerages implement their rules. Might explain why someone dumped their 102 shares.

    Never owned in any account, never had orders in any account we manage.

    1. What does “no info” mean in this context”? Is the only info that counts is what is filed with the SEC? Because as an interconnected electric utility, Mass Electric files a “Form 1” with FERC, and that gives you just about all the info anyone could want, and then some.

      1. Nhcoast asks: “What does “no info” mean in this context”?”

        NH, we are all going by either by how a brokerage like TDA or OTCMarkets labels an issue. In this case, you see that OTC markets classifies MSSEL as “Pink No Information.” There have been a blue zillion posts here regarding the new SEC rule that will take effect in September. Many III’ers have taken issue with how a particular ticker is classified.

        I have NOT joined the group that is trying to correct some of the “wrongs.” More power to them. My approach is more as a disinterested observer. Like everyone else around here, I have NO earthly idea how this will all settle out. My highest probability guess is that most brokerages will go the way of Nancy Reagan and “just say no” and NOT allow trading. The dollar volume and number of people that care about our Pink No Info issues is infinitesimally small, say 0.000001%. (This is one in a million in case you are interested.) If I am a brokerage, why would I spend any time and/or money addressing this percentage of customers and/or dollar volume? All to be able to do more commission free trades for customers?

        Just tonight I am thinking about putting together a whole portfolio of PNI issues. I would attempt to do that by putting in below market buy orders for many of the issues, like MSSEL. Having really, REALLY illiquid issues goes against everything I have preached over the years, but it would make an interesting experiment.

        Link to OTC market on MSSEL:
        https://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/MSSEL/overview

    2. Mass Electric is owned by the multi-national public utility National Grid (NGG). NGG is current in all of its required SEC filings. Mass Electric’s performance is consolidated into NGG’s financials. MSSEL is a preferred stock, not a company with autonomous financials. And, of course, preferreds are, simply, a capital-raising mechanism for companies but they are not companies with separate financials or reports–they have no distinct SEC filing requirements! IF THE PARENT PUBLIC COMPANY IS CURRENT IN ITS FILINGS, THE 15c2-11 RULE SHOULD NOT APPLY TO ANY OF THAT COMPANY’S PREFERREDS (or to its subsidiary preferreds)! How can the SEC not see this?

      The absurdity of relegating any public company preferred to the grey sheets should be obvious. How MSSEL or any other public company preferred can be subject to the the 15c2-11 SEC rule escapes me. Like others, my principal concern is that the array of brokerages (their compliance departments) will embrace whatever protocols they want and, in most instances, they will be needlessly conservative–to the detriment of their customers. This topic cuts across almost all the “link options” that Tim provides. How can the group of readers here do something about the potentially erroneous and harmful (value diminution) application of the rule to public company preferred stocks? I doubt the preferreds of JPM, Wells, etc. or of the larger REITs will be impacted. It’s unreasonable to apply the rule to UTE preferreds. Most of us see this clear as day. The SEC’s silence about how the rule will be applied is scary (and the preliminary 162 pages of ticker symbols to which the rule, purportedly, will apply does nothing to address the question: to what will the rule NOT apply!). Hopefully the SEC will get religion, be rational in its application of the rule, and clarify this mess! And, the brokerage firms need to protect their customers from the unreasonable application of the rule (of course they will…NOT).

      1. Oldman,

        Don’t disagree at all with the substance of what you say. However, as a regulated public utility, Mass Electric files stand alone financial statements with FERC (Form 1) and with the Massachusetts DPU (Annual Report). The financial statements are not consolidated with NGG or with any other NGG affiliate. They are publicly available, although with a bit more effort than a 10-K or a10-Q. So the absurdity is perhaps even greater than what you describe.

        From what I can gather here, “No info” means whatever the SEC, OTC, or brokers want it mean. George Orwell meets Alice in Wonderland.

  13. On 7/12, a single share of BANGN traded @249.9999 up from the previous close of 148 on 6/28. I wrongly accused Grid of selling one of his shares, but it was not him.

    Today, 7/22, a single share traded @ 134.00. My guess is that it was the same share that traded on 7/12.

    My best guess is that the 249.9999 trade was a short sale by an “internalizer” like Citadel or Virtu. Recall that many retail brokerages, excluding Fidelity, route their orders to an internalizer, instead of directly to an exchange/trading network. The internalizer gets to decide what to do with the order, choices being fill it out of their inventory, match it with another customer order they are holding or route it out to an exchange like NYSE/ARCA/BATS.

    Internalizers are mostly known for holding securities for very short periods of time, say milliseconds to seconds. They typically end the day “flat” holding very few securities. They make their fraction of a cent per share on these very short duration trades. Which makes this BANGN round trip unusual.

    MCG and I have debated whether trades like this are from internalizers or “dark pools.” They don’t exactly divulge who they are and why they are trading, so we are left to hypothesize. Since the 249.9999 trade was “sub penny” we know that it was NOT from a retail customer, since most retail customers are not able to do sub penny trades. This is how we get the choice of internalzier or dark pool. Also dealers, like “specialists” or “designated market makers” are allowed to do naked shorting, while retail investors are NOT.

    The theory is that the internalizer, most likely Citadel, naked shorted one share @ 249.9999 and covered it today @ 134.00, for a tidy $116 profit. And since the internalizer is actually a software algorithm running on a server farm, there was likely no human involvement in either trade. So it was quite profitable.

    The real loser was the retail customer that was trying to sell his share(s) at 250.00. He thought he had the “inside” ask price, only to have the internalizer jump in front of him with $0.0001 less.

    A pretty unusual case which is why I did a little longer writeup. A broad characterization is that there are ALWAYS hidden orders between the bid and ask prices you see. You think you have the inside price, but should assume that somebody somewhere is lurking under the water. And this is very true even on the relatively illiquid preferreds/baby bonds that we talk about here on III.

    No positions or orders EVER on BANGN in any of the accounts we manage. So we are not the aggrieved would be seller.

    1. I guess the only question I have is that this preferred rarely trades. How long do they have to cover before they get hit with a failed to deliver? Is that done monthly or weekly now days?

      Also how in the world did they get someone to sell a single share at one of the lowest prices recorded in months?

      Otherwise I cannot really poke any holes in your thesis.

    2. This the SEC allows, but if you want to trade preferred shares of 100 billion market cap BAM on the OTC the SEC will jolly stomp on you.

      Makes me want to read Flash Boys all over again.

      I’m still not feeling protected.

      But I do like these posts. Knowing the inside baseball is helpful. Please continue.

    3. Tex, I saw that. And I told you I was certain to lose my ass on the next time it traded. I wasnt disappointed, I just lost 46% of my investment on a single share trade, lol.

  14. Finally picked up a couple hundred shares of SBNCM this morning. Can’t wait until the company BBQ.

        1. Stacking, this dolphin might wind up being caught in OTC/SEC fish net also, who knows. Its a company that bought out shareholders soley for purpose of delisting. Then they keep buying up common stock float and have already “went dark”. You think they are interested in paying $5k to OTC? I doubt it.
          But they dont give a rats arse. Insiders own almost all the common shares and a huge chunk of SBNCN and a large chunk of SBNCM. They are lifers and they dont care what happens as they arent selling.
          In fact the company keeps buying them up little by little each year.
          Bur, quick history if interested. They were issued in 1980s as convertible preferreds. The conversion expired 5 or so years after they were created. Notice I said created because they were never IPO’d, they were sold to insiders. A ticker was assigned years later.
          They are non callable $10 liquidation value preferreds issued at 9%. Both series have voting rights of 1 vote per 38 preferred shares. SBNCM is the bigger float of a bit under 250,000 shares, SBNCN is under 40,000.
          The company website says if you want to buy them, find someone who owns them and ask to buy from them. And they also said they dont keep a list so dont bother them.
          Stacking Nickels, we will save you a seat at the picnic table. Bring plenty of napkins as the BBQ sauce is laid thick on them boneless ribs!

      1. Buy some shares and they will send you a fat annual report and an invitation to the company BBQ. The trades you can get from https://quotes.freerealtime.com/quotes/SBNCM/Time%26Sales

        Be aware that the popularity of the issue outstrips its limited supply and there isn’t any fat on the bone. You can buy uncallabale BAC or WFC issues with almost the same yield. Just no BBQ.

        1. Yes, great unspoken point. It has to come to you. I bought 1000 of SBNCN laying by a seaside pool at Riveria Maya a couple years ago at $15. Still have them along with some others and SBNCN too. Damn good thing I dont mind unsecured open Mexico wifi as I knew I only had seconds. And that was all I had, as by time I went to reload to buy more, the rest were gone and found out later Camroc was the culprit.
          And to think several years prior, I got some several times under $10. The good old days…

  15. Call me a turkey before thanksgiving.

    OCESP payed $425 or .425/share on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Better late than never.

    No call back from brokerage on findings.

    1. Hum interesting micahc…I too just finally received my OCESP payment at Schwab on July 15th but mine was $.50 per share and classified as non-qualified.

  16. Grid, I assume that was you that sold the one share of BANGN today. It went for $250, up from $148 on 6/28. Should be enough to buy a steak dinner for two . . .

    1. Lol, Tex, I saw that, no it wasnt me. Somebody sent out a one share test probe and it went clear to that long standing ask price. I have a feeling Im going to lose a lot of money when it trades again, ha.

  17. Does anyone out there know if there’s an OTC market for the Fluor Series A Convertible Preferred issued last month? I have a symbol in the Fidelity system as (FLRAP), but it shows no market. Most services like Quantum don’t have it listed. Cusip is 343412508. It’s a $1,000 par institutional issue, but I’m interested in doing some work if there’s a market out there. Thanks if able to help.

    1. NCSI – it is a 144A issue. These rarely leak into the public market and certainly not so soon after issue.

      Depending on price I would be a buyer if I could get my hands on it.

      1. Yes I found that out after posting the Q. Thanks though for the confirmation, and agree with your general assessment. All the best. –NCSI

  18. Not sure where to post this…. but since it’s an illiquid… OCESP

    On 6/15, I got my $12.50 worth of dividends.
    On 6/24, TDA took back my $12.50

    Anyone else have this happen?

    1. Mark, I have traded in and out of it several times not really knowing the exD date. I had a couple of stray shares left over from a past sell. I just checked because I never noticed as its so tiny. But I received the dividend from TD on 6/15, and it was not taken back. If that truly is the case, you need to call them. And please let me know what you found out.

      1. TDA agent I talked to says OCESP no longer pays a dividend. I reached out to Ocean Spray and they confirmed they still pay the dividend. (She gave me a record date of 5-31 and 11-30 if anyone wants to keep track)

        It does seem that maybe TDA has not received the money from the transfer agent, and as micahc mentioned, maybe the transfer agent doesn’t have the money yet.

        Not sure where to go from here other than wait a few more days and see if the money shows back up in my account.

    2. Mark, some brokerages do “shadow posting” of interest and dividends on the day they are supposed to be paid. If the actual payment comes in, all is fine and good. If the payment does NOT come in, the policy I have seen is that the brokerage will pull it back sometime the same day before the clock strikes midnight. (It might be earlier but I cannot tell you the exact hour they pull it back.) Typically these brokerages will show the dividend/interest when you first check the account history in the morning.

      In the case where a payment gets pulled back many days to weeks later, that is something the transfer agent and/or DTCC has initiated. That is typically NOT a brokerage issue from what I have seen. On rare occasion I have had payments changed/retracted more than 30 days after they were originally paid. Obviously this is NOT the norm.

      Other brokerages do NOT post dividend/interest to your account until they have received it from DTCC. So they could also have the case where a payment is retracted days/weeks later.

      And a third group of brokerages somehow misplaces payments, particularly bond interest payments and lord only knows when they show up in your account.

      There is NO universal standard for all brokerages best I can tell.

    3. Called ocean spray grower finance and they indicated they made payment to transfer agent. DTCC indicated they are awaiting payment. My broker provided the same story.

  19. Bought a trick or treat bag of gridbird favourite otc listed stocks. Have never had as much fun creating investigations and escalations for resolution of dividend payments in my life.

    For $50-$100 dollar missing payment it’s priceless.

    Can believe gridbird when he said he has heard everything. Agent told me today I needed to personally register at the transfer agent. So I opened an account at dtcc and basically they told me the complete opposite of what the brokerage agent told me.

    My wealth manager in a different division than my broker is following up on all my investigations now.

    Pretty sure my broker has never had the pleasure of all these OTCs before.

    With covid and not being able to spend a penny this has defiantly been entertaining.

  20. Does anyone have a list of “busted” convertibles (or those very unlikely to be called)?
    A start: CBB-B, WFC-L, BAC-L, RLJ-A, EP-C,EPR-C, EPR-E, RPT-D (unlikely).

    1. Tom:

      Add RC+C to your list. But there is only a small slice left out there (335,000 shares) after RC tendered for some of them at $25+ interest back in May.

      Those that told the company to pound sand have done OK, as RC+C is now trading for $25.36 with a $.3906 quarterly dividend being declared on 6/29/21. I always try and add a little below $25.

      1. Qniform, I like to dart in and out of HL-B every now and then. But you need to remember it is redeemable by company at any time. And it presently is well above redemption price.
        Redemption
        The Series B preferred stock is redeemable at our option, in whole or in part, at $50 per share, plus all dividends undeclared and unpaid on the Series B preferred stock up to the date fixed for redemption.

        1. I certainly missed that -not having read the IPO registration. They can convert without attaining the convert price of $15.55?

          1. No, they can just redeem it like a normal preferred. Quantum kind of is misleading on this, but the annual filing shows all this. Also, in early 2000s, they got into trouble and offered a generous conversion. They threatened to redeem at $50 if not enough participants occurred. The present float has been roached out from that conversion offer.

              1. Qniform, I dont know of any different forced conversion policy either. I think you misunderstood or I didnt clearly express my point. I just mentioned they can be redeemed for $50 anytime they would desire to do so.
                They did a tender conversion way in the day (2002), but that was voluntary.
                This was that…But that was a one off tender.
                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                July 23, 2002

                COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – Hecla Mining Company (HL & HLPrB: NYSE) today announced that it will extend the tender period of its previously announced offer to holders of its Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred stock to exchange each of their preferred shares for 7 shares of Hecla common stock. The tender period is being extended to allow additional time for holders of Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred stock to tender their shares.
                As a result of the extension, holders of Series B Cumulative Convertible
                Preferred stock will have until 5:00 p.m. New York City time on Thursday,
                July 25, 2002, to validly tender their preferred shares to Hecla, for which
                Hecla will exchange 7 shares of Hecla common stock for each share of preferred stock tendered. The exchange offer was initially scheduled to expire at 12:00 Midnight New York City time on July 22, 2002.

                According to American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the Exchange Agent for the tender offer, as of July 22, 2002, approximately 1.6 million shares of Hecla’s Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred stock have been validly tendered and not withdrawn, representing approximately 70% of the total number of preferred shares outstanding. Previously tendered shares may be withdrawn until accepted at termination of the offer.

                1. Of course they can offer a tender deal for shares at any time, but I see no provision for them to force security holders to tender for face value. The common is almost 100% away from conversion strike. I thought your comment indicated some kind of call risk. I see nothing that indicates that risk. Probably worth a question to IR though.

                  1. Qniform, They can just announce a call at $50…And just give you $50 cash anytime (if they ever desire too). This isnt a pure convertible issue. They can just redeem it for cash.

                    1. Just sent this to IR. I’ll post their reply.

                      “Hello. In reading the available information on the referenced stock linked in your annual report, I have a question. Is this convertible preferred callable at any time for the $50 redemption value, or must the share price of the common stock reach the conversion price ($15.55) for it to be called by Hecla? Thanks in advance for your response.

                    2. Qniform, I appreciate your diligence. But the SEC filing I showed you in first post stated it can be redeemed at $50 cash…
                      Also Quantum showed a declining redemption price that is now $50.
                      : Hecla Mining Company, $3.50 Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, liquidation preference $50 per share, redeemable at the issuer’s option on or after 7/01/1996 at $52.45 per share plus accrued dividends declining to $50 per share by 7/01/2003, and with no stated maturity.
                      Why are you so suspicious that they do not have authority to redeem it for cash $50?

                    3. You’re completely right Grid. They can redeem at anytime per IR. Plus, there has been no adjustment in the strike price. I had assumed (doh) that with 10x share issuance since this was issued there must have been some change. Nope.

                    4. Qniform, I take no comfort in being correct as I like this one as a left field sector diversifier, and the little SOB always trades relatively strong even though flip opps always occur. But in todays world anything from the ancient past is liable to be called. So its very risky holding this.
                      I suspect the reason why up til now it hangs on is two possible reasons. They are not interested in ever issuing preferred stock again. And dont want to waste the $7 million cash to redeem it. I watch it still.

  21. Where can I find the current conversion price for BAC-L?

    I see that the original prospectus and places like QOL give the initial
    https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/70858/000095014408000400/g11333zme424b5.htm says: “Each share of the Preferred Stock may be converted at any time, at the option of the holder, into 20 shares of our common stock, … which reflects an initial conversion price of $50.00 per share of common stock…”

    Which begs the question whether the conversion price has changed since BAC-L was issued?

  22. APRDN set both a a one year low and a FIVE year high today. Pretty unusual

    Low = 97.00 on 202 shares
    High= 123.24 on 125 shares

    Previous close was 104.15, so the 123.24 is far out of line with trades the last five years.

    No sure if any shares can be traded at either extreme tomorrow.

    We have no positions and/or orders on APRDN in any account.

    1. Keith, yes that one doesnt trade much at all does it.
      I nibbled on some more CNIGP getting 185 more at $28.59. Shareholders overwhelmingly approved merger vote (so shocked since less than a dozen people have the votes to approve it) a couple weeks ago. Will net $1.11 cap gain and probably four 25 cent divis before its consumated. Of course the risk is penal to this issue is merger fails. But no regulating body gives a rip about this I suspect. After all they let Corning buy a tiny electic ute in Pa a few years ago and they never even had any experience in electric utes. They had to borrow the employees from ute they bought from for a year as they had no one with experience.
      Daniel, congrats on a goofy score. Those are nice arent they!

        1. Kapil, CNIGP is a owner optional convertible with a mandatory redemption in 2026 at $20.75, if memory serves me off hand. However there was a stock split a few years ago that adjusted convertible to 1.2 common shares for every 1 share of CNIGP. CNIG buy out price is $24.75. So $24.75 times 1.2 = $29.70 at merger completion which is tentatively set for 1st qt. 2022 but ultimately determined on how long regulatory process drags out as it involves PA and NY regulators.
          If deal collapses so would CNIGP as CNIG would drop.

            1. I bought most of mine at $27, then flipped some back and forth between $28 and close to $29 when it was stirring back at merger talk. Still the elevator shaft down is long either way. At this price point, Im guessing about a 85%- 90% certainty of a $2 plus gain in less than a year, and a 10-15% chance of a guaranteed ass kicking…

      1. Grid, I’ve seen you comment on Ameren. AILLN traded at $133 and $104.60. Is it a buy at $104.60 in your opinion? I don’t understand a spread like this.
        Thanks,
        Jeff

        1. JB, Just me but, I have thrown out a few trot lines on it at $103.50 and never got a sniff from that $104.60 ask. I just wont reach at $104 and gave up.

  23. Weird things can happen with these illiquids:

    Someone payed me $40 for SOCGP and I want to sell him/her more, but apparently they don’t want anymore at this (or even lower) price.
    I am also trying to re-purchase some of the sold shares in blocks of 50 @ several dollars below $40, but again, no sellers to me!
    Anyone?

    The buy ask is now $34.4 to $38.77 and only 1.8K shares traded so far today.

    BTW: $40 looks really high (all time high?) but still corresponds to an almost 4% yield.

    1. Update: I finally bot back @ $34+, round trip of >$5 profit. not bad for a day.
      And the bid-ask narrowed now to $34.4-$35.6. Apparently that’s the end of
      this temporary annomality.

    2. Daniel, the 118 shares you sold @ $40.00 is in the running for the trade of the month . . .

      Well done.

      It is a little strange but literally one second before your 40.00 trade, the exact same quantity, 118 shares, crossed @ 34.8.

    1. K,
      Lucky you!
      I have been holding an order to buy ppwlm @ 152.99 for weeks, with only 1 (one) share executed. How did u succeed to have yours executed? How many u got? What broker?

  24. AWRY hit a one year low @ 121.5, down from 135. A whopping 145 shares traded. Not sure if any more are for sale at that price.

    We have no positions and/or orders for AWRY in any account.

  25. I know several here (including me) own SBNCM (N) preferreds and have never seen anything close to a sniff of the “prospectus”. I dont think there ever was one as they were not IPO issued. Here is the closest you will find most likely if you want to read. Its an interesting read. Its a shame it isnt convertible anymore because one could convert 38 preferred shares into one common. I would gladly convert 38 of mine for one $5000 dollar share of common stock. It was definitely a good ol boy offering, because you bought at $10, and could tender it back for $13.25 during that time also.
    Article IV at bottom of link explains the preferreds, much of which has long ago expired.
    https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/SBNC/SecArticle?countryCode=US&guid=1321312&type=4

  26. Schwab is showing the market value of my shares of IPWLO as $0. This changed last night and is still showing up as $0 this morning. Does anyone else know what’s going on?

    1. Dick you should be used to that since you had an Ally account at one time. That happens to me there. The back computers always have it right. As I got the opposite problem now with a $1000 EIX preferred. Vanguard is showing me with 1.2 million more in my account than I have ever since I bought it several months ago. I dont worry about that either, as I know damn well what would happen if I tried to use that as margin, ha.

      1. Same issue with the ET pref I bought yesterday. 20k face is showing as 2 million $. The problem is limited to institutional preferred. The rep said Vanguard expected to have the problem fixed by “early July”.

        1. Same, but this is the first time I’ve heard a calendar time frame. Progress!

          I ask about this every time I talk with Vanguard. This time the answer was “we [brokers] have filed several [bug reports] and they’re working on it. They gave us a fix but it caused other problems. Now they’re taking another run at it.”

        2. In my experience, any time a rep says “a fix is coming by x date” it means their IT team has no idea when it will be fixed, but they gave the reps a date to appease customers.

          In the software world, there is “today” and there is “sometime after today”. all other dates are just made up.

          1. lol. Well having worked in software for 30 years I take your point, though in my experience the timeframe was a *little* more precise; viz., “this sprint” (current 3 weeks), “next sprint” and “later”.

  27. For those sniffing in the old illiquid dirt pile and watch BANGN, besides it probably being on the restricted trade list coming up there is another situation. The Maine legislature has it out for the 2 biggest utes and wants to forcibly buy them out and turn them into state run entities. Its just in bill form and governor hasnt voiced opinion yet, but three years running they have tried. If it ever got through (and subsequent lawsuits for several years) this could force a liquidation at par despite being a 100 plus year old noncallable preferred. I just recently reentered it in the plus 5% range and will take my chances going forward.

  28. Dmrrp – tried to buy more this morning. Broker has a market halt sells only allowed.

    Sitting on hold to get trade restriction lifted. Have a feeling liquidity is going to get non-existent..

    1. Can buy DMRRP at Schwab. I mean, in theory if someone was selling. You going to pay $175?

      1. the implementation of the SEC is going to be piecemeal among brokers, so this isn’t surprising, but they don’t want to create more headaches for themselves by allowing people to rush in under the gun because it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a legit security and bankrupt junk that the only transactions will be to unwitting buyers.

    2. Same here for another issue. I tried to purchase ENDTF, Canoe EIT Financial Income Fund, a Canadian closed end fund trading on the pink sheets and the broker said NOPE. It is frustrating because it has a market cap of $1B+ and is one of the largest closed end funds in Canada, larger than many U.S. based CEFS. Investors that are informed do not need hand holding by Government agencies. ( I understand that few on this site have interest in these type of products, so just relating my story ). *My broker does not allow direct trading on foreign exchanges ).

      1. Those should really not be traded on the pink sheets, and you will probably see them stop being quoted, since they have much more liquidity in their home market, but brokers don’t want to make the effort to segregate these (even though it is pretty easy with the “F” on the end of the ticker because it would require coding, which they don’t want to do.
        Brokers with a Canadian subsidiary don’t get nailed in fees and will trade them. in Canada.

  29. Fitch affirms ATT credit rating after proposed Warner spinoff.
    https://www.fitchratings.com/research/corporate-finance/fitch-affirms-at-t-long-term-idr-at-bbb-on-warner-media-spin-outlook-stable-19-05-2021
    KTBA (2095 Bell South Senior unsecured assumed by T) is still BBB+ by Fitch.
    I noticed the actual bond has traded up recently back to $145 (4.7%). I have been able to snag 400 shares of KTBA past couple days under $30.90 as it has had quick volume dumps. Since it goes exD next week that price nets you over 5.8% yield if that is of any interest. I would only play the dump angle and not pay up as someone did at close price today.

    1. Grid – In that same vein of structured products, have you noticed where GJH is trading? 6.375% 12/15/33 US Cellular $10 senior note underlying theoretically non-callable but with maybe some wiggle room interpretedly that nobody’s yet been able to figure out yet how, it closed down today at 10.41. That’s slightly over par for a 6.375% USM bond due in ’33.. With the recent UZE 5.50% due ’70 trading at 25.5, isn’t this awfully cheap? It goes x-div in 3 weeks.. Fits my style with what I consider to be a very slight call risk if any at all…

      1. I have owned GJH frequently in past and actually bought again last year during rout around $6 range and rode it back up near $10. It does have some provisions Im not fully versed in; but the underlying bond though is a make whole variety.
        The Call Warrants permit their holders
        to purchase the Underlying Securities
        from the trust at any time on or after
        April 21, 2009 and during any earlier
        period during which (1) an Event of
        Default with respect to the Underlying
        Securities has occurred and is
        continuing, (2) a tender offer for the
        Underlying Securities has occurred and
        is consummated, (3) any redemption or
        other unscheduled payment on the

        S-3

        Underlying Securities has been announced
        and the distribution to securityholders
        of the redemption price or other payment
        has not yet occurred or (4) an SEC
        Reporting Failure (as defined in this
        Prospectus Supplement) has occurred. The
        Call Warrants may be exercised in whole
        or in part in minimum amounts
        corresponding to $500,000 principal
        amount of the Underlying Securities or
        whole multiples of $1,000 in excess
        thereof.

        o An exercise of the Call Warrants in
        whole will result in the redemption
        of all of the Class A-1
        Certificates.

        o In the event of an exercise of the
        Call Warrants in part, a
        corresponding amount of the Class
        A-1 Certificates will be redeemed.

        o Any redemption of Class A-1
        Certificates resulting from an
        exercise of the Call Warrants will
        be at a price equal to 100% of the
        principal amount of the Class A-1
        Certificates to be redeemed (i.e.,
        an amount equal to $10 per Class
        A-1 Certificate to be redeemed in
        full) plus accrued and unpaid
        interest on the called Class A-1
        Certificates to the warrant
        exercise date; no call or other
        premium will be paid.

        1. We discussed the GJH call warrants a few months back. The wrinkle on this one is that the warrant holder is actually collecting a portion of the interest; GJH yields 6.375% while the underlying yields 6.70%. So the hurdle to get redeemed is higher than the typical call warrant. And the underlying price has dropped since we last discussed, so I would assume the likelihood of a near-term call has dropped along with it. Since GJH is trading just a bit above par + accrued, the risk to principal is modest and it just need to remain outstanding a few months to avoid a loss.

          1. Risk reward is definitely good here and throw in underlying make whole clause and duration limit. But there has to be something missing as most rational investors would rather take 23% instant profit than focus on skimming 33 bps yearly for at most 12 years duration. The math doesn’t even compare so there is something more to this it would seem at the surface. Since Wachovia is not around maybe the “call warrant file” got lost when transferred to Wells Fargo Advisors, lol.

            1. Grid, I’m not following: are you saying the underlying 6.7% note is available to purchase?

              1. Yes, Bur. It trades on bond market. GJH is just a portion of that bond. It was trading 23% above par. The yield desrepantcy is typical for underlying bond to trust yield. The underlying bond of KTBA is about 43% above par.

                1. Grid – in a way, the comparison of percentage over par might be a bit misleading because you’re comparing a 2033 maturity to a 2095 maturity. The last trade on the USM underlying was at 123.39 to yield 4.273% according to http://finra-markets.morningstar.com/BondCenter/BondTradeActivitySearchResult.jsp?ticker=C176229&startdate=05%2F22%2F2020&enddate=05%2F22%2F2021. I think the YTM on GJH @ 10.41 = 6.227%.

                  On KTBA, the last trade of the underlying = 144.95 or 4.784% [http://finra-markets.morningstar.com/BondCenter/BondTradeActivitySearchResult.jsp?ticker=C32618&startdate=05%2F22%2F2020&enddate=05%2F22%2F2021] KTBA last traded at 31.35, so stripped YTM = 5.72% if my math is right….So by comparison, GJH is trading 195.40 basis points cheaper than its underlying while KTBA is trading only 93.6 basis points cheaper than its underlying.. And of course BellSouth is trading at the higher dollar price because of its exceptionally longer duration…. I certainly agree though that the discount to underlying is essentiall an always occuring phenomenon on this stuff so nobody should buy on the premise this is a temporary thing.. That being said, I bet an historical study of GJH vs its underlying would make one think GJH is cheap right now…that’s above my pay grade though.

                  1. Ha, you think too hard, 2WR! I wasnt getting that deep I was just giving another example to show trust preferreds dont have some unlocked potential cap gain. I didnt mean to imply one had a better value. Its an is what it is thing to me. KTH would show the exact same thing as GJH and KTBA. Yield, duration, etc. all factor in. I aint tellin’ ya nuttin u dont know, being the wily old veteran bond trader you are! 🙂

                    1. Yeah, me and Popeye, right???? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wae1j-aCD1o …. I yam what I yam… I knew you weren’t really trying to go where I went after you, but you did make me think a little bit based on the percentage numbers you quoted so I just had to do the numbers for me’self.. might as well share them while I was at it…..

                    2. Very illustrative, gents. Which leaves me wondering (just to stick w GJH for example) why the trust pfd fetches a higher YTM than its underlying. Call risk (if the warrants are exercised)?

                      When we last discussed this you may have told me, but I can’t find that thread (see moaning elsewhere about the search function on this blog).

                    3. Contrary to Grid’s description of me, I’ll give you the real skinny – the answer is”just because.” To be a little more specific, the fact that these are structured products and smaller issues than the underlying bonds, they do by definition offer lesser liquidity adn a bit more complexity but as far as the potential backdoor callability on GJH, I’m betting that Grid’s the only one who truly understands it and imho, that underlying possibility is far from being a cause for its cheapness…. That’s a pure opinion kind of answer based on absolutely no facts whatsoever but also factors in that the market’s been tempting for years for those who could theoretically benefit greatly from calling in the warrants, but nobody’s been able to do it yet … But as a group, as G has stated, a discount to their underlyings has always been the case for these structured products…. There are exceptions I suppose and GJO is one right now. It’s a Walmart STRAT f/f due 2/15/30 that floats at 3 month LIBOR +50 and is monthly pay… Right now, with an approx coupon of .66% it trades at a 1.25% YTM while its underlying 7.55% due 2/15/30 yields 1.61% but GJO trades at a discount to par while the underlying trades at 146% of par…. I’ve owned this one for years and have been just too lazy to sell it even though it yields next to nothing. I think it’s considered to be the purest of the pure regarding its inability to be called under any circumstances, same as its underlying, but it’s probably a far better sale than buy right now unless you’re a believer in runaway increases in interest rates over the next 8 1/2 years.

  30. Big volume on SLMNP today. Seems like a seller is back. 100 shares at 1049 and 534 shares at 1046.26.

  31. UEPEP, Union Electric 4.56% Preferred, being dumped below par.
    In fact, the price if called is $102.47, according to QOL

    Good opportunity to get some below call price if you are interested.

  32. More fun time in illiquids. AILLN traded 100 shares @ 133.10, up from previous close (5/17) of 105.05. Somebody pocketed an extra $2,800 on that trade. At least a 10 year high, might be an all time high. An additional 100 shares traded shortly after that @104.5, so I doubt there are any more buyers @ 133.10. Don’t know for sure.

    No positions or open orders in any account.

  33. APRDM hit a 52 week low on a 100 share trade @ 101.81, down from last Friday’s (5/14) close of 108. Not sure if any more shares are available around that price.

    Also note that CBKLP traded 250 shares @ 100.11, down from yesterday’s close of 102.75. Once again not sure if any more shares are available.

    We have no holdings and/or open orders in any account of either issue. Just a FYI . . .

    1. Tex, It was a quick bounce. I saw it and tried to play APRDM at $103.50 with lead bid afterward and immediately got jumped, so I pulled my order. A lessor value, but I did snag a 100 of PNMXO under $101 today.

    2. The CBKLP really torques me since I had a standing order in for $100.50 and none of it filled.

      1. I am the one who set off the fireworks with CBKLP today. I purposely bought at ask @ 102.50 for 50 shares to see if I could create some action. I had lower bids all set below that. Not a darn one filled like Scott R. had happened. Now I have a measly 50 shares when I was hoping for a couple hundred around 100.50 to 101.50. I guess it was worth a shot. Even at 102.50 it is not a terrible purchase but not what I was hoping for.

        1. This is one of my biggest holdings, but I am always up for owning a little more since it is never a problem to flip it if I get too much. I always have a few hundred shares hanging out in my portfolio.

          Which broker were you with? My order was with Fidelity and have had this happen a few times with them on various issues.

          1. I was using ally invest which is the new version from ally. I also have my old ally tradeking account which seems to be all around better but alas I did not use it.

            1. Ally will sell you a dog turd if it has a ticker assigned to it. Only exception is F ending Foreign OTC issues.

                1. Bob, they love hiding under mommy’s skirt whenever one of their frequent picks goes bad. Even Boot Licking PhilOKC tends to hide also.

          2. Scott:

            CoBank is a $160 Billion private bank serving farms and rural utilities? Seems to be extremely well capitalized. Earned $324 million in net income during 1Q 2021.

            So why haven’t they called this $200 million 6.125% non-cumulative illiquid preferred at $100? Has been callable since 2018. Sure seems like they could refinance this lower by at least 100 basis points. Is there another story behind this one?

            Thanks!

            1. Didn’t CBKLP, along wiht CBKPP and CKNQP, end up being placed in a No Man’s Zone by some brokers recently as they all of a sudden woke up to the fact that these were originally issued as 144a’s? I seem to remember some discussion here where some were told if you own them you’re OK but you can’t either sell what you own or buy any more…..I own at Fidelity but haven’t tried doing anything in the name recently to know how they are now treating it… Prospectus is hard to find but I found it somewhere and it says, “The Series G Preferred Stock is being offered and sold only to, and may be purchased by and transferred only to, “qualified
              institutional buyers” (as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”)),
              institutional “accredited investors” (as defined in Rule 501(a)(1), (2), (3) or (7) under the Securities Act) or individual
              “accredited investors” as defined in Rule 501(a)(5) under the Securities Act. For information regarding the transfer restrictions
              applicable to the Series G Preferred Stock see “Transfer Restrictions.””

              1. Schwab will let you own them, and will let you buy them if you are an accredited investor, but won’t let you sell them unless you personally go find another accredited investor to buy them from you.

          3. Well I give up on CBKLP for now. I tried again with a 50 share purchase at ask at 102.49 with bids set lower. Nada. Tried one more time with a 50 share purchase at 102.50. Nada. No one will bite with a dump since I snagged an odd lot or two. Now someone has come along and bought 300 shares all the way past 104. Too rich for my blood. I will just have to be content with 150 shares and let an order sit GTC for months which on the OTC seems to get ignored quite often. Chalk it up as a learning moment.

            1. Someone – and I’m betting it’s one of you guys – bought 200 CBKLP at 104.65 avg. Realize, this could get called tomorrow, in which case you’re out about $800.

              AGO is soon to call 2 and maybe 3 issues that have been callable for more than a decade. And AGO-B is still selling at almost 27.

              Remember never-will-be-called AILLL?

              1. CBKLP goes ex-div sometime around early June. So that is 1.53 is in the pocket. I figured at 102.50 or below that div really lowers your risk. Now it has been callable for a very long time. Since 2018. They had a chance to call it or redo it at rock bottom rates which are now starting to tick up a bit. I realize the risk but once you get into August you are basically at break even with the typical 30 day notice if you purchase at 102.50 or lower. I also feel that this bank obviously does not care too much about this preferred outstanding and I can see it floating around for years. It is owned by a bunch of different funds who are just sitting on it and milking it until the cows come home. So an IG QDI 6% in today’s market is worth a small risk if it does not get called for another couple of years you will come out ahead compared to a 5% equivalent (without doing the math that is a rough estimate).

                But yea.. at 104 plus.. the math above really stretches out for a few years compared to a 4.75-5.25% IG QDI…. The call risk is more real when you tack on a couple of bucks more to buy it.

                1. It’s a judgement call. The call on AILLL cost me a lot more than a couple of steak dinners (unless they came with a couple bottles of Pétrus). I considered it perhaps the least probable call of any issue I held. I’m liking WTREP a whole lot more.

      2. Scott, my bid got passed by again. Had an order in above 101.60 for CBKLP and I can clearly see some sold at the end of the day at 101.60. OTC is just plain odd. I guess some luck is involved some days.

        1. If you call and ask you will get some handwaving about how illiquid OTC issues are not available at all times to all accounts because of blah, blah, blah

          Basically (IIRC), sales are arranged behind the scenes and show up only when completed. They are never offered at large for that price. It might have something to do with the accredited investor thing mentioned above where there are people arranging sales, or it might just be people with access who are ginning up a commission. But you would think the sellers would want the best price available, and they are not getting it.

          All of mine were bought during last year’s swoon so I own them under call value. Sometimes if I can get them under or at the call price plus next coupon payment I will pick up more and flip them. But I am loathe to get rid of my main stash even when the price gets high because they are hard to get back, and right now they are really hard to get near a price I would be comfortable with.

          IIRC, Cobank is a cooperative, and a lot of the people who own these preferreds are members who probably like receiving the dividends so that might be why they have not been called already.

  34. Quite the dump on IPWLK. Picked up some shares at $101 from an old GTC order that I forgot about.

    1. Nickels—same with me. Bought 200 at $101 from an old GTC order. I immediately thought something bad must have happened. I’m happy with a 5.59% yield. Maybe sometimes patience is a virtue.

      1. Someone dumped 1,100 shares at $100.04. Don’t think that a call is likely, or the volume would have been higher. You guys got a good deal there at $101.

        1. Considering stripped price (approx 0.72 of accrued dividend) the 101.00 purchase is even more appealing. Congrats!

      2. I wasn’t greedy enough to get them at 101 but did buy at 102 after selling 3 weeks ago at 105.

  35. Just noticed a “trade of the year” candidate from Tuesday 5/11. Somehow I missed it in realtime. Somebody sold 1,760 shares of HAWEN @ 26.89, up from 21.19 on the previous close. A gain of $5.7/share or a cool $10,032! Your moving up from steak dinners to Yugo’s with that kind of money. It traded today @ 21.27, so the 26.89 was an aberration . . . might been an III’er that did it.

    No positions and no open orders in any of our accounts.

  36. I bought some more WTREP today at $25.34. There’s about 2 months worth of dividends accumulated and the qtrly payment is $0.48. I normally don’t do this, but I guess I’m bored with the lack of buy and hold stocks available now. At least I don’t want to buy and hold at current levels. Maybe the company that acquired Watford will ignore this preferred issue for a while. Who knows?

    1. Furcal, Tim just has a small smattering examples of these types of issues. Its now a subsidiary preferred of LYB, 6%, noncallable perpetual QDI preferred, It has a liquidation value of $1000, but an approximate $845 owner optional tender to company anytime. It was originally an A Schulman convertible preferred but LYB bought them out. So this is the genesis for the owner put if one ever desired, but probably wouldnt want to.
      About 115,000 shares outstanding. LYB subsidiary unsecured debt is BBB so this is probably a slotted BB+ rating even though its not technically rated.

  37. Looks like a few noncallable BACRP nuts can be shaken out of the tree with higher bids. I see 182 shares have traded today evidently in the $120 range. On a relative value, that is still a great buy compared to any other BAC preferreds. And the owner put and cumulative are a bonus freebee thrown in.

      1. No prospectus, just SEC annual filing link. It starts on bottom of page 1.
        It became owner callable in 1988, yet in regular financial filings it is referred to as issued in 1998.
        https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/0000070858/000007085821000023/bac-1231202010xkex31.htm
        Toss in the fact its delisted and almost insures it was issued as a NationsBank, Fleet, some other previous acquisition or was an old BoA preferred before NationsBank acquired BoA. Remember NationsBank actually acquired BoA and then used its name instead of its own. I never bothered to figure out its ultimate genesis. Ok, I lied, I did try a bit to find its genesis but was too dumb to find it!

        1. Thanks, Gridbird. I remember NB and Fleet….Fleet was the first bank stock I bought…many years ago…..

  38. Big move down today for UEPCN, down 22.75 to 102.25 on 396 shares. Previous trade was on 1/8/21. Not sure if the seller is offering up any more shares at the price or not. . . Not every day you see a current dividend paying preferred down 18%. (You do see moves of that size for issues with suspended payouts that trade for pennies.)

    We have no positions or open orders in any account for it. Just an FYI.

    1. Texas, the price really just came down from a very few small stupid purchases with no subsequent trade volume. Its current price is largely just now in line with other 4.5%-4.7% issues of same ilk.

      1. Any holder who owned them should have left limit orders to sell them to that stupid purchaser at an amount that is a 4-5 years of dividends….

  39. Gridbird, thanks for the link…spent some time with it. Did my homework and narrowed my focus to twelve preferreds and placed some modest orders. I am a student of investments…probably still in grade school…keeps me interested and my brain active. Living in a wonderful retirement community in NC provides generous amounts of time for my interest.

  40. Thank you. Believe we are on the same track. I want to add as many as I can just as I have done with preferreds. $4.5% works fine for me. I have a watch list taken from Quantum which includes most of the illiquids. I need to work the list a bit I believe. Hope to stay in contact with you.

  41. Have been a reader for several years and have developed an interest in illiquid preferreds, Recently I purchased several and am interested in expanding my holdings and am unsure the best approach as I am interested in making them a major investment. Should I place numerous bids for smaller number of shares or select fewer preferreds on which to bid?

    1. How many are you looking to acquire, Keith? In general it deoends on what your goals are for them, ie trades or LT holds. And it would depend on the issue. For example BACRP. I would have bought 1000 shares if I could, but 100 was all there was.

      1. Am not a trader. In my 80s and desire consistent income. I have a number of preferreds and corporate bonds. I believe adding illiquids will add more of the same consistency. I like to spread the risk, so the more different ones I can buy the safer I feel, i.e. would prefer to own 20 of 200 shares versus 10 of 400 shares. Always look forward to reading your insights. Thank you for your interest in my question.

        1. Keith, I’m with you. Steady, increasing income is all I care about. Fortunately, I’m in a position to, so far, keep reinvesting dividends. So I am still happy with a secure 4.5% yield.

          This is currently available if you are careful and have a watch list you can keep track of. For example, I bought more PPWLM @ 155 Friday.

          I don’t like messing with stuff either, so I don’t flip much. I just want to get paid, because I’m old, too. And as my sweet MinLw once told me, “It’s no sin to get old, but it sure can be hell.”

          Gridbird is a true gem, a great resource who’s helped immensely to secure my dotage. Best of luck to you.

          1. Thank you. Believe we are on the same track. I want to add as many as I can just as I have done with preferreds. $4.5% works fine for me. I have a watch list taken from Quantum which includes most of the illiquids. I need to work the list a bit I believe. Hope to stay in contact with you.

            1. Kieth, you answered my questions already, and Camroc is correct about the QDI 4.5% handle for issues where you arent exposed to call losses if they occur.
              What is do is what you inferred. Populate a list and track them watching bid/ask spreads. If you see an absent respectable bid jump in front. If you see an ask creep down that may mean a more eager seller. Dont over chase the ask price unless it comes down into the buy zone then dont fight over pennies as someone will jump you and take them.
              Another I like to do is always be mindful of the 1-5 year pricing chart of the issue. This helps quide for proper entry point. I will use an example of one that probably isnt of interest to you as an example being its extra low yield…UEPEN… If you look at its 5 pricing chart, you can see its really down at the lower end which means its a relative fair entry point at $87.65. Of course the yield is a lowly 4% though. But entry point price wise if one assumes interest rates arent going up a lot (that is an individual decision, personally I tend to play all angles at the same time) this is a reasonable entry point.
              I also think your goal of 200 shares per issue is a wise one as its easier to attain. Plus they are easier to jettison if ever needed.
              The reason why I think you should look at 1-5 price charts as you get a better overall feel for what it trades for. Take an example of something I own..SBNCM showing a price of $21.55. At first blush one might assume snagging a buck lower at $20.55 would be a good deal….That would be incorrect. That $21.55 price point came about by a one time 100 share purchase. Its more recent infrequent trades usually are more in the $17 range. The $21.55 was a one off over pay.
              Some times illiquids have “one off dumps”. So you can set many bids of various issues with lower bids under current highest bid at a fair price point of your comfort zone and see if a share sell dump spills down to your price point.

              1. Its always a great feeling to know you got a great price especially if the market realizes it as well and rewards you with a quick lobster dinner.

                A factor I always consider for holding is some type of permanence. Without it my hand gets weakened to sell.

                1) Has the business model changed. (Did they start as a cheese manufacture and are now a bank).
                2) Has ownership changed.
                3) How focused is their business. (Are they a utility and a bank at the same time).
                3) Have you owned other assets headed by the same family, owner, or ceo before.
                5) Have companies within the industry survived bankruptcy or severe credit events.

              2. I always look at price charts for most trades and have found the look to be an important consideration for trading.. I began work last night on the suggestions and will continue today. You and Camroc enlightened my way forward. Grateful for you guidance.

              3. Grid, do you place GTC orders? Someone once wrote on this site that they place orders at market open (was it you?). Is there an advantage to doing that rather than a set-and-forget GTC?

                There’s the obvious–you may need to revise your bid based on circumstances changing–but that can just as easily be done by updating the price of the GTC order.

                I was just wondering whether placing market-open day orders were intrinsically more likely to be filled?

                1. Bur,
                  Market orders at the open are the absolute worst possible trade you can make. Bid/ask spreads are at their widest and you will very often get a bad and unpredictable fill price. Only use a market order when you can see the bid or ask and the associated quantity showing so that you have some degree of comfort what your fill price will be. Even then, why do a market order when you can just enter the same trade as a marketable limit order and not risk the bid or ask being pulled just as you are trading? Or even more dangerous, I have occasionally had a bid or ask simply disappear, with no trade occurring for me or anyone else jumping in front, when I place an order. This isn’t supposed to happen, but apparently there are some traders out there that get to look at your order and decide they didn’t really want to honor their bid or ask, so they somehow get to cancel it.

                  1. I don’t think Bur was suggesting using a “market” order type, rather to use a limit order placed at market open (i.e. timing of order, not type of order). I agree with Bur about that – there are often weird trades at market open. So, I often enter orders overnight that will be “live” at market open.

                  2. I almost always use limit orders. I know I’ve lost a few that way, but believe I’ve saved myself a whole lot more. Also, saved myself from myself by setting a limit and not chasing.

                    I was asking more whether anyone has experienced an advantage to being ready with a fresh (limit) order at market open as opposed to setting a GTC order and just letting it stand?

                    Sounds like the difference is being aware of changing context from day to day? Although in my case (see above), I’d just be tempted to chase it the price were running away from me. I guess it all comes back to knowing what you’re buying and why (so simple;-).

                2. Bur, as an example what happened today is more a typical type illiquid style buy for me. AILLI is an issue I like to snag and trade but dont get to often because it only presents itself a few times a year for a few trades.
                  I noticed recently the ask had started dropping from its stationary $109 perch. So I was starting to pay a bit more attention. But even then I almost missed it as seller dropped it down to the then current 100 share bid of $105. 200 sold and I jumped over the $104.75 bid to take 100. There actually were 34 more shares available which sold right after me. I should have put up 200 share bid but incorrectly assumed only a 100 was there. A few months ago Dick Whitman saw them at $104 and announced it but those were sopped up before I could put bid in. So I paid up this time and $3 over redemption, as I havent been able to get in it for a few years now.

    2. Biggest problem with a lot of these illiquid preferred are the following:

      1) low float (not many shares).
      2) majority of shares owned by institutions or owners. Making it hard to accumulate or dispose.
      3) Usually have low coupon rates 3.5-4.5%.

      Best time to buy is when a family office or fund is trying to unload into an illiquid marketplace. This is when small buying power and ability to change limit prices and quantities pay benefit. As long as your timeframe for holding is near forever.

      For example have held LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LYB) since being listed on NYSE in 2010. When I discovered SLMNP even though only 5-10 shares trade a day have been buying with the intent to hold forever.

      1. Micahc, SLMNP is an interesting one. Some very rare days volume can spike up near 50-100 shares in a day, ha. And a few sells sometimes creates better opportunity. I picked up 7 additional shares at a decent price pre exD when ask dropped briefly and quickly.
        I referenced above looking at 1-5 year price charts. This is an example where that wouldnt apply. As it wasnt the same preferred in 2016 as it is now.
        Really only the past couple years are even relevant to compare.

          1. Bur, I use the TD online platform. I used to just peck from memory (i know all those tickers by heart) on OTC website to review. But Camroc shamed me into setting up a database to monitor. Shaming in that he is several decades older and could do it, so I joined the 21st century with him last fall.
            Level 2 is no be all. Makers hide bid ask volume all the time there.
            I dont leave standing bids. Too lazy, I just roll with the daily action or inaction.
            One reason why I dont is I want to test and see if a computer program is zeroed in on an interest of mine. If I put a bid out right after market opens and someone jumps me a penny instantly, I know Im getting no bargain. But if the bid ask spread is right I will teach that computer bastard a lesson. I will keep raising bid make it chase and then become a seller instead of buyer and dump them on his computer bot ass.
            Of course leaving standing bids and seeing if something over time drops to you, that is perfectly fine. Its just I stay fully invested and there is only so much money in bids, the brokerages will allow me to put out there on their dime. So that is also a big reason why I dont leave standing bids.
            Using BACRP as a recent example. It shown to have dumped 10 shares here and there well under $40. Nobody knows about issue so no real standing bid was there. About a month or 2 go I would have high bid maybe in $30 range or whatever. I see 10 shares go, and I think I got them. Wrong, thieves would intercept trade by a fraction of a cent. So a few weeks later I jumped it up bigly to 90, and same crap happened. Lost 10 shares by a magic penny. Then last week, I really had nothing on radar to even bid on, so I said WTH and throw out $105 after market opened as I had no bids out. Took a shower got ready to workout and all be darn if my margin account showed Im in the whole $10,500. Pretty sweet I knew I hit paydirt without even verifying. I guess the bot thing wouldnt chase over $100. I have no idea where shares came from because no ask price is ever shown. Just bids. Being this is noncallable (owner redeemable is just a free bee bonus) Its really worth around $150 in todays environment. I would like to tell BoA I will tender them back…For $200 a pop, lol.

            1. Grid and anyone else,

              After many years of relying on TD ThinkorSwim for real-time quotes, I just recently discovered that Schwab often (depending on what security you’re looking at, of course) shows a tighter bid/ask spread than TD. On relatively illiquid securities, it’s not unusual to find 1-2% tighter spreads with Schwab. On true “illiquids”, perhaps you won’t see much difference but it wouldn’t hurt to check. I looked up some quotes in Fidelity, too, and they were always the same as TD.

              So I don’t know the reason why, but if you are not using Schwab for quotes, you may be missing trading opportunities that are just sitting out there, invisible to customers of TD, Fidelity and I presume lots of other brokers. You can see these quotes just by looking up the securities at Schwab, or more wisely, you would use the StreetSmartEdge tool.

              1. Interesting. Will try a test tomorrow. Was this with exchange traded issues or OTC or both?

              2. Very well could be as OTC issues are not required to show accurate bid/ask spreads from what I read. FWIW, OTC markets always is aligned with TD. The last thing I need is another brokerage account. Last time I tried to consolidate from two to one, I wound up with three.

                1. I haven’t looked hard at a range of securities, but the ones I discovered this for were OTC. To be clear, from what I’ve seen, Schwab never shows worse prices than TD or Fidelity, but sometimes shows better prices on the bid, ask, or both. But you can still trade at other brokers using those Schwab quotes; though some of the bids and offers are hidden, they are still executable. And as I wrote here a few weeks ago, I have tended to get better price improvement at Fidelity compared to TD or Schwab. So maybe the answer is get your quotes from Schwab, but trade at Fidelity!

      2. Micahc, it seems like a controlled liquidator comes out every few days and offers SLMNP at $1050. I bought 3 more today to get to 30. Probably my fill here. I traded it some a year and a half ago for fun, but largely its just a waste of time being the issue trades fairly tight all the time percentage wise being its a $1000 issue. I repurchased some after last March rout and just held and have accumulated a bit more to top off the tank.

        1. I was in that 1050 crowd. Beats most of the 4 something yielding new issues coming to market.

          The volume was way above average.

          1. Bob, as you know its a strong relative market issue. And LYB is doing quite well and sounds like the shortages are benefitting their subsidiary industries. Leave it to incompetent Ally though. They got mine split up into 2 seperate issues with same ticker. One is the correct Lyondell name and the other half is listed under the old A Schulman name. They never cease to amaze me.

          1. Now overfully stocked with SLMNP. I wonder how much of the float is owned by participants in this board?

            1. There are only a 116,000 shares. But at $1000 a pop thats still a lot of cash! My 30 shares is just a tiny dent in the number.

  42. BACRP from yesterday. I found a little more info. About 7,000 remain outstanding according to BAC (I suspect they own some). It also has equal standing voting rights with the common stock shareholders. And it appears to have been issued in the early 1980s based on this from BAC. Someone shook 9 more shares out of the tree after I got my 100 it looks like.
    Redemption.
    From and after October 31, 1988, any holder may, by written request, call upon the Corporation to redeem all or any part of said holder’s shares of said Series B Preferred Stock at a redemption price of $100.00 per share plus accumulated unpaid dividends to the date said request for redemption is received by the Corporation and no more (the “Redemption Price”). Any such request for redemption shall be accompanied by the certificates for which redemption is requested, duly endorsed or with appropriate stock power attached, in either case with signature guaranteed. Upon receipt by the Corporation of any such request for redemption from any holder of the Series B Preferred Stock, the Corporation shall forthwith redeem said stock at the Redemption Price, provided that: (i) full cumulative dividends have been paid or declared and set apart for payment upon all shares of any series of preferred stock ranking superior to the Series B Preferred Stock as to dividends or other distributions (collectively the “Superior Stock”); and (ii) the Corporation is not then in default or in arrears with respect to any sinking or analogous fund or call for tenders obligation or agreement for the purchase, redemption or retirement of any shares of Superior Stock. In the event that, upon receipt of a request for redemption, either or both of the conditions set forth in clauses (i) and (ii) above are not met, the Corporation shall forthwith return said request to the submitting shareholder along with a statement that the Corporation is unable to honor such request
    and explanation of the reasons therefor. From and after the receipt by the Corporation of a request for redemption from any holder of said Series B Preferred Stock, which request may be honored consistent with the foregoing provisions, all rights of such holder in the Series B Preferred Stock for which redemption is requested shall cease and terminate, except only the right to receive the Redemption Price thereof, but without interest.

    1. Grid – thanks for the due diligence and sleuthing on BACRP. You are truly Sherlock Holmes when it comes to some of these illiquid preferreds!

      On a different note, is that you crashing the price of CTGSP? The float on this noncallable utility preferred is only around 27,000 shares and you still own a bunch, correct?

      There has been a large seller that keeps dropping 20 cents in price. Only a 4% yield, but it is rock-solid and I have been buying more today for my “sock drawer”.

      Thanks!

      1. Hi Rob. I missed out today as I was out and about. I only own a few hundred as a placeholder to remind me of it. I sold most around $7 last fall/winter. This will never be a high yielder so waiting for it to be 6% is just not going to happen. Looks like you drove the price back up. I would love to reenter near $6 and be a bit over plus 4%. Its getting harder for me to do much, because I have so many illiquids, I already own now.

  43. CRLKP….We had a debate on this one a year or so ago as SP had this screwed up in annual SEC filings. I get a little paranoid on wording after joining the 2White Roses anal reading fan club.
    I owned this several times in the past but this is what dropped me out of it as SP (obligator now) kept putting this in their annual filings…
    The Company acquired Subordinated Convertible Debentures (“Convertible Debentures”) as a result of the acquisition of Central. The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share upon their stated maturity (April 1, 2028) or upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures. There were no redemptions of Convertible Debentures during the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. The approximate redemption value of the Convertible Debentures outstanding at December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 was $1.1 million for both years.
    …..Notice it said $19.18 upon maturity. That didnt make sense unless it was some quirky change of control provision I never found. But I dont fight city hall..
    Now fast forward to this year. I wonder if someone BMC’d to them as one word was changed this year, and its a big word…
    The Company acquired Subordinated Convertible Debentures (“Convertible Debentures”) as a result of the October 2, 2012 acquisition of Central Parking Corporation. The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share before their stated maturity (April 1, 2028) or upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures. There were no redemptions of Convertible Debentures during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The approximate redemption value of the Convertible Debentures outstanding at each of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 was $1.1 million.
    Notice the word “Before” replaced “upon”(Page 67) which means what it should. A $25 redemption price at maturity.
    https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/1059262/000156459021007047/sp-10k_20201231.htm#ITEM_6_SELECTED_FINANCIAL_DATA
    Near term parking Covid problems aside, its game on for me again for a small play as I bought 400 today at $22.50. I wanted an even 500 so I paid up at $23 for last 100. There was some left at $23 if interested after doing DD. I preferred the $22.50 as that made it over 7% YTM, $23 wasnt as appealing but I did to be done and over.
    A little background to assist if interested. This was a convertible with a 2028 maturity issued in 1998. KKR bought them out and took it private. They listed it still as $25 maturity, $19.18 owner option redemption at any time. SP bought it out from KKR and then changed wording that looked like a 19.18 maturity. But finally this year they changed wording to eliminate the confusion. A lower bid may still flush some. About 40,000 shares are left outstanding. When it does infrequently trade it usually is between $22 and $23.05.
    https://quotes.freerealtime.com/quotes/CRLKP/Time%26Sales

    1. Grid, from the verbiage you quoted, don’t the debenture holders still have the option to redeem at $19.18 before April 1, 2028?

      Granted that the price at maturity is $25, but to my untrained eye, I still see a risk of it being called at $19.18 as long as it is done before April 1, 2028.

      Now, if there is an “acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures”, would not that imply they can redeem at $19.18 as well? So that risk still remains.

      1. Yes, you can always redeem at $19.18.. But I won’t if I am paying $22.50-$23.00, lol… You dont have to worry about a company called $19.18… Lets break it down…
        The subordinated debenture holders have the right to redeem the Convertible Debentures for $19.18 per share before their stated maturity (April 1, 2028) or upon acceleration or earlier repayment of the Convertible Debentures.
        …This means you have the right to redeem at $19.18 BEFORE maturity or BEFORE acceleration or earlier repayment… This is why they havent because they would have to redeem at $25. Unless they announce a redemption on say May 31, and you tendered at May 30. Which would be dumb because if you tendered a day before redemption, you would get $19.18.

        1. Ah, I see where I got it wrong – the “subordinated Debenture holders” are the owners of Central Parking. Silly me, I assumed it was the issuing entity.

          Yes, it all makes sense now – it is like a Put that CRLKP owners possess.

          So, as far as redemption, either upon maturity or an “accelerated” event, the redemption price is $25.

          Thanks for clearing that up !

    2. I went activist on SP+ and got them to confirm yet again that the company can only redeem at $25, not $19.18. I then asked them to update the SEC filings since they were so poorly worded, for about 8 years!

      When the annual report came out a few weeks back, I saw that they slightly changed the language, but in my opinion it isn’t much clearer than before. I won’t bother with them again, but I have now confirmed on two separate occasions that, barring default, this will pay out $25 at call or maturity.

      1. Karma, well I am going to have to disagree with you. I think you did a great job! That one word change made all the difference for me. As I have been waiting for a reason to get back in, so that wording works perfectly for me. 🙂

        1. Agree totally with Grid; you did a great job, Karma. A single word – but a game changer.

          I don’t own any Central Parking myself, but had followed earlier discussions on it, here and elsewhere. I now have a lot of illiquids, but if the price is attractive I might just pick up a bit.

    3. Grid, do I understand correctly that it is now callable at any time (I get that it has a maturity of 01 apr 2028)?

      1. That is corrrect Bur. Im assuming there is no interest in such action on their part though.

        1. I haven’t looked in a long time, but I believe their secured debt restricts them from redeeming subordinated debt early. Given how small CRLKP is, you wouldn’t think the secured debt owners would care one way or the other, but covenants are covenants.

    4. I tried to get some CRLKP at $23 today, was not successful. Now the ask is $23.31; a little high, but still below call price so no risk on that aspect.

      Might have to crank up my bid a little.

      1. Inspy, It looked like it grinded up more today with a little volume also. I like the under par and 2028 duration it has. Probably wouldnt consider selling unless it popped over $24 then I would consider it.

        1. I was able to buy 200 shares of CRLKP at $23.24. Under par, so no call risk. Unlikely to redeem until 2028, so a good multi-year 5.5% income stream.
          Can definitely live with that!

        2. If only you had believed me 5 months ago when I told you it wasn’t callable at $19.18, you could have got some cheaper shares. Not that there have been many shares on offer, but I just bought a few more for my parents at $22.50 last week.

          1. I got $22.50 myself. And have owned it off and on several times many years ago and flipped at lower levels. I have always liked the issue. But it really had nothing to do with believing you as I never doubted your sincerity.
            I just cant buy something when it was worded as being redeemed at $19.18 upon maturity. Even if it seemed implausible, it said it. KKR clearly had it as maturing at $25. But as you mentioned SP butchered it. But I couldnt read prospectus for any definitive answer considering the change of control clause came into forefront.
            Anyhow, the important thing wasnt that, but you apparently were the driving force to get them to change one word. That is what is much appreciated because I just wasnt going to own it no matter what unless it dropped to$20 or lower without written assurance in some filing to verify what it should be. You pushed that across the goal line and that was appreciated!

    5. Grid – I don’t know if I, as a lifetime member, have nominating privileges for the Anal Readers Society’s Hall Of Fame, but if I do, your discovery of a single word change and recognizing its importance when you weren’t necessarily looking for it, most definitely allows me to nominate you…. We members of the A.R.S. call ourselves ARSes, and you now can consider yourself a true ARSE too…. ha… No way would I have caught that… At least with RCA, I was looking for RC to come through with a language change they were promising and they did.. With this one, you just found it. Nice catch….

      1. 2WR, If it was more than one word, I may not have understood it, ha. Karma saw it a few weeks ago and could have saved me the effort if he had reported it, lol..
        Though I track the issue loosely, typically the ask was always in $23 range when I ever bothered to notice. But I saw $22.50, and decided to then do my yearly annual filing review to see if they changed it. They did and so I bought. So I have to admit, I was looking for it as I have its approximate spot memorized in the filings as it really doesnt ever change. It just takes motivation to do the work.
        Humored myself today buying the Ocean Spray for the third time today at $18. Thats a reach, but I have bought 200 shares and 300 shares before and made $4 and almost $5 a share each time in short order. If 3rd time doesnt pan out oh well I will hold and hope people eat Cranberries so I can collect the 6 month divi come June.

        1. Grid:

          Can you give us more info on the Ocean Spray preferred? OCESP 4% Preferred? Nothing on Quantum Online. What is the deal behind this one? Nothing on the corporate website that is investor-related.

          Nobody eats more cranberries than me. Every day. An anti-oxidant king. Filled with vitamin C, iodine, and extremely anti-inflammatory. Wonderful for you urinary tract. We would be a much healthier country if more citizens consumed them.

          Ocean Spray also maintains a large industrial facility here in southern Nevada for the last 20 years. Thanks!

          1. Hey Rob.
            Financially speaking this is the best info you are getting. Its from Fitch from last month. They had a helluva year last year and their debt is way down. Preferreds are BB rated and their debt is BBB-. A good read below.
            https://www.fitchratings.com/research/corporate-finance/fitch-affirms-ocean-spray-idr-at-bbb-outlook-stable-03-03-2021
            Historically speaking my best guess it was issued somewhere in 1940s, give or take a lot. Originally there were 98,000 shares but by 1977 they were whittled down to 63,000. There may only be a small amount left outstanding by now. As the only thing that ever gets mentioned is the late 1990s, 144a issued preferred that was issued at 6.25%. It last traded in June (we cant buy it only institutions can) in low $80s but that is irrelevant as that was a spill off trade from March 2020 rout. Heck I was buying LANDP near $20 last June and it was redeemed months ago.
            Forum member Dick W called a while back and told me they said they pay the dividend every 6 months. I think somewhere around June is the next 50 cent payment. Due to the goofiness from lack of any knowledge or interest of this, you need to make sure you get a fair entry point. $16-$17 isnt the worst. These types you need to be able to control your destiny in terms of when you want to sell. As there may not be a solid bid under it all the time. It wont get radio airplay because Ocean Spray doesnt publically disclose financials. But you can backdoor it when rating agencies such as Fitch get a look see and report their updated credit rating on it.

            1. Grid:

              Thanks again for your reply on OCESP and always-informative responses.

              Tried to buy OCESP at a reasonable price and didn’t get filled. Today, the bid on OCESP is all the way up to $21, so you just made another $3/share in a few days. 17% return in 3 days….well done!

              Hoping you spend some of the realized gains on the QVC website or TV channel.

              1. Ha, No I actually still have my measly shares. Be patient. This thing swings up and down in $4-$5 movements at times…But maybe a month or two gap between trades. I saw yesterday late like over 700 shares were there at $22.75. So in time these may get dumped at some point who knows. I would just leave a standing bid at price you are comfortable with and see if it comes to you on a trade or spill through dump.

          2. Rob, a meaningless update as I research off and on to find the rosetta stone to origin of this preferred. I just recently found 1962 and 63 financials. It was still there then reaffirming my suspicions of being a 1940s type issue (or even issued earlier at genesis of company’s origin) as that was the prevalent par yield back then. They actually were issuing more then as 96k were outstanding in 62 and 101k shares outstanding in ‘63. By ‘77 there were only 63k.
            If you look on page 7 you will see reference to cumulative. Ocean Spray is a Co-op and so they dont pay out dividends but instead “patronage payments”. But like common divis as Fitch stated the patronage payments cannot be paid until debt and preferred payments are satisfied first.
            https://content.wisconsinhistory.org/digital/collection/cran/id/1979
            I enjoy these rabbit hole searches, and its proving to be harder than any. Ocean Spray had a different name at one point also compounding the problem. I could cheat and just ask them but that isnt any fun.

            1. Out of curiosity, I typed in the ticker on TDA and it appears there’s another one OCESO.

              What was the original issue price of these? If $25, then why are you saying that $16-$17 would be a good entry point?

              1. Mark, that is actually a “ 4% $25 par, participating preferred” and that float was roached out by the 1970s where I researched. I dont know if there are even a 1000 shares outstanding. Ask has been 1 share for $175 past year I have watched with no action. Here are the trades since 2008…Not many lol..
                I was just giving a safer “current environment yield” for a BB off the wall illiquid preferred. $17 slots you a 5.88% QDI. But I just being more conservative not knowing what expectations were. I trade the other a lot and have fun with it. I have flipped a few hundred for $4-$6 on several occasions, and smaller amounts other times. I personally have bought higher but I am more fearless having nice cap gains on it. Plus I dont know if someone would freak out on a quick $12 sell if no bid floor is under it; as this preferred has little “radio airplay” and no public info on it.
                Here is the participating preferred trades…Better be patient, lol.
                11/18/2020 13:58:17 EST I 11.00 1 OTCBB
                11/18/2020 13:58:17 EST I 11.00 1 OTCBB
                11/10/2020 11:11:46 EST I 16.00 1 OTCBB
                10/29/2020 13:42:44 EDT I 175.00 1 OTCBB
                10/30/2019 13:32:57 EDT Z 14.00 104 OTCPK
                12/13/2017 13:00:20 EST 8.25 50 OTCPK
                12/01/2017 13:54:39 EST 8.25 4 OTCPK
                01/10/2017 14:46:18 EST 8.25 28 OTCPK
                12/09/2015 10:51:53 EST 7.25 104 OTCPK
                12/17/2013 9:40:42 EST 7.25 94 OTCPK
                02/25/2013 15:45:02 EST 7.25 144 OTCPK
                06/25/2010 9:54:29 EDT 11.00 398 OTCPK
                12/31/2008 10:18:09 EST 6.05 399 OTCPK
                12/09/2008 11:45:53 EST 10.05 200 OTCPK
                11/14/2008 15:52:27 EST 11.50 199 OTCPK
                11/14/2008 15:52:00 EST 11.50 199

                1. Aah, I’m with you on the 16-17 range now for OCESP. It’s about yield, not entry price.

                  Those trades must be for OCESO? Yeah, that’s like 1700 shares traded over a 12 year period. But other than the 1 @ $175, it looks like everyone got pretty good pricing for a $25 issue. Is it the low yield that keeps both of these issues at such low price points? That, and it’s obscurity? It seems there’s plenty of near 4% yield issues trading much closer to par – with emphasis on the word ‘trading’ I guess.

                  I feel like it’s kind of a badge of honor to snag some of these little obscure gems. And there’s always the chance you can sell one for a ridiculously high price….

                  1. Yes, that was sales for OCESO. OCESP has more liquidity, I doubt there are 50,000 shares left in it. Maybe a lot less…. I love illiquids and traded them for years now. I have known about this one for 8 years, but wouldnt touch it because I didnt know if it was even an active preferred. Thought it could be some walking dead issue that didnt pay anymore (OTC has a few of them).
                    But once I found out about the 144a preferred issued in 1990s last year, I warmed up to the gamble. Found their credit ratings and plunged in for small plays.
                    Yes its going to trade lower because there is no public info on it or awareness. But its dutifully paid for at least 60 years and probably a lot longer not knowing actual issue date. Ironically though it escaped TDs buying ban list that starts end of next month. As OTC lists it as “Pink no public info”. But doesnt have the “Caveat Emptor” designation that TD will not allow future buying on.

              2. Mark, added thought I forget… Participating preferred for this issue is defined as this from what I read. OCESO pays $1 divi paid out semi annually. The participating part is this. Anytime patronage payments (think dividend) to members is over 4%, OCESO shares in that benefit with an increased payment. I dont know the proportionality of it, but I saw in 1970s one time they got about a $1.50 in payments which $1 was just the annual divi. So it has really juiced returns at times evidently. But I have zero insight on what its been in recent times. Heck many brokerages usually dont even show the dividend of these issues or its current yield. I have in the past thrown out a $25 bid for a week at a time a few times. But I threw in the towel and gave up.

              1. Thank you much for the sleuthing, Justin. In the mid 40s now where I thought minimum it originated from. Company was formed in 1930, so I wonder how much closer it gets to that.

              2. What a fascinating link. It doesn’t really designate whether it is O or P series of preferred, does it? Or am I missing something here? I did not read the entire document, but did find an interesting snippet on the home economics page. “….a home economics department whose job it is to show women how to serve cranberry products in more ways more often.” Also, on page 6 of the report, the caption under the billboard says that the ad was from the early 1920’s. I thought Ocean Spray was formed in 1930, but maybe that was when the NCA was formed and Ocean Spray preceded that.

                I wonder how many of the original shares are still owned by the families of the co-op, if any.

                1. Mark its the OCESP issue. OCESO (the participating preferred) I have narrowed down to being issued sometime between 1964 and 1970. As it wasnt there in their ‘63 financials and was included in the ‘71 financials.

                  1. Grid, would you have an idea about IPWLP? I’ve had a bid in for a while at 94 and change, see 120 traded today at 93.50 . . . am I doing something wrong? Thanks very much.

                    1. Hi D. I dont understand why, but IPWLO is a grey market while the other sisters are bid/ask. This means there is no organized routing system to get it. Its like going to a mall and walking into every store looking for an iphone. Most mall stores dont so every random entrance will lead to no purchase. Some brokerages have access of the inventory and others dont or at higher prices.
                      I havent had IPWLO for a while either. And I suspect I know why. Looking back I was always able to snag every now and then through Ally. But TD has never got me 1 share ever. Even though I would have bids at same time. I remember a couple old water preferreds that were like this. I would put a bid in on them through TD and then several hours later put a separate bid in with Ally. Ally would hit and TD would never transact.
                      If you called and got a broker who knew what he was doing he may be able to call down see if there are inventory available through other dealers.

                    2. D, I remember several years ago trying to snag FIISO. At that time it had no bid or ask. So I called Vanguard and got a good broker. He called down to floor and got me a few hundred at $90. Then I called a few days later and he said there were indications of them being available for $5. I was getting all excited, but the indications didnt pan out and of course none were actually available at that price. So they can dig around for you if they are motivated and are willing. But of course it may not lead to anything though.

                    1. Good sluthing, Justin. I could only find random yearly reports. I wasnt googling good enough. The participating preferred trades like there may only be a few thousand left if that many.

                2. Another interesting snippet was growers in other states besides ma and NJ owned more common stock then the percentage of berries produced. In order to correct this the lesser owners in other states got paid 22 cents of common stock and 21 in cash when their payment for the year was 21.22 total.

                  To make it fair for the ma and NJ growers they got .22 cents of preferred shares.

                  Now the final payment of 1 dollar was made in common and preferred as a way for growers to invest back into the company for new facilities.

                  There is a pretty good chance they will pay this until doomsday because the growers are multi generation families who may very well still own this preferred. We just own some that leaked out?

    6. Someone has come a long way since investing in utes with 500x interest coverage.

      If you keep scraping the bottom of the barrel like this you gonna need a spatula.

      Actually, I almost bought a parking garage about 20 years ago. Glad I didn’t as the customer base left town on account of the local government being so outstanding.

      1. Bob, I still have a nice portion there. I will always have a decent slug of those. And speaking of utes I actually bought almost 1000 shares of another ute common stock less than 10 days ago. I pealed off 200 for 18.5% 2 day gain. They wanted them all but Im keeping for now. A 6.4% divi at purchase price with a 27% payout ratio of income from last years earnings. It took me 4 years to get a chance to buy at my price as they rarely trade at all, so I am not eager to peel them all off just yet. You think some issues are deep in the weeds, how about a 140 year old public regulated T&D utility who makes no SEC filings. Bring on the poison ivy spray as this one is deep in the weeds.
        But things change, and being flexible has really helped me. And reviewing things every now and then to see if situations change is helpful also. A separate issue I mentioned in earlier post here that has been viewed as spatula scraping actually has IG status debt now and keeps reducing debt leverage. In 2019 it was 2.1 leverage (total debt with equity credit to operating EBITDA) and now its down to low 1 range as determined by Fitch.

      2. too bad nobody has ever come up with a portable parking garage that can be assembled in vacant lots that increases the parking capacity for special events or seasonally like in beach and ski towns.

  44. Any thoughts on the remaining Ameren preferreds? The two with the highest coupons were called recently, which surprised a few folks. Nothing in SEC filings indicates that additional calls are forthcoming–but I wouldn’t expect Ameren to signal its intentions early. UEPCO (5.5%) and AILLI (5.16%) are the outstanding issues with the highest coupons. Both, at times during the year, though thinly traded, present good arbitrage or investment opportunities. Both have traded up the last few weeks (pre-ex-dividend). Inside information aside, does anyone have any “educated” guesses about the future of these issues? Grid? Thanks.

    1. Oldman I presently own AILLN and AILIM from Ameren. I would own UEPEP and have, many times. It can typically be plucked at redemption price. There have been 2400 shares offered of AILIM which is 15% of float for several months. Maybe they will crack and dump at $102 some day. I personally wouldnt pay more esp. since it just went exD. The Union Electric ones havent went exD yet. UEPEP seems to be the easiest ones to pluck at time. Its a bigger a float.
      Dick told us about AILLI at $104 not too many weeks ago, but I missed it. I wouldnt chase it here, personally.
      There really arent any bargains. I only keep mine because I force myself too as a base hold of some illiquids. It seems like the Ala Power, CLP, Ameren, and Indianapolis Power issues are pretty compressed. Not much arbitrage value there at this time. I try to trade around them if I get a chance. Actually NSARO is my biggest illiquid hold. It just went exD so the $104 price shown is not a good entry point. $102.80 is redemption price and would be my max mark for an entry point tops.

      1. IMHO their (uepep and nsaro) low coupons 4-4.5% make them less attractive as interest rates go up. I have reduced my holdings in both of these.

        1. Libero, I dont disagree at all.. Overall I have lowered my exposure here several months ago, but I have to keep a portion here.

          1. Thanks for the comments. With our country being largest debtor in the world, there is huge incentive to keep rates low, almost (but not entirely) without regard to inflation. If prices rise there will be inflationary pressure to be sure; wages need to keep pace or a hard recession is looming. But, I’m of the mind that over the longer term, rates will remain relatively low–as they have for much of the past 20 years. IF correct, this should bode well for the ute illiquids, of course provided they’re not called. And, “safe” yields in the 4.5% range should remain competitive.

            The Ameren call a few weeks ago spooked me because much of my “safe” portfolio is in these. The Pacificorp illiquid duo (PPWLO and PPWLM) aren’t callable and should remain safe havens if the company’s fire liability is proportionate to their reserve for this along with insurance (and there is no meaningful disclosure I’m aware of with detailed info). The other “non-callables” are so thinly traded and so few shares are outstanding that they are irrelevant in my view. So, back to the question–will Ameren or Connecticut L & P, or the Southern Company (Alabama Power) soon call some of their preferreds? I understand there is no reliable answer and that there is a “voting benefit” to the parent in keeping these alive. But, then, why did Ameren call two? Certainly they can replace the capital at much lower rates, but they own the majority of the shares, which raises concern about motive. Thanks for enduring my rambling and I hope more perspectives on this will follow.

  45. Has anyone traded in and out of Huntington Bancshares institutional Fixed-Rate-Reset’s:

    – series F (5.625%, resets 15 jul 2030 at 4.945%+10YTreas, CUSIP 446150AT1)
    – series G (4.450%, resets 15 oct 2027 at 4.045%+7YTreas, CUSIP 446150AV6)

    Do I need to worry about liquidity on these?

    1. No, but you will benefit from understanding how inst pref trade.

      Use IBKR, or else give away 50 bps per trade.

      Appreciate that the bid ask on IBKR are indicative, not live quotes. If buying you can go under the offer and vice versa. These are DEALER indicative prices you are looking at, not exchange bid/ask. But your bid is binding, so don’t enter a bid just to see if it will execute. If it does you own it.

      There may be min quantities needed to get an execution at a particular price. I bought a bond today and had to buy 25 bonds to get the price I offered. Sometimes, you can get a better price by going to a higher quantity.

      Get acquainted with FINRA:

      http://finra-markets.morningstar.com/BondCenter/BondDetail.jsp?ticker=C927049&symbol=HBAN4995653

      Volatility is your friend but it can also leave you stranded in a low YTC issue if rates move and stay against you. I love these two HBAN issues because of the structure but the YTCs are in the 3s, so manage your risks.

      1. Thanks v much for the info and pointers, Bob.

        Yes, per the advice of you and others here on III, I opened an IBKR account exactly so I could trade bonds and inst pfds at a better price (choosing not to regret how much has gone to middlemen for my bond trades over the years before this).

      2. Re “There may be min quantities needed to get an execution at a particular price,” how do you tell when placing a trade via IBKR what that min qty might be? I’m assuming that would be something the seller indicates, but how/where would I see that?

        (E*Trade shows min qty info in the order ticket, but the IBKR ‘Client Portal’ doesn’t seem to.)

        1. For IBKR use Web Trader, not Portal.

          You don’t know in advance of submitting a bid what the real price or min quantity may be. Trial and error. Start low and give it time. Unlike an exchange there is a person on the other end (or a dealer’s own robot) that decides to take the trade or not.

          If no execution go higher in price. Or try more shares at same price. On occasion I’ve gotten a message telling me price is OK but quantity is below dealer min.

          I’ve also had bids execute just by resubmitting them at the same price/quantity.

          Follow FINRA.

          1. Bob – Usually, a difference between something with a name like IBKR Lite vs another platform with a name like IBKR Pro would mean that if you have the money to fund a Pro account you’re better off in it vs. Lite. That difference doesn’t seem to be all that clear when looking at https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=46380, except if you’re figuring on going on margin or keeping high percentages of idle cash… How come only Lite talks about commission free trading for US Exchange-Listed Stocks / ETFs and Pro talks about “Fixed or Tiered Pricing?” I just had a bunch of 2% CDs roll over – maybe I should fund an IBKR account using that money to have a third alternative to TDA and Fidelity…….

            1. 2wr – sorry I didn’t see your message before. I will always respond to messages.

              At IBKR I have pro accounts because 1) I like the web trader platform, which you can only get if you have pro, and 2) most of what I buy at IBKR would have me paying commissions no matter where I was buying them. Cdn pref, institutional issues, foreign exchanges, and all that will get you commissions no matter where you buy them. If you can buy them.

        2. Bur asks: “I’m assuming that would be something the seller indicates, but how/where would I see that?”

          Bur, there is not a straightforward answer to your question unfortunately. Minimum quantities to buy bonds can come from three places in general:

          1) Original prospectus from the issuer specifies minimum quantity, typically 1 or 2 for corporates, 5 for munis
          2) The bond trading exchange can specify a higher minimum if they want, 100, 200 and 250 are common for corporates
          3) The selling dealer can also specify a higher minimum if they want

          As a buyer, all you can do is enter the minimum that your brokerage allows. If you enter it at the listed Ask price and it does NOT get filled, you just have to keep changing the quantity. I have seen it go both ways, where I had to enter a higher quantity and other times a lower quantity to get filled. Entering a high quantity is the more common. None of this is typically a significant issue. Sometimes the selling dealer will NOT fill your order, even when you offer his ask price. Also not the most common, but it does happen.

          Related to this, I have tried to have the inside (aka highest) Bid for the new EIX preferred since it started trading. So far, I have gotten ZERO fills, regardless of the quantity I have used. You are going to have to pay the Ask price if you want to chance to get any.

        3. Bob, Tex, thanks for the guidance.

          Bob, after a puzzling login failure with WebTrader and then digging into the comparative chart at https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=45500, I discovered that I only can use WebTrader if I have a Pro account.

          I’ll need to digest the commission structure (published at https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=1590) to evaluate whether to move to Pro.

          In the meantime, I submitted a toe-in-the-water, low-ball GTC bid for HBAN Ser. F via the Client Portal.

          1. You can always go to TWS. “Pro” requires a 100k account or you pay a 10$ monthly fee. You pay a commission on bond trades whether you are pro or not.

            1. Thanks, yeah. I have to figure out the TWS interface. It’s ungodly cluttered. Looks like they put everything in there plus several kitchen sinks. I’ll get there eventually

        4. Bur Davis, I use the bond quotes from other brokers to supply info on quantity/price market. E.G. Fidelity always shows the minimum and total quantity available for each bid/ask bond price. It eliminates having to pay for some of the IB data feeds available for free elsewhere.

  46. Someone is sleeping at the wheel – AILNP is one of the two destined for redemption, yet a couple of transactions at 126.75 this morning … and Bid remains at 126.75, Ask at 165.25. Not many of these were outstanding – only 4542 shares.

  47. If the call of AILLL is the start of a trend, there is a long way to go. I show 68 illiquid issues that are past their first call dates and are trading above their call price. I used average number of shares traded daily <= 2,500 shares per day to define illiquid.

    Here is the list:
    ABR-PB BPOPO FCRZ LEVLP
    AILLI CBKLP GAB-PJ LXP-PC
    AILLL CMS-PB GDL-PC NSARO
    AILLM CNLPL GFNCP NSARP
    AILLN CNTHN GGN-PB OCCIP
    AIW CNTHO GJH OFG-PA
    AMBKP CNTHP GUT-PA OFG-PB
    APRCP CTPPO GYC OFSSL
    APRDM CUBI-PD HAWEL OFSSZ
    APRDP CWGRP HAWEM PNMXO
    ASB-PC ECCY HAWEN PRIF-PB
    ASRVP ENJ HAWLL PRIF-PC
    AWRY FBPRL HAWLN SBLKZ
    AXO FBPRM HCAPZ TY-P
    BANFP FBPRN HL-PB UEPCN
    BANGN FBPRO HTFA UEPCO
    BMYMP FBPRP IPWLK USATP

    Obviously there are many issues that are trading for less than their call price that are past the first call date. The working assumption is that these have major problems and are in trouble.

    1. Tex,
      Thank you for the list. One I spotted on there I have owned, CUBI-D
      It may be past call and over call price but I expect it to drop below par once it goes to floating and people realize the divided dropped. That would be the time to snag it. CUBI doesn’t pay a dividend on the common. I own CUBI-C and it has went to floating and I expect it to slowly pay more going forward in a rising rate environment.

      1. I own CUBI-C also. Even if 3 month libor goes to zero, it still pays 5.3%. Buying it around par ($25) eliminates any call risk and it could go higher if short term rates go up from the current 19 basis points.

    2. Seeing $CNLPL trade today at a new ATH of 63.25, a whopping 21.6% above call price of 52, I think it’s safe to say that there wasn’t much collateral damage to the rest of the market from the call of $AILLL.

      1. That was my sale that I had a gtc sell order in at 61.90. Love it when this happens. A few months back I had an Alabama Power sell order of 106 or so fill at over 120. Of course, like others, I’ve been burned a few times over the years by hitting market instead of limit.

  48. Did any of you folks hear anything about a possible call of AILLL and other Ameren Preferred stocks?

    Saw this on another forum, but so far no one has been able to confirm the OP post, and he did not provide any link or source for his claim.

    Thanks for any info confirming or refuting this.

      1. Dick, your safe.. Carry on with AILLI. But if your in panic mode, I will gladly buy your shares at $103.50… Take a load off your mind. 🙂

  49. AILLI has been trading at $104 today. Thats a yield of 4.96%. Redemption price is $102 so you’re paying just under 2% above redemption. Factor in the next accrued dividend and it looks like a wash if called immediately.

    1. Thanks for the post, Dick, but by the time I went to put in an order, the ask has now gone up to 107.88. Bid is $104.

    2. I sold all but 100 shares of my AILLI today for $107. The bid is still showing as $107 for anyone else wanting to sell.

  50. CWGRP, the COWN convertible, is now in the money for holder conversion. Another 50%, and the company can call it.

  51. Watford merger ………..

    Meeting on merger is scheduled for March 30. It’s in Bermuda if you want to pop in.

    Merger agreement calls for WTREP to be reissued as Arch preferred on same terms. That said, there is nothing to stop Arch from noticing a redemption the 31st and redeeming 30 days later or April 30.

    To take a cynical (and perhaps realistic) approach, preferred holders get to vote on the merger, not just the preferred resissue but the whole merger. Arch may not want to have a mean, angry mob of preferred holders voting against the merger hence the “agreement” to reissue.

    Stripped price is right at redemption price so the “market” appears to be expecting redemption. If it doesn’t happen right off it will be a nice money maker. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    1. Bob–does that mean all the regulatory hurdles have been passed and the merger vote is just a formality?

      1. I would refer you to the SEC filings for an authoritative answer. That said I can’t see the meeting being scheduled if there were any major lose ends.

        Formality, no. Bermudian law is not US law. Mergers require affirmative votes from shareholders. No such thing as broker non votes or broker voted shares. Bermudian mergers sometimes take more than one meeting. But I can’t believe the merger won’t happen. The common has almost all the voting power and the merger is a big boost for WTRE common.

        It may not last long but for a time the reissued WTREP may be the best IG preferred on the planet.

        1. Bob, ya an affirmative vote will be a layup. Arch and their directors own 15% of Watford common.
          Randy, the regulatory hurdles have not been cleared, that I am aware of and there could be further delays if a Watford transaction in France clears before merger, then they will have to approve also. Delay is fine by me,

          We anticipate completing the merger in the first half of 2021, subject to approval of the Merger Proposal by the Company’s shareholders as specified herein, receipt of required regulatory approvals and the satisfaction or waiver of the other conditions to closing, although the Company cannot assure completion by any particular date, if at all.
          Governmental Approvals
          Consummation of the merger is subject to obtaining required regulatory approvals from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission, the Turkish Competition Authority, the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, the California Department of Insurance and the Financial Services Commission of Gibraltar. In addition, in the event Watford completes its pending acquisition of Axeria IARD, a French société anonyme, prior to consummation of the merger, the approval of the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution) will also be required to consummate the merger.

          1. Layup, I’m not so sure. The requirement is for the merger proposal to get 50% of the common/preferred vote voting as a single class. Considering the preferred, ARCH and associates ownership is less than 15%.

            The risk of non passage lies with owners just not voting, the so-called “broker non votes”. I just got my voting notice from Vanguard yesterday. The merger will get the required 50%, the question being whether they can do it on the first round or not. Selfishly, I want WTREP to hang out as long as possible so my interest is served in delay. To vote “no”.

            The merger agreement was signed in October, 4 months ago. The time that has passed has been all about regulatory approvals. Are they done? Probably not, but they are well advanced and the companies have a strong convictions that approvals will be done. The timing of the meeting is related to these approvals. There is nothing else that would result in this much delay. Mergers themselves can be done in a week.

            WTREP goes XD next Friday. It’s trading at 25 stripped now.

            1. I got email notices to vote from two separate brokerage accounts myself. I havent done it yet. Probably wont. This isnt some 100,000 share illiquid preferred where company is herding cats to get a vote like CLP tried and failed a few years ago.
              The big players at the table are identified and known. Regulatory approvals or lack there of (if any) are not relevant to when vote occurs. The voting cattle is known and has been corralled already. Our small investor votes are irrelevant is my bet.

              1. What say you pick the % voting to approve and I’ll chose the over or under?

                I know you’re a betting man!

                1. Why would I want to risk a greater chance of losing, lol.. Im just sticking with its being approved by simple majority, and you can take the rejection side, ha. I suspect the time delayed on vote was herding the cattle, ensuring majority approval, not any regulatory issues as that it a separate issue. They just stated in recent filing France could possibly delay it longer anyways.
                  Many a time voting was long ago approved and companies were still left blowing in the wind on final regulatory approvals that ultimately got done.

                  1. Either way Grid decent place to park your money.
                    Think Bob or 2WR said not to over pay beyond what you get from the dividend. so just holding for that now.

                    1. Charles, I already own a couple thousand shares…I dont need anymore for my stash I promise… Im just saying they arent going to be cold calling peon me needing my meager 2000 votes to get this thing passed.

  52. To whoever bought 2 of my 100 CNLHN that I listed for sale yesterday, I am glad you filled out your position….

    1. Market makers have done that to me a lot on various illiquids. Bumps me off the board and gets me out of their way. Hard not to curse when I speak of them.

      JMO

    2. Separate but related (and forgive the common stock cross-talk): I placed a limit order last night to sell 155 shs of a small-cap stock I held. I opened my account this morning to see it had taken 25(!?!?) transactions to fill the order (2 shares, 3 shares, 5 shares, etc). Never seen that kind of fragmentation before.

      1. B.D. :
        It happens to me frequently at TDA. They pick up all the odds and ends floating around first before the bulk of the transaction is completed, BUT, the full trade almost always completes. I aways use limit orders, so occasionally I will have to adjust my limit price before the full trade finalizes.

  53. WTREP dividend tax treatment …………

    Got my 1099 from Vanguard. This is held in a taxable account. First acquisition was in November (October?) and first dividend was received on 12-31. Point being I had not met the holding period for QDI yet so I was unsure of what Vanguard would do with it.

    100% QDI according to Vanguard. Can’t speak to how other brokerages may treat it.

    1. I’ve wondered about this issue from time to time, always assuming that the broker would get it right. Be easy enough to check back on some of my preferred purchases and see if they got the shortterm dividends correct, but in checking my 1099s against my spreadsheets I’ve never seen them split quarters between QD and Regular.. broker misclassifications falling through the cracks as in your case ~

      1. Brokers don’t always get dividends right. They especially have difficulty with foreign issues. Your 1099 will always split dividends into qualified and no-qualified but brokerage monthly statements may not.

    2. Can anyone comment on which broker’s compute the holding period and change the dividend accordingly?
      Vanguard sure doesn’t.

  54. Hot tip: FNFPA. Hasn’t traded in 4 years. 120 year old S&L with one branch. 28 cent (annual) dividend.

    11/21/2017 14:12:14 EST 8.00 150 OTCPK
    08/08/2016 9:59:25 EDT 8.00 100 OTCPK
    08/08/2016 9:59:20 EDT 9.96 10 OTCPK
    05/02/2016 14:09:12 EDT 10.00 100 OTCPK
    04/15/2016 16:26:08 EDT 5.00 50 OTCPK
    01/14/2016 14:31:05 EST 0.00001 15 OTCPK
    10/12/2015 12:58:21 EDT 10.00 154 OTCPK

      1. Put in that GTC order and sit back and wait! Maybe you can leave it to the great grandchildren.

      1. Bur, Dont lose sleep over it. Its one of those ding a ling preferred stocks created out of common equity about 14 years ago.. The bank wanted to “go dark” which means basically private with no need to file SEC forms.
        The bank had to shed shareholders to get under the amount to legally go dark, so some shareholders were converted into preferred share holders which dont count.
        The Certificate of Amendment to First Niles’s Certificate of Incorporation providing for the reclassification of shares (the “Reclassification”) of First Niles’s common stock held by shareholders who are the record holders of 300 or fewer shares of common stock into shares of First Niles’s Series A preferred stock were approved by First Niles’s shareholders on December 14, 2006 and became effective on December 20, 2006 upon the filing of a Certificate of Amendment with the Delaware Secretary of State. As a result of the Reclassification, 27,637 shares of First Niles common stock held by approximately 240 shareholders of record were reclassified to First Niles Series A preferred stock, on the basis of one share of Series A preferred stock for each share of common stock. After the Reclassification, the number of outstanding shares of First Niles common stock was 1,356,916 and the number of common shareholders of record was approximately 181. Additionally, after the Reclassification, the number of outstanding shares of First Niles Series A preferred stock was 27,637 and the number of Series A preferred shareholders of record was approximately 240.

        1. Grid – I was hoping you would do the research and you didn’t disappoint. This is one of quite a few tiny bank preferred that was issued to get shareholder figures below SEC reporting levels.

          One branch. It’s the Bailey Building and Loan. At one time they probably issued shares to new customers instead of a toaster.

          1. Forgive the tangent, but remember when gas stations handed out things like drinking glasses when you filled up?