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Laboratory Corp. of America

Busy Bond Issuance as Five Companies Price Nearly $3 Billion

Companies with an eye on the debt markets often ease off from late August to Labor Day, but a fervor to lock in low rates added another $2.85 billion to the monthly tally Monday.Five companies sold high-grade bonds, pushing August issuance to $52 billion, according to data provider Dealogic. In August 2011, just $39.6 billion was priced.Monday's session was led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s (JPM) $1.1 billion issue of subordinate preferred notes. They were offered in $25 denominations and were priced to yield 5.5%.An early term sheet indicated the bank would sell $500 million at around 5.625%, but heavy demand enabled the deal size to more than double, even as its yield was cut.Ryan Newth, director of corporate syndicate at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, noted the J.P. Morgan preferreds were directed toward the retail sector, where a swath of money is waiting for such deals because much of the outstanding volume was called back by banks, citing regulatory changes."A lot of money [is] earma...

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