Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

Not so good old Yellow Pages

July 1, 2009

Hedge Hub readers shouldn’t have been too surprised by yesterday’s 15 percent slump in Yell’s share price.

rtr20jx8The directories firm — the one behind the UK’s Yellow Pages — faces months of talks with banks and shareholders after yesterday saying it plans to restructure its roughly 4 billion-pound debt burden for the second time in nine months.

Yell has had to battle a slump in classified advertising spending and a shift to online from print publications, and analysts have been predicting it could breach its covenants as soon as the start of next year.

Our blog on June 23, citing research from Dataexplorers, showed that Yell Group is among the top ten non-financial firms with the biggest net debt to equity ratios out of the 300 largest listed companies in the UK.

We also showed that Yell ranked 1st in Dataexplorers’ Negative Sentiment indicator, which highlights where stock out on loan — usually used for shorting — has been highest and is rising.

Some fund managers have been buying, and making money out of, companies whose share prices were trashed last year because refinancing looked difficult, but where access to funds have recently become easier.

However, firms treading too close to the edge — carrying massive debt burdens while trading is rocky — could find it a different story.

The research also highlighted Debenhams as being in the top ten for net debt to equity and 4th on the negative sentiment score, as well as several companies in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Which company is next in line for its share price to take a kicking because of its debt?


4 Billion pound debt is a big one.Very good monitoring is needed to get out of that


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see