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In general, recovery values will vary with the types of assets and competitive conditions of the firm, as well as the economic environment at the time of bankruptcy. In addition, recovery rates will also vary across industries. For example, some manufacturing companies, such as petroleum and chemical companies, have assets with a high tangible value, such as plant, equipment, and land. These assets usually have a significant market value, even in the event of bankruptcy. In other industries, however, a company’s assets have less tangible value, and bondholders should expect low recovery rates.

The default loss rate is then the sum of the default loss of principal and the default loss of coupon. 2 was computed by the authors of the study as follows:20 18 A comparison of the default rates and default loss rates among the rating agencies, as well the Altman studies, is that different universes of bonds are sometimes used. 19 The most recent statistics at the time of this writing are reported in Michael T. Kender and Gabriella Petrucci, Altman Report on Defaults and Returns on High Yield Bonds: 2002 in Review and Market Outlook, Salomon Smith Barney (February 5, 2003).

Nammacher, Investing in Junk Bonds (New York: John Wiley, 1987). ). 17 Paul Asquith, David W. , and Eric D. Wolff, “Original Issue High Yield Bonds: Aging Analysis of Defaults, Exchanges, and Calls,” Journal of Finance (September 1989), pp. 923–952. 2 provides information about defaults or restructuring under distressed conditions from 1978–2002 for high-yield bonds in the United States and Canada. The information shown is the par value outstanding for the year, the amount defaulted, and the default rate.

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