The trailing 12-month default rate for leveraged loans ticked up to 1.5% in September (from 1.3% in August), driven by Samson Resources’ bankruptcy last month.
In a research note published Wednesday, Fitch Ratings noted Samson could be a “harbinger of additional defaults in the troubled commodity sectors over the rest of the year.”
Fitch cited three other companies that are candidates to file (Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Millennium Laboratories). Should those companies file this year, the rate would increase to 1.9%. Earlier in the year, Fitch forecasted the 2015 default rate would end up in the range of 1.5%-2%.
The firm also noted that the institutional loan market saw five defaults in August – the most since March 2014.