Distressed Securities

Definition of 'Distressed Securities'


A financial instrument in a company that is near or is currently going through bankruptcy. This usually results from a company's inability to meet its financial obligations. As a result, these financial instruments have suffered a substantial reduction in value. Distressed securities can include common and preferred shares, bank debt, trade claims (goods owed) and corporate bonds.

Investopedia explains 'Distressed Securities'


Due to their reduction in value, distressed securities often become attractive to investors who are looking for a bargain and are willing to accept a risk. Because most of the time these companies end up filing for Chapter 11 or 7, there are substantial risks involved in investing in them. As a result of bankruptcy, equity (common shares) is rendered worthless so those who invest depressed securities look at more senior instruments such as bank debt, trade claims and bonds.

The logic behind this investment is that the company's situation is not as bad as the market believes it to be and either the company will survive or there will be enough money upon liquidation to cover the original investment.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Degree Of Financial Leverage - DFL

    A ratio that measures the sensitivity of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) to fluctuations in its operating income, as a result of changes in its capital structure. Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL) measures the percentage change in EPS for a unit change in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
  2. Jeff Bezos

    Self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for founding online retail giant Amazon.com.
  3. Re-fracking

    Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight oil deposits – where the shale products low yields – to extend their productivity.
  4. TIMP (acronym)

    'TIMP' is an acronym that stands for 'Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and Philippines.' Similar to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the acronym was coined by and investor/economist to group fast-growing emerging market economies in similar states of economic development.
  5. Pension Risk Transfer

    When a defined benefit pension provider offloads some or all of the plan’s risk – e.g.: retirement payment liabilities to former employee beneficiaries. The plan sponsor can do this by offering vested plan participants a lump-sum payment to voluntarily leave the plan, or by negotiating with an insurance company to take on the responsibility for paying benefits.
  6. XW

    A symbol used to signify that a security is trading ex-warrant. XW is one of many alphabetic qualifiers that act as a shorthand to tell investors key information about a specific security in a stock quote. These qualifiers should not be confused with ticker symbols, some of which, like qualifiers, are just one or two letters.
Trading Center