Municipal bonds ended stronger on Wednesday as large deals from issuers in New Jersey and California hit the market.

Primary Market

Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority's $589.65 million of Series 2017A revenue and refunding bonds for the Meridian Health Obligated Group.

The issue was priced to yield from 1.49% with 3% and 5% coupons in a split 2020 maturity to 4% at par in 2040. A 2047 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 4.03%, a split 2052 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 4.09% and as 5s to yield 3.86% and a split 2057 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 3.96% and as 5 1/4s to yield 3.89%.

The deal is rated A-plus by S&P Global Ratings and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings.

Since 2007, the New Jersey HCFFA has sold about $8.02 billion of bonds, with the most issuance occurring in 2016 when it offered $1.61 billion of debt, one of only two times in that period it has sold more than $1 billion in a year. The authority had a low year of issuance back in 2012, when it sold $172 million.

Citigroup priced the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency's $150.27 million of multi-family revenue bonds.

The $32.08 million of Series 2017A bonds not subject to the alternative minimum tax were priced at par to yield from 1.35% in 2018 to 3.20% in 2028, 3.70% in 2032, 3.90% in 2037, 4.05% in 2042, 4.10% in 2047% and 4.20% in 2050.

The $56.01 million of Series 2017B non-AMT bonds were priced at par to yield 1.65% and 1.75% in a split 202 maturity and 2% in 2021.

The $47.78 million of Series 2017D AMT bonds were priced at par to yield from 1.25% in 2017 to 3.50% in 2028, 3.90% in 2032, 4.25% in 2037, 4.35% in 2042 and 4.45% in 2048.

The $14.4 million of Series 2017C taxable bonds were priced at par to yield from 1.50% in 2017 to 3.718% in 2028, 4.218% in 2032, 4.698% in 2037, 4.868% in 2047 and 4.968% in 2051.

The bonds are rated AA-minus by S&P.

BAML priced the California State Public Works Board's $537.53 million of Series 2017 B&C various capital lease revenue refunding bonds for retail investors ahead of the institutional pricing on Thursday.

The $382.62 million of Series 2017B bonds were priced for retail as 5s to yield from 0.85% in 2017 to 2.96% in 2030. No retail orders were taken in the 2028-2029 maturities.

The $154.91 million of Series 2017C bonds were priced for retail to yield from 0.90% with a 3% coupon in 2018 to 3.28% with a 5% coupon in 2035.

The deal is rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service and A-plus by S&P and Fitch.

Wells Fargo Securities priced the California Municipal Finance Authority's $126.82 million of revenue bonds for the University of La Verne.

The $118.35 million of Series 2017A tax-exempts were priced to yield from 1.04% with a 4% coupon in 2018 to 3.91% with a 3.75% coupon in 2037; a 2043 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 3.55% and a 2047 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 4.03%.

The $8.47 million of Series 2017B taxables were priced at par to yield from 1.95% in 2018 to 2.80% in 2021.

The deal is rated A3 by Moody's and A-minus by Fitch.

RBC Capital Markets received the written award on the San Joaquin County Transportation Authority, Calif.'s $209.08 million of Series 2017 Measure K limited tax sales tax revenue refunding bonds.

The issue was priced to yield from 0.80% with a 2% coupon in 2018 to 3.11% with a 5% coupon in 2037; a split 2041 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 3.64% and as 5s to yield 3.17%.

The deal is rated AA by S&P and Fitch.

Goldman Sachs priced Philadelphia's $280.94 million of Series 2017A water and wastewater revenue bonds.

The issue was priced as 5s to yield 1.15% in 2018 and 1.26% in 2019, to yield from 3.19% in 2032 to 3.44% in 2037, and to yield 3.53% in 2042 and 3.61% in 2047. A split 2052 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 3.73% and as 5 1/4s to yield 3.65%.

The deal is rated A1 by Moody's and A-plus by S&P and Fitch.

Jefferies priced the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp.'s $336.33 million of Series 2017B taxable state clean water and drinking water revolving funds revenue bonds for New York City Municipal Water Authority projects, second resolution bonds.

The taxables were priced at par to yield from 1.271%, about 25 basis points above the comparable Treasury security, in 2018 to 3.916%, about 90 basis points above the comparable Treasury security, in 2036.

The deal is rated triple-A by Moody's, S&P and Fitch.

BAML received the written award on the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust's $303.63 million of state revolving fund Series 20 green bonds and Series 2017 refunding bonds.

The $207.35 million of Series 20 green bonds were priced to yield from 0.80% with a 4% coupon in 2018 to 2.91% with a 5% coupon in 2037. A 2042 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 2.98% and a 2047 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 3.03%.

The $96.28 million of refunding bonds were priced as 5s to yield from 1.44% in 2021 to 2.68% in 2029.

The deal is rated triple-A by Moody's, S&P and Fitch.

On Thursday, Citigroup is expected to price Massachusetts' $778 million general obligation bond offering. That deal is comprised of $400 million of Series 2017A GO, $278 million of Series 2017C refunding bonds and $100 million of Series 2017B GO green bonds.

The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody's and AA-plus by S&P and Fitch.

Secondary Market

The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation fell two basis points to 2.20% from 2.22% on Tuesday, while the 30-year GO yield dropped one basis point to 3.00% from 3.01%, according to the final read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were narrowly mixed on Wednesday. The yield on the two-year was unchanged from 1.25% on Tuesday, while the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.36% from 2.35%, and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond increased to 3.01% from 2.99%.

The 10-year muni to Treasury ratio was calculated at 93.6% on Wednesday compared to 94.5% on Tuesday, while the 30-year muni to Treasury ratio stood at 99.9%, versus 100.6%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous Session's Activity

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 45,340 trades on Tuesday on volume of $10.82 billion.

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Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman is a markets reporter for The Bond Buyer, focusing on the sell side of the municipal bond market.
Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.