Is CXHYX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

Any investors hoping to find a Muni - Bonds fund could think about starting with Delaware National High Yield Municipals A (CXHYX). CXHYX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes CXHYX as Muni - Bonds, which is a segment packed with options. Muni - Bonds funds invest in debt securities issued by states or local municipalities. These are generally used to finance construction of infrastructure, pay for schools, or other government functions. Some are backed by taxes (revenue bonds), while others are " general obligation " and may not be backed by a defined source. Investors usually appreciate the tax benefits that come with many municipal bonds, which are especially impressive for those in high tax brackets.

History of Fund/Manager

Delaware Investments is based in Philadelphia, PA, and is the manager of CXHYX. Delaware National High Yield Municipals A made its debut in September of 1986, and since then, CXHYX has accumulated about $212.14 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 5.27%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 7.1%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Over the past three years, CXHYX's standard deviation comes in at 2.81%, compared to the category average of -14.91%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 3.72% compared to the category average of -3.21%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Bond Duration

Modified duration is a measure of a specific bond's interest rate sensitivity, and is an excellent way to judge how fixed income securities will respond to a shifting rate environment.

For investors who think interest rates will rise, this is an important factor to consider. CXHYX has a modified duration of 6.23, which suggests that the fund will decline 6.23% for every hundred-basis-point increase in interest rates.

Income

We must remember to consider the fund's average coupon, as income is traditionally a big reason for purchasing a fixed income security. Average coupon is a look at the average payout by the fund in a given year. For example, this fund's average coupon of 5.64% means that a $10,000 investment should result in a yearly payout of $564.

While a higher coupon is good for when you want a strong level of current income, it could present a reinvestment risk if rates are lower in the future when compared to the initial purchase date of the bond.

Since income is just one part of the bond picture, investors need to consider risk relative to broad benchmarks. This fund has a beta of 0.74, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, CXHYX has a positive alpha of 1.37, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Ratings

Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, CXHYX has 29.78% in medium quality bonds, with ratings of 'A' to 'BBB'. The fund's junk bond component-bonds rated 'BB' or below-is at 20.65%, giving CXHYX an average quality of BBB. This means that it focuses on medium quality securities.

However, it is worth noting that 37 % of the bonds in this fund are not ranked, so take the average quality level with a bit of caution.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, CXHYX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.85% compared to the category average of 0.69%. CXHYX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Delaware National High Yield Municipals A ( CXHYX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, Delaware National High Yield Municipals A ( CXHYX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Muni - Bonds area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into CXHYX too for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Get Your Free (CXHYX): Fund Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Tags

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.