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A growing number of junk-rated corporations, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., are losing money even before they pay interest and other necessary expenses like taxes. They’re covering those costs with cash they still have and with more borrowing in the bond and loan markets, where investors are willing to bet that companies will recover relatively fast after Covid-19 vaccines arrive.

In the latest quarter, the number of junk-rated corporations that borrow in U.S. dollars and lost money before paying interest and other required expenses, known as having negative EBITDA, reached an eye-popping 47, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis. That’s nearly double the level in the second quarter, out of a universe of about 600 borrowers.

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