Delaware High-Yield Opportunities Fund


Delaware High-Yield Opportunities Fund seeks total return and, as a secondary objective, high current income.


The Fund primarily invests in high yield corporate bonds. The Fund’s manager engages thorough credit research to attempt to capture the high yield bond market’s premium return potential.

Fund information
Inception date12/30/1996
Dividends paid (if any)Monthly
Capital gains paid (if any)December
Fund identifiers
Investment minimums
Initial investment$1,000
Subsequent Investments$100
Systematic withdrawal balance$5,000
Account features
Payroll DeductionYes

On Sept. 25, 2014, Class B shares of the Fund converted to Class A shares.

The performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.

Total returns may reflect waivers and/or expense reimbursements by the manager and/or distributor for some or all of the periods shown. Performance would have been lower without such waivers and reimbursements.

Average annual total return as of month-end (02/28/2015)
YTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)2.46%-0.32%6.86%8.86%7.08%7.21%12/30/1996
Max offer price-2.14%-4.85%5.26%7.87%6.59%6.94%
BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index3.09%2.84%7.61%9.15%7.80%n/a
Average annual total return as of quarter-end (12/31/2014)
QTDYTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)-3.31%-0.47%-0.47%8.32%8.54%7.00%7.13%12/30/1996
Max offer price-7.61%-4.85%-4.85%6.70%7.56%6.51%6.86%
BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index-1.06%2.51%2.51%8.36%8.85%7.61%n/a

Returns for less than one year are not annualized.

Class A shares have a maximum up-front sales charge of 4.50% and are subject to an annual distribution fee.

Expense ratio

Net expense ratio reflects a contractual waiver of certain fees and/or expense reimbursement from Nov. 28, 2014 through Nov. 30, 2015. Please see the fee table in the Fund's prospectus for more information.

Quarterly total returns @ NAV
Year1st quarter2nd quarter3rd quarter4th quarterAnnual return
Portfolio characteristics - as of 02/28/2015
Number of holdings235
Effective maturity (weighted average) (view definition)5.85 years
Effective duration (weighted average) (view definition)4.65 years
Annualized standard deviation, 3 years (view definition)4.89
SEC 30-day yield with waiver (view definition)5.36%
SEC 30-day yield without waiver (view definition)5.25%
Portfolio turnover (last fiscal year)105%
Portfolio composition as of 02/28/2015Total may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Foreign bonds24.5%
Cash and cash equivalents2.5%
Top 10 holdings as of 02/28/2015
Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.
List excludes cash and cash equivalents.
Holding% of portfolio
Intelsat Luxembourg S.A. 8.125 6/1/20231.3%
iHeartCommunications Inc. 9.000 9/15/20221.3%
Ally Financial Inc.1.1%
Digicel Group Ltd. 8.250 9/30/20201.0%
Landry's Inc. 9.375 5/1/20201.0%
CHS/Community Health Systems Inc. 6.875 2/1/20221.0%
BWAY Holding Co. 9.125 8/15/20210.9%
First Data Corp. 11.750 8/15/20210.9%
VTR Finance BV 6.875 1/15/20240.9%
Columbus International Inc. 7.375 3/30/20210.9%
Total % Portfolio in Top 10 holdings10.3%

Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.

Top sectors as of 02/28/2015
List excludes cash and cash equivalents.
Sector% of portfolio
Basic industry11.7%
Capital goods7.2%
Technology & electric5.1%
Distribution history - annual distributions (Class A)1,2
Distributions ($ per share)
YearCapital gains3Net investment

1If a Fund makes a distribution from any source other than net income, it is required to provide shareholders with a notice disclosing the source of such distribution (each a "Notice"). The amounts and sources of distributions reported above and in each Notice are only estimates and are not provided for tax reporting purposes. Each Fund will send each shareholder a Form 1099 DIV for the calendar year that will provide definitive information on how to report the Fund's distributions for federal income tax purposes. The information in the table above will not be updated to reflect any subsequent recharacterization of dividends and distributions. Click here to see recent Notices pertaining to the Fund (if any).

2Information on return of capital distributions (if any) is only provided from June 1, 2014 onward.

3Includes both short- and long-term capital gains.

Paul Matlack

Paul Matlack, CFA

Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Fixed Income Strategist

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 29

(View bio)

Craig Dembeck

Craig C. Dembek, CFA

Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Credit Research, Senior Research Analyst

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 20

(View bio)

John McCarthy

John P. McCarthy, CFA

Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Credit Research, Senior Research Analyst

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 28

(View bio)

Christopher Testa

Christopher M. Testa, CFA

Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager

Start date on the Fund: June 2014

Years of industry experience: 28

(View bio)

Adam Brown

Adam H. Brown, CFA

Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Start date on the Fund: November 2014

Years of industry experience: 16

(View bio)

You may qualify for sales-charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in Delaware Investments® Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial advisor, in the Fund's prospectus under the section entitled "About your account," and in the Fund's statement of additional information (SAI) under the section entitled "Purchasing Shares."

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.

Shareholder fees
Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases as a percentage of offering price4.50%
Maximum contingent deferred sales charge (load) as a percentage of original purchase price or redemption price, whichever is lowernone
Annual fund operating expenses
Management fees0.64%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees0.25%
Other expenses0.22%
Total annual fund operating expenses1.11%
Fee waivers and expense reimbursements(0.06%)
Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waivers and expense reimbursements1.05%

1The Fund's investment manager, Delaware Management Company (Manager), has contractually agreed to waive all or a portion of its investment advisory fees and/or pay/reimburse expenses (excluding any 12b-1 fees, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, interest, short sale and dividend interest expenses, brokerage fees, certain insurance costs, and nonroutine expenses or costs, including, but not limited to, those relating to reorganizations, litigation, conducting shareholder meetings, and liquidations) in order to prevent total annual fund operating expenses from exceeding 0.80% of the Fund's average daily net assets from Nov. 28, 2014 through Nov. 30, 2015. These waivers and reimbursements may only be terminated by agreement of the Manager and the Fund. Additionally, the Fund's Class A shares are subject to a blended 12b-1 fee of 0.10% on all shares acquired prior to June 1, 1992 and 0.25% on all shares acquired on or after June 1, 1992. All Class A shares currently bear 12b1-fees at the same rate, the blended rate based on the forumula described above. This method of calculating Class A 12b-1 fees may be discontinued at the sole discretion of the Fund's Board of Trustees.

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Delaware High-Yield Opportunities Fund Quarterly commentary December 31, 2014


High yield bonds returned -1.0% during the fourth quarter of 2014, pulling down year-to-date returns to just 2.45%. Despite a backdrop of lower interest rates and rallying equity prices, falling oil prices continued to take their toll, driving the market’s largest sector down 6.6% in December and down 11.4% for the quarter. The declines accelerated fund outflows during the final month of the quarter, which led to selling pressure and price drops across all industry sectors. Returns were correlated with credit quality during the period, with BB-rated issues returning 0.4%, followed by B-rated issues at -1.9%, and CCC-rated issues at -3.8%. High yield bond yields rose 73 basis points to 7.13%, while spreads rose 79 basis points to 571 basis points. (A basis point equals one one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

While higher-quality U.S. bonds and equities enjoyed a strong fourth quarter, it was a “risk-off” period for high yield and lower-quality non-U.S. debt and equities. With economic data continuing to support modest, noninflationary growth in the United States, and with the U.S. Federal Reserve signaling continued patience on rates, the 10-year Treasury gained 3.63%, investment grade bonds returned 1.82%, and the S&P 500® Index rose 4.93%. In contrast, U.S. high yield, global high yield, emerging market debt, and emerging market equities returned -1.5%, -2.1%, -1.7%, and -4.6%, respectively.

While overseas markets suffered from (and U.S. markets benefited from) a flight to quality triggered by low euro-zone growth, slowing China growth, Russian financial and geopolitical turmoil, and the relative attractiveness of Treasury yields, for U.S. high yield the story was all about energy. Oil was down $12.99 a barrel in December, and down nearly $38 a barrel, or 42%, during all of 2014, which dragged high yield energy bonds down 6.6% in December and down nearly 19% since the end of August. With an index weight (within the J.P. Morgan Domestic High Yield Index) of 17.6%, declines of this magnitude can drive overall returns into negative territory, spark retail fund redemptions, and trigger more widespread price declines as fund managers tap liquid issues and sectors to raise cash. Investors redeemed $6.9 billion in December alone, which coincided with weak seasonal liquidity in the market to help close the quarter in negative territory. (Data: Barclays, Bloomberg.)

Within the Fund

For the fourth quarter of 2014, Delaware High-Yield Opportunities Fund (Class A and Institutional Class shares at net asset value) underperformed its benchmark, the BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index.

The Fund’s leading sector contributors were media, leisure, and consumer goods, while the leading individual contributors were DS Services (mineral water), Cablevision Systems (cable TV), and The Pantry (convenience stores). DS Services gained on the closing of its acquisition by Cott Corporation, Cablevision Systems gained on strong third-quarter cash flow generation, and The Pantry gained on news of its acquisition by Couche-Tard.

Meanwhile, the Fund’s largest detractors on a relative basis during the fourth quarter were energy, healthcare, and telecommunications. Bottom individual names were Midstates Petroleum (energy exploration and production), Key Energy (oilfield services), and SandRidge Energy (energy E&P). Midstates, Key Energy, and Sandridge all declined due to the nearly 50% drop in oil prices since mid-June.


The collapse in the price of oil has a number of implications for the high yield market. First, it should help anchor inflation and give the Fed cover to remain patient on rates, while also providing a modest stimulus to consumer spending. This supports a moderate, noninflationary growth outlook that is positive overall for profits and stocks, and benign for interest rates. Historically, these conditions have been constructive for high yield bonds.

However, sustained low oil prices also will likely mean depressed energy sector profits and capital spending, and for overleveraged high yield energy names, particularly smaller companies with less financial flexibility and/or less attractive asset bases, this will likely mean a rise in defaults.

High yield spreads currently point to a 10% default rate in energy and a 5% default rate for the market as a whole. Assuming the economy stays on the course described above, we believe we are likely to see significant value in nonenergy sectors of the market and, selectively, among specific energy names with the capitalization and flexibility to ride out this stage of the cycle.

The S&P 500 Index measures the performance of 500 mostly large-cap stocks weighted by market value, and is often used to represent performance of the U.S. stock market.

The J.P. Morgan Domestic High Yield Index is designed to mirror the investable universe of the U.S.-dollar domestic high yield corporate debt market.

Bond ratings are determined by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO).

Per Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency, bonds rated below AAA are more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than those in higher-rated categories, but the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong. Bonds rated BBB exhibit adequate protection parameters, although adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments. Bonds rated BB, B, and CCC are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics with BB indicating the least degree of speculation of the three.


The views expressed represent the Manager's assessment of the Fund and market environment as of the date indicated, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any security, and should not be relied on as research or investment advice. Information is as of the date indicated and subject to change.

Document must be used in its entirety.

Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus and its summary prospectus, which may be obtained by clicking the prospectus link located in the right-hand sidebar or calling 800 523-1918. Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Fixed income securities and bond funds can lose value, and investors can lose principal, as interest rates rise. They also may be affected by economic conditions that hinder an issuer’s ability to make interest and principal payments on its debt.

The Fund may also be subject to prepayment risk, the risk that the principal of a fixed income security that is held by the Fund may be prepaid prior to maturity, potentially forcing the Fund to reinvest that money at a lower interest rate.

High yielding, noninvestment grade bonds (junk bonds) involve higher risk than investment grade bonds.

The high yield secondary market is particularly susceptible to liquidity problems when institutional investors, such as mutual funds and certain other financial institutions, temporarily stop buying bonds for regulatory, financial, or other reasons. In addition, a less liquid secondary market makes it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

International investments entail risks not ordinarily associated with U.S. investments including fluctuation in currency values, differences in accounting principles, or economic or political instability in other nations.

Investing in emerging markets can be riskier than investing in established foreign markets due to increased volatility and lower trading volume.

Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value

Fund Finder

Daily pricing (as of 03/27/2015)

Class APriceNet changeYTD
NAV$4.07no chg2.18%
Max offer price$4.26n/an/a

Total net assets (as of 02/28/2015)

$575.2 million all share classes

Overall Morningstar RatingTM

Load waived

With load

Class A shares (as of 02/28/2015)

Load waivedWith loadNo. of funds
3 Yrs32596
5 Yrs42501
10 Yrs33350
Morningstar categoryHigh Yield Bond

(View Morningstar disclosure)

Lipper ranking (as of 02/28/2015)

YTD ranking436 / 686
1 year532 / 624
3 years196 / 497
5 years104 / 415
10 years72 / 282
Lipper classificationHigh Yield Funds

(View Lipper disclosure)

Benchmark, peer group

BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index (view)

Lipper High Yield Funds Average (view)

Additional information