Companies that issued convertible debt during the hot first quarter may be paying interest on those securities longer than initially hoped. The stock prices of many of the companies are now so far below the conversion prices that it may be quite some time before the holders can convert their debt into equity. Of the 19 converts priced in the first two-and-a-half months of the year, 15 (79 percent) are under water (see "Forever Indebted?," linked).