Corporate Bonds

What are Corporate Bonds?

Corporate Bonds are fixed income securities issued by corporations with promised fixed payments in a periodic manner. These fixed payments are again segregated into two components, namely the coupon and the notional or face value. When a corporate bond is issued by the organization, the organization accepts the fixed amount from the investors at an issue price, which may be more or less than the notional depending on the market conditions. When the issue amount determined by the issue price is greater than the national, the bonds are said to be trading at a premium, and the vice-versa phenomena are considered as a discount bond. Corporate bonds are listed into different types based on the riskiness and the terms of the bond.

Corporate Bonds

List of Top 5 Types of Corporate Bonds

Below is the list of the most common types of Corporate Bonds

#1 – Senior Bonds

These bonds guarantee a preliminary claim to the investors on the company’s assets should the company go out of business. In other words, the holders of senior bonds receive payments even before the shareholders are paid.

#2 – Senior Secured

These secured bonds are backed by the issuing organization’s properties or assets, and the investors have a claim on the stated assets or properties. Hence, they are ahead of other lenders in the queue to be repaid.

#3 – Senior Unsecured

These types of corporate bonds are not backed by any guarantee and hence riskier than the senior secured type, but they are less risky than the other unsecured bonds held by the investors down the line in the repayment queue. They stand ahead of the unsecured bondholders in the repayment queue.

#4 – Subordinated

This type of subordinated bondholders receives their payments from the company once the above three bondholders are paid. However, they still receive their payments ahead of other creditors and shareholders.

#5 – Convertible Bonds

These convertible bonds can be converted into a fixed number of a company’s shares at a set price, as mentioned in the bond term sheet. These bonds have dual characteristics of fixed payments for a while, and capital appreciation once converted into shares.

Price and Yield to Maturity (YTM) of a Corporate Bond

The price and its corresponding yield of a bond are determined by the following factors.

  1. Demand for the bond in the market: It is the open interest expressed in the form of a bid and asks prices quoted in the market.
  2. Ratings are assigned to the bond by credit rating agencies like Moodys, Fitch, and S&P.
  3. Age of the bond: It denotes the number of years left to maturity. The general price tendency is that its price pulls to the par value (face value) as the maturity is nearing.

The corresponding yield of the bond for the quoted price is the rate that is used to discount the future cash flows such that its value is equal to the current price of the bond. It is calculated through the following formula.

Bond Price = Coupon1/(1+YTM)1  + Coupon2/(1+YTM)2  + …… Coupon n/ (1 + YTM)n + Face value/(1+YTM)n

Solving for YTM in the above equation gives the Yield to maturity of the bond. YTM assumes a single rate used to discount all the cash flows so that the present value of all the cash flows discounted at YTM gives the current market price of the bond.

Example

Compute the YTM of a 20 year bond of $1000 per value with a 6% coupon rate, which is trading at a price of $ 802.07.

Solution:

Coupon C = 0.06 * 1000 = 60

802.07 = ∑ t =120 60/ (1+YTM) t + 1000/ (1+YTM) 20

Computing YTM through a trial and error or solver in excel gives the result

YTM = 8.019%

Price-Yield Relationship of Corporate Bonds

Price and yields share an inverse relationship with each other in a way that as the price increases, the yield tends to decrease and vice-versa.

Price-YTM

The slope of the above graph demonstrates the sensitivity of the bond. This slope is called the effective duration of the bond. In other words, effective duration measures the price sensitivity of the bond to the change in yield. It is defined as the average change in the price of the bond for a 1% change in the yield.

The formula for the effective duration is given as follows:

Effective Duration = (V –  V+)/2V0Δy
  • V= Value of the bond when the yield is decreased
  • V+ = Value of the bond with an increase in yield.
  • V0 = Original Value of the bond
  • Δy = Change in the yield.

Features of Corporate Bonds

The following are the features of Corporate Bonds.

#1 – The spread of Corporate Bonds

Corporate bonds are usually riskier than the government bonds that are issued by federal governments or local bodies like municipalities etc. Since it is riskier, the return expected by a rational investor is more compared to government bonds, which are reflected in their high YTMs compared to government bonds.  The additional yield required by the investor compared to the government bonds is called the spread.

#2 – Embedded Options in a Corporate Bond

Some of the corporate bonds come with call and put features embedded with them as declared by the issuer of the corporate bonds.

A callable bond is redeemed before the maturity of the bond when the price of the bond reaches the call price. A call price is a stated price at which the bond can be called back by the issuer repaying the face value to the investor before maturity.  The price of a callable bond is generally low to the comparable non-callable bond because of the risk to the investor that the callable bond can be called well before maturity.

A puttable bond is an embedded option in the bond contract, which renders protection to the investor when the price of the bond goes below the issue price. A buyer of the putable bond is insured to the price decrement of the bond when interest rates rise and hence beneficial to the bondholder. Hence, the price of the putable bond is high compared to the normal straight bond. Therefore, the puttable bond is redeemed at put price even though the bond price goes below the put price before maturity on the put date.

Conclusion

Most organizations prefer corporate bonds to long terms loans for raising money as they offer beneficial features for both investors and borrowers while they are actively traded on the secondary market as well. Therefore, they constitute a strong component of a company’s capital structure.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Corporate Bonds. Here we discuss the list of top 5 types of Corporate Bonds along with Price- Yield relationship and the maturity of these bonds. Here we also discuss some features of corporate bonds. You can learn more about accounting from the following articles –

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