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ISSUING BONDS. A bond is a written promise to pay a specific amount of money at a
certain date in the future or periodically over the course of a lo an, during
which time interest is paid at a fixed rate on specified dates. Should the
holder of the bond wish to get back money before the note is due, the bond may
be sold to someone else. When the bond reaches “maturity”, the company promises
to pay back the principal at its face value.
Bonds are desirable for the company because the interest rate is lower than in most
other types of – borrowing. Also, interest paid on bonds is a tax deductible
business expense for the corporation. The disadvantage is tha t interest
payments ordinarily are made on bonds even when no profits are earned. For this
reason, a smaller corporation can seldom raise much capital by issuing bonds.
SALES OF COMMON STOCK. Holders of bonds have lent money to the company, but they have no voice in its affairs, nor do they share in profits or losses. Quite the
reverse is true for what are known as “equity” investors who buy common stock.
They own shares in the corporation and have certain legal rights including, in
most cases, the right to vote for the board of directors who actually manage
But they receive no dividends until interest payments are made on outstanding
If a company’s financial health is good and its assets sufficient, it can create
capital by voting to iss ue additional shares of common stock. For a large
company, an investment banker agrees to guarantee the purchase of a new stock
issue at a set price. If the market refuses to buy the issue at a minimum
price, the banker will take them and absorb the loss. Like printing paper
money, issuing too much stock diminishes the basic value of each share.