Semiannual Coupons

In practice, bonds issued in the United States usually make coupon payments twice a year. So, if an ordinary bond has a coupon rate of 14 percent, then the owner will get a total of $140 per year, but this $140 will come in two payments of $70 each. Suppose we are examining such a bond. The yield to maturity is quoted at 16 percent.

Bond yields are quoted like APRs; the quoted rate is equal to the actual rate per period multiplied by the number of periods. In this case, with a 16 percent quoted yield and semiannual payments, the true yield is 8 percent per six months. The bond matures in seven years. What is the bond's price? What is the effective annual yield on this bond?

Based on our discussion, we know the bond will sell at a discount because it has a coupon rate of 7 percent every six months when the market requires 8 percent every six months. So, if our answer exceeds $1,000, we know that we have made a mistake.

To get the exact price, we first calculate the present value of the bond's face value of $1,000 paid in seven years. This seven-year period has 14 periods of six months each. At 8 percent per period, the value is:

Present value = $1,000/1.0814 = $1,000/2.9372 = $340.46

The coupons can be viewed as a 14-period annuity of $70 per period. At an 8 percent discount rate, the present value of such an annuity is:

Annuity present value = $70 X (1 - 1/1.0814)/.08 = $70 X (1 - .3405)/.08 = $70 X 8.2442 = $577.10

The total present value gives us what the bond should sell for:

To calculate the effective yield on this bond, note that 8 percent every six months is equivalent to:

Effective annual rate = (1 + .08)2 - 1 = 16.64% The effective yield, therefore, is 16.64 percent.

As we have illustrated in this section, bond prices and interest rates always move in opposite directions. When interest rates rise, a bond's value, like any other present value, will decline. Similarly, when interest rates fall, bond values rise. Even if we are considering a bond that is riskless in the sense that the borrower is certain to make all the payments, there is still risk in owning a bond. We discuss this next.

Follow the "Other Investment" link at investorguide.com to learn more about bonds..

Ross et al.: Fundamentals I III. Valuation of Future I 7. Interest Rates and Bond I I © The McGraw-Hill of Corporate Finance, Sixth Cash Flows Valuation Companies, 2002

Edition, Alternate Edition

206 PART THREE Valuation of Future Cash Flows

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