Stockholders' Equity: Classes of Capital Stock
Read this chapter, which introduces longterm bonds, their value, how they compare with stock. Some companies expand using stock, while some use debt (bonds). The example exercises refer to Appendix A, which is included here.
Bond prices and interest rates
The price of a bond issue often differs from its face value. The amount a bond sells for above face value is a premium. The amount a bond sells for below face value is a discount. A difference between face value and issue price exists whenever the market rate of interest for similar bonds differs from the contract rate of interest on the bonds. The effective interest rate (also called the yield) is the minimum rate of interest that investors accept on bonds of a particular risk category. The higher the risk category, the higher the minimum rate of interest that investors accept. The contract rate of interest is also called the stated, coupon, or nominal rate. Firms state this rate in the bond indenture, print it on the face of each bond, and use it to determine the amount of cash paid each interest period. The market rate fluctuates from day to day, responding to factors such as the interest rate the Federal Reserve Board charges banks to borrow from it; government actions to finance the national debt; and the supply of, and demand for, money.
Market and contract rates of interest are likely to differ. Issuers must set the contract rate before the bonds are actually sold to allow time for such activities as printing the bonds. Assume, for instance, that the contract rate for a bond issue is set at 12 percent. If the market rate is equal to the contract rate, the bonds will sell at their face value. However, by the time the bonds are sold, the market rate could be higher or lower than the contract rate. As shown in Exhibit 43, if the market rate is lower than the contract rate, the bonds will sell for more than their face value. Thus, if the market rate is 10 percent and the contract rate is 12 percent, the bonds will sell at a premium as the result of investors bidding up their price. However, if the market rate is higher than the contract rate, the bonds will sell for less than their face value. Thus, if the market rate is 14 percent and the contract rate is 12 percent, the bonds will sell at a discount. Investors are not interested in bonds bearing a contract rate less than the market rate unless the price is reduced. Selling bonds at a premium or a discount allows the purchasers of the bonds to earn the market rate of interest on their investment.
Computing longterm bond prices involves finding present values using
compound interest. The appendix to this chapter explains the concepts of future
value and present value. If you do not understand the present value concept, read the
appendix before continuing with this section.
Buyers and sellers negotiate a price that yields the going rate of interest for bonds of a particular risk class. The price investors pay for a given bond issue is equal to the present value of the bonds. To compute present value, we discount the promised cash flows from the bonds – principal and interest using the market, or effective, rate. We use the market rate because the bonds must yield at least this rate or investors are attracted to alternative investments. The life of the bonds is stated in interest (compounding) periods. The interest rate is the effective rate per interest period, which is found by dividing the annual rate by the number of times interest is paid per year. For example, if the annual rate is 12 percent, the semiannual rate would be 6 percent.
Issuers usually quote bond prices as percentages of face value – 100 means 100 percent of face value, 97 means 97 percent of face value, and 103 means 103 percent of face value. For example, one hundred USD 1,000 face value bonds issued at 103 have a price of USD 103,000. Regardless of the issue price, at maturity the issuer of the bonds must pay the investor(s) the face value of the bonds.
Market Rate 
Contract Rate 


Bonds sell at a premium if market rate < contract rate  10%  12% 
Bonds sell at a face value if market rate = contract rate  12%  12% 
Bonds sell at a discount if market rate > contract rate 
14%  12% 
Exhibit 43: Bond premiums and discounts
Bonds issued at face value The following example illustrates the specific steps in computing the price of bonds. Assume Carr Company issues 12 percent bonds with a USD 100,000 face value to yield 12 percent. Dated and issued on 2010 June 30, the bonds call for semiannual interest payments on June 30 and December 31 and mature on 2013 June 30. The bonds would sell at face value because they offer 12 percent and investors seek 12 percent. Potential purchasers have no reason to offer a premium or demand a discount. One way to prove the bonds would be sold at face value is by showing that their present value is USD 100,000:
Cash Flow x Present value Factor  = Present value  

Principal of $100,000 due in six interest periods multiplied by present value factor for 6% from Table A.3 of the Appendix (end of text)  $100,000 X 0.70496  =$70,496 
Interest of $6,000 due at the end of six interest periods multiplied by present value factor for 6% from Table A.4 of the Appendix (end of text)  6,000 X 4.91732  =29,504 
Total price (present value)  $100,000 
According to this schedule, investors who seek an effective rate of 6 percent per sixmonth period should pay USD 100,000 for these bonds. Notice that the same number of interest periods and semiannual interest rates occur in discounting both the principal and interest payments to their present values. The entry to record the sale of these bonds on 2010 June 30, debits Cash and credits Bonds Payable for USD 100,000.
An accounting perspective:
Business insight
Some persons estimate that Social Security will be broke by the year
2025 unless changes are made. Therefore, you may want to set aside
funds during your working career to provide for retirement.
Over the last 60 years, the inflation rate has averaged about 3 percent
per year, treasury bills have averaged a little under 4 percent per year,
corporate bonds have averaged about a little over 5 percent per year,
and stocks have averaged a little over 10 percent per year. Using the
tables at the end of the text we can determine how much you would
have at age 65 if you invested USD 2,000 each year for 45 years in
treasury bills, corporate bonds, or stocks, beginning at age 20.
To do this calculation for treasury bills, for instance, we would first
use Table A.2 to determine the future value of an annuity of USD
2,000 for 30 periods at 4 percent (USD 2,000 X 56.08494 = USD 112,170). (We would have used 45 periods, but the table only went up
to 30 periods.) Then we would use Table A.1 to find the value of this
lump sum of USD 112,170 for another 15 years at 4 percent (USD
112,170 X 1.80094 = USD 202,011). Then we cannot forget that we
have another 15 years of USD 2,000 annuity to consider. Thus, we go
back to Table A.2 and calculate the future value of an annuity of USD
2,000 for 15 periods at 4 percent (USD 2,000 X 20.02359 = USD
40,047). Then we add the USD 202,011 and the USD 40,047 to get the
total future value of USD 242,058. (You would have invested USD
2,000 X 45 years = USD 90,000.) Would you be pleased? Not when
you see what you could have had at age 65 if you invested in stocks.
If you had invested in corporate bonds at 5 percent, you would have
USD 319,401. However, if you had invested in stocks at 10 percent,
you would have USD 1,437,810 at age 65. Can you use the tables in the
back of the text to verify these amounts?
Bonds issued at a discount Assume the USD 100,000, 12 percent Carr bonds are sold to yield a current market rate of 14% annual interest, or 7 percent per semiannual period. Carr computes the present value (selling price) of the bonds as follows:
Cash Flow x Present value Factor  = Present value  

Principal of $100,000 due in six interest periods multiplied by present value factor for 7% from Table A.3 of the Appendix (end of text)  $100,00 0 X0.66630  =$66,634 
Interest of $6,000 due at the end of six interest periods multiplied by present value factor for 7% from Table A.4 of the Appendix (end of text)  6,000 X4.76654  =28,559 
Total price (present value)  $95,233 
Note that in computing the present value of the bonds, Carr uses the actual USD 6,000 cash interest payment that will be made each period. The amount of cash the company pays as interest does not depend on the market interest rate. However, the market rate per semiannual period – 7 percent – does change, and Carr uses this new rate to find interest factors in the tables.
The journal entry to record issuance of the bonds is:
2010 June 30  Cash (+A)  95,233 
Discount on bonds payable (L; Contraaccount)  4,767  
Bonds payable (+L)  100,000  
To record bonds issued at a discount. 
In recording the bond issue, Carr credits Bonds Payable for the face value of the debt. The company debits the difference between face value and price received to Discount on Bonds Payable, a contra account to Bonds Payable. Carr reports the bonds payable and discount on bonds payable in the balance sheet as follows:
Longterm liabilities:  
Bonds payable, 12%, due 2009 June 30  $100,000  
Less: Discount on bonds payable  4,767  $95,233 
The USD 95,233 is the carrying value, or net liability, of the bonds. Carrying value is the face value of the bonds minus any unamortized discount or plus any unamortized premium. The next section discusses unamortized premium on bonds payable.
Bonds issued at a premium Assume that Carr issued the USD 100,000 face value of 12 percent bonds to yield a current market rate of 10 percent. The bonds would sell at a premium calculated as follows:
Cash Flow x Present value Factor  = Present value  

Principal of $100,000 due in six interest periods multiplied by present value factor for 5% from Table A.3 of the Appendix (end of text)  $100,00
0
X 0.74622 
=$74,622 
Interest of $6,000 due at the end of
six interest periods multiplied by
present value factor for 5% from
Table A.4 of the Appendix (end of
text) 
6,000 X 5.07569 
=30,454 
Total price (present value) 
$105,076 
The journal entry to record the issuance of the bonds is:
2010 June 30  Cash (+A)  105,076 
Bonds payable (+L)  100,000  
Premium on bonds payable (+L)  5,076  
To record bonds issued at a premium. 
The carrying value of these bonds at issuance is USD 105,076, consisting of the face value of USD 100,000 and the premium of USD 5,076. The premium is an adjunct account shown on the balance sheet as an addition to bonds payable as follows:
Longterm liabilities:  
Bonds payable, 12%, due 2009 June 30  $100,000  
Add: Premium on bonds payable  5,076  $105,076 
When a company issues bonds at a premium or discount, the amount of bond interest expense recorded each period differs from bond interest payments. A discount increases and a premium decreases the amount of interest expense. For example, if Carr issues bonds with a face value of USD 100,000 for USD 95,233, the total interest cost of borrowing would be USD 40,767: USD 36,000 (which is six payments of USD 6,000) plus the discount of USD 4,767. If the bonds had been issued at USD 105,076, the total interest cost of borrowing would be USD 30,924: USD 36,000 less the premium of USD 5,076. The USD 4,767 discount or USD 5,076 premium must be allocated or charged to the six periods that benefit from the use of borrowed money. Two methods are available for amortizing a discount or premium on bonds – the straightline method and the effective interest rate method.
The straightline method records interest expense at a constant amount; the effective interest rate method records interest expense at a constant rate. APB Opinion No. 21 states that the straightline method may be used only when it does not differ materially from the effective interest rate method. In many cases, the differences are not material.
An accounting perspective:
Business insight
US government bonds have traditionally offered a fixed rate of interest. In early 1997, the US Treasury began offering inflation indexed bonds. The amount of interest on these bonds is tied to the officially reported rate of inflation. The bonds pay interest every six months, and the interest is based on the inflationadjusted value of the principal. These bonds are designed to protect purchasers against purchasing power loss due to inflation. At that time, there was some concern by investors that the government had been considering calculating the official rate of inflation differently than in the past in such a way that it would lower the annual increase as compared to the then present method of calculation. This change in calculation, if adopted, would lower the amount of interest earned on these bonds. However, there were some assurances that for this purpose the official rate of inflation would be calculated the "old way".
The straightline method The straightline method of amortization
allocates an equal amount of discount or premium to each month the bonds are
outstanding. The issuer calculates the amount by dividing the discount or premium
by the total number of months from the date of issuance to the maturity date. For
example, if it sells USD 100,000 face value bonds for USD 95,233, Carr would charge
the USD 4,767 discount to interest expense at a rate of USD 132.42 per month (equal
to USD 4,767/36). Total discount amortization for six months would be USD 794.52,
computed as follows: USD 132.42 X 6. Interest expense for each sixmonth period
then would be USD 6,794.52, calculated as follows: USD 6,000 + (USD 132.42 X 6).
The entry to record the expense on 2010 December 31, would be:
2010 Dec. 31  Bond interest expense (SE)  6,794.52 
Cash (A)  6,000.00  
Discount on bonds payable ($132.42 x 6) (+L)  794.52  
To record interest payment and discount amortization. 
By the maturity date, all of the discount would have been amortized.
To illustrate the straightline method applied to a premium, recall that earlier Carr sold its USD 100,000 face value bonds for USD 105,076. Carr would amortize the USD 5,076 premium on these bonds at a rate of USD 141 per month, equal to USD 5,076/36. The entry for the first period's semiannual interest expense on bonds sold at a premium is:
2010 Dec. 31  Bond interest expense (SE)  5,154 
Premium on bonds payable ($141 x 6) (L)  846  
Cash (A)  6,000  
To record interest payable and premium amortization. 
By the maturity date, all of the premium would have been amortized.
The effective interest rate method APB Opinion No. 21 recommends an amortization procedure called the effective interest rate method, or simply the interest method. Under the interest method, interest expense for any interest period is equal to the effective (market) rate of interest on the date of issuance times the carrying value of the bonds at the beginning of that interest period. Using the Carr example of 12 percent bonds with a face value of USD 100,000 sold to yield 14 percent, the carrying value at the beginning of the first interest period is the selling price of USD 95,233. Carr would record the interest expense for the first semiannual period as follows:
2010 Dec. 31  Bond interest expense ($95,233 x 0.14 x ½) ( SE)  6,666 
Cash ($100,000 x 0.12 x ½) (A)  6,000  
Discount on bonds payable (+L)  666  
To record discount amortization and interest payment. 
Note that interest expense is the carrying value times the effective interest rate. The cash payment is the face value times the contract rate. The discount amortized for the period is the difference between the two amounts.
After the preceding entry, the carrying value of the bonds is USD 95,899, or USD 95,233 + USD 666. Carr reduced the balance in the Discount on Bonds Payable account by USD 666 to USD 4,101, or USD 4,767  USD 666. Assuming the accounting year ends on December 31, the entry to record the payment of interest for the second semiannual period on 2011 June 30 is:
2011 June 30  Bond interest expense ($95,899 x 0.14 x ½) (SE)  6,713 
Cash ($100,000 x 0.12 x ½) (A)  6,000  
Discount on bonds payable (+L)  713  
To record discount amortization and interest payment. 
Carr can also apply the effective interest rate method to premium amortization. If the Carr bonds had been issued at USD 105,076 to yield 10 percent, the premium would be USD 5,076. The firm calculates interest expense in the same manner as for bonds sold at a discount. However, the entry would differ somewhat, showing a debit to the premium account. The entry for the first interest period is:
2010 Dec. 31  Bond Interest Expense ($105,076 x 0.10 x ½) (SE)  5,254 
Premium on bonds payable (L)  746  
Cash ($100,000 x 0.12 x ½) (A)  6,000  
To record interest payment and premium amortization. 
After the first entry, the carrying value of the bonds is USD 104,330, or USD 105,076  USD 746. The premium account now carries a balance of USD 4,330, or USD 5,076  USD 746. The entry for the second interest period is:
2011 June 30  Bond interest expense ($104,330 x 0.10 x ½) (SE)  5,216* 
Premium on bonds payable (L)  784  
Cash ($100,000 x 0.12 x ½) (A)  6,000  
To record interest payment and premium amortization 
*rounded down
An accounting perspective:
Business Insight The difference between the singleline method and effective interest method for amortizing a bond discount can be seen in the following graphic. The carrying values (CV) start at the same point and end at the same point under both methods.The total interest expense is the same under both methods. However, the interest expense and amortization of bond discount are at a constant amount each period under the straightline method,and they are at a concentrate under the effective interest rate matched.
Discount and premium amortization schedules A discount amortization schedule (Exhibit 44) and a premium amortization schedule (Exhibit 45) aid in preparing entries for interest expense. Usually, companies prepare such schedules when they first issue bonds, often using computer programs designed for this purpose. The companies then refer to the schedules whenever they make journal entries to record interest. Note that in each period the amount of interest expense changes; interest expense gets larger when a discount is involved and smaller when a premium is involved. This fluctuation occurs because the carrying value to which a constant interest rate is applied changes each interest payment date. With a discount, carrying value increases; with a premium, it decreases. However, the actual cash paid as interest is always a constant amount determined by multiplying the bond's face value by the contract rate.
Recall that the issue price was USD 95,233 for the discount situation and USD 105,076 for the premium situation. The total interest expense of USD 40,767 for the discount situation in Exhibit 44 is equal to USD 36,000 (which is six USD 6,000 payments) plus the USD 4,767 discount. This amount agrees with the earlier computation of total interest expense. In Exhibit 45, total interest expense in the premium situation is USD 30,924, or USD 36,000 (which is six USD 6,000 payments) less the USD 5,076 premium. In both illustrations, at the maturity date the carrying value of the bonds is equal to the face value because the discount or premium has been fully amortized.
Adjusting entry for partial period Exhibit 44 and Exhibit 45 also would be helpful if Carr must accrue interest for a partial period. Instead of a calendaryear accounting period, assume the fiscal year of the bond issuer ends on August 31. Using the information provided in the premium amortization schedule (Exhibit 45), the adjusting entry needed on 2010 August 31 is:
2010 Aug. 31  Bond interest expense ($5,254 x (2/6))  1,751 
Premium on bonds payable ($746 x (2/6))  249  
Bond interest payable ($6,000 x (2/6))  2,000  
To record two months' accrued interest. 
(A) Interest Payment Date 
(B) Bond Interest Expense Debit (E x 0.14 x ½) 
(C) Cash credit ($100,000 x 0.12 x ½) 
(D) Discount on Bonds Payable Credit (BC) 
(E) Carrying value of Bonds Payable (previous balance in E+D) 

Issued Price  $ 95,233  
2010/12/31  $6,666  $6,000  $666  95,899 
2011/6/30  6,713  6,000  713  96,612 
2011/12/31  6,763  6,000  763  97,375 
2012/6/30  6,816  6,000  816  98,191 
2012/12/31  6,873  6,000  873  99,064 
2013/6/30  6,936*  6,000  936  100,000 
$40,767  $36,000  $4,767 
Exhibit 44: Discount amortization schedule for bonds payable
This entry records interest for two months, July and August, of the sixmonth interest period ending on 2010 December 31. The first line of Exhibit 45 shows the interest expense and premium amortization for the six months. Thus, the previous entry records twosixths (or onethird) of the amounts for this sixmonth period. Carr would record the remaining four months' interest when making the first payment on 2010 December 31. That entry reads:
2010 Dec. 31  Bond interest payable (L)  2,000 
Bond interest expense ($5,254 x (4/6)) (SE)  3,503  
Premium on bonds payable ($746 x 4/6) (L)  497  
Cash (A)  6,000  
To record four months' interest expense and semiannual interest payment. 
During the remaining life of the bonds, Carr would make similar entries for August 31 and December 31. The amounts would differ, however, because Carr uses the interest method of accounting for bond interest. The entry for each June 30 would be as indicated in Exhibit 45.