A warrant is a security that entitles the holder to buy the underlying stock of the issuing company at a fixed exercise price until the expiration date.
Differentiate warrants from other type of convertibles
Innate, inherent, inseparable from the thing itself, essential.
A person who buys and sells shares (stock) on a stock exchange on behalf of clients. May also provide investment advice and/or company information, depending on the level of service offered (or chosen by the client).
The group of investments and other assets held by an investor.
A warrant is a security that entitles the holder to buy the underlying stock of the issuing company at a fixed exercise price until the expiration date. Some important characteristics to consider include the following:
Sometimes, the issuer will try to establish a market for the warrant and to register it with a listed exchange. In this case, the price can be obtained from a stockbroker. Often, though, warrants are privately held or not registered, which makes their prices less obvious.
Warrants are very similar to call options. For instance, many warrants confer the same rights as equity options, and warrants often can be traded in secondary markets like options. However, there are several key differences between warrants and equity options:
There are various methods of evaluating warrants, the most popular being the Black-Scholes evaluation model [see section on Options]. However, it is important to have some understanding of the various influences on warrant prices. The market value of a warrant can be divided into two components:
Intrinsic value: This is simply the difference between the exercise (strike) price and the underlying stock price. Warrants are also referred to as in-the-money or out-of-the-money, depending on where the current asset price is in relation to the warrant's exercise price. Thus, for instance, for call warrants, if the stock price is below the strike price, the warrant has no intrinsic value (only time value - to be explained shortly). If the stock price is above the strike, the warrant has intrinsic value and is said to be in-the-money.
Time value: Time value can be considered as the value of the continuing exposure to the movement in the underlying security that the warrant provides. Time value declines as the expiration of the warrant gets closer. This erosion of time value is called time decay. It is not constant, but increases rapidly towards expiration. Time value is affected by time to expiration, volatility, dividends and interest rates.
Traditional warrants are issued in conjunction with a bond (known as a warrant-linked bond), and represent the right to acquire shares in the entity issuing the bond. In other words, the writer of a traditional warrant is also the issuer of the underlying instrument. Warrants are issued in this way to reduce the interest rate that must be offered in order to sell the bond issue. Valuing this type of warrant can be accomplished with the following equation:
Valuing a Warrant
Where: P is the price paid for the bond with warrants; C is the coupon payment; T is the maturity of the bond; r is the required rate of return; and F is the face value of the bond.
Warrants are often used as deal sweeteners, in order to entice hesitant investors. However, a warrant only benefits the investor if the company grows. Warrants can also be used for portfolio protection. For example, put warrants allow the owner to protect the value of the owner's portfolio against falls in the market or in particular shares. Because of the dilutive nature of warrants, their issuance can lead to a decrease in stock value and loss of voting control. Warrants may also carry liquidity risk, due to their specialized nature.