Bond Basics: How To Read A Bond Table
Column 1: Issuer - This is the company, state (or province) or country that is issuing the bond.
Column 2: Coupon - The coupon refers to the fixed interest rate that the issuer pays to the lender.
Column 3: Maturity Date - This is the date on which the borrower will repay the investors their principal. Typically, only the last two digits of the year are quoted: 25 means 2025, 04 is 2004, etc.
Column 4: Bid Price - This is the price someone is willing to pay for the bond. It is quoted in relation to 100, no matter what the par value is. Think of the bid price as a percentage: a bond with a bid of 93 is trading at 93% of its par value.
Column 5: Yield - The yield indicates annual return until the bond matures. Usually, this is the yield to maturity, not current yield. If the bond is callable it will have a "c--" where the "--" is the year the bond can be called. For example, c10 means the bond can be called as early as 2010.
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