There are an almost limitless number of functions available for analyzing corporate bonds, but a good starting point is using the description function <DES> to look at basic information. The description pages include such information as: issuer, coupon, maturity date, credit ratings, and the size of the issue (which is usually a good indicator of how easy it will be to find bonds for purchase).

Since credit rating agencies are not infallible, you may also wish to independently evaluate a company's financial statements prior to purchasing bonds. There are number of places on Bloomberg to access corporate financial information, but a good starting point is the financial analysis function <FA>. Here you will find basic balance sheet and income statement information, as well as a variety of financial ratios and projections. All of these can be accessed in greater detail by the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

SEE: A Brief History Of Credit Rating Agencies

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