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One site suggested the difference is that the warrant in the bond with warrant is a fixed price on company stock. E.g. for a \$1000 bond, you can buy 500 shares at \$2 each. And that convertible bonds does not have a fixed price term.

Another site suggested that with a bond with warrant, the warrant can be sold separately from the bond, while a convertible bond has not that possibility.

Are any of these suggestions correct, or is it something else that make up the (major) difference?

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The major difference is that the equity option embedded in a convertible bond is not detachable from the convert, so that you have to value the bond and the embedded option together. If you want to make a direct comparison with a detachable warrant, you can think of the the embedded option in a convertible bond as having a strike price equal to the value of the remaining cash flows of the convertible bond, so that the strike prices changes over time as coupon payments are made, and changes with the level of both interest rates and the credit quality of the bond issuer.

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Both statements are correct.

A warrant allows a holder to BUY a stock at a set price. Because there is a specific price, all that is needed is CASH to get the stock. As such, the warrant can be separated from the bond, and someone else could use it. As a result, it is valued separately from an accounting perspective.

A convertible bond, on the other hand, simply allows the holder to TRADE the bond for some stock. Since the holder needs the BOND to get the stock (vs. cash), the value of the trade cannot be separated from the stock.

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  • $\begingroup$ So a bond with warrant is really simply a bond plus a call on a stock right? $\endgroup$ – SRKX Aug 26 '13 at 17:48
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What convertible securities are Convertible securities are typically either bonds or preferred stock that combines typical features of their respective asset class with exposure to price changes in the common shares of the company. Convertible bonds will usually carry an interest rate, par value, and maturity date just like any other bond. Convertible preferred stock will have a stated preference amount in the event of liquidation, and it also often has a set dividend rate that acts much like a coupon rate for a bond.

Convertible securities also give investors the right to exchange their bond or shares for common stock of the company. Each convertible security will give specifics on the number of shares you'll receive upon conversion, as well as the expiration date by which the security must be converted. In some cases, conversion is mandatory, while other convertible securities leave the conversion decision at the discretion of the owner.

What warrants are Warrants, on the other hand, typically don't have any intrinsic value of their own. Unlike convertible securities, there's no underlying bond or preferred shares that give the warrant owner any additional rights. The only value that the warrant has comes from its conversion feature.

Warrants resemble options in that they typically require investors to make an additional payment within a specified time frame in order to exercise the warrant and receive common stock in exchange. Warrants tend to have longer lifespans than ordinary options, with expiration dates as much as 10 years into the future being relatively common. Investors aren't required to exercise warrants, but they're worthless after they expire unexercised.

Both warrants and convertible securities have their place within the capital structure of a company. The investments have some things in common, but their differences also have maximum value to different sets of investors. Those who want maximum reward will prefer warrants, but those who want some protection from worst-case scenarios will gravitate toward convertible securities.

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