Thompson Enterprises has $5,000,000 of bonds outstanding. Each bond has a maturity value of $1,000, an annual coupon of 12.0%, and 15 years left to maturity. The bonds can be called at any time with a premium of $50 per bond. If the bonds are called, the company must pay flotation costs of $10 per new refunding bond. Ignore tax considerations--assume that the firm's tax rate is zero.
The company's decision of whether to call the bonds depends critically on the current interest rate on newly issued bonds. What is the breakeven interest rate, the rate below which it would be profitable to call in the bonds?
Rainier Bros. has 12.0% semiannual coupon bonds outstanding that mature in 10 years. Each bond is now eligible to be called at a call price of $1,060. If the bonds are called, the company must replace them with new 10-year bonds. The flotation cost of issuing new bonds is estimated to be $45 per bond. How low would the yield to maturity on the new bonds have to be in order for it to be profitable to call the bonds today, i.e., what is the nominal annual "breakeven rate"?
The solution determines the breakeven interest rate for Thompson Enterprises.