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Large corporations could not have grown to their present size without being able to find innovative ways to raise capital to finance expansion.
Corporations have five primary methods for obtaining that money.
A bond is a written promise to pay back a specific amount of money at a certain date or dates in the future.
In the interim, bondholders receive interest payments at fixed rates on specified dates.
Holders can sell bonds to someone else before they are due.
Corporations benefit by issuing bonds because the interest rates they must pay investors are generally lower than rates for most other types of borrowing and because interest paid on bonds is considered to be a tax-deductible business expense. However, corporations must make interest payments even when they are not showing profits.
If investors doubt a company's ability to meet its interest obligations, they either will refuse to buy its bonds or will demand a higher rate of interest to compensate them for their increased risk. For this reason, smaller corporations can seldom raise much capital by issuing bonds.
Issuing Preferred Stock
A company may choose to issue new "preferred" stock to raise capital.
Buyers of these shares have special status in the event the underlying company encounters financial trouble.
If profits are limited, preferred stock owners will be paid their dividends after bondholders receive their guaranteed interest payments but before any common stock dividends are paid.
Selling Common Stock