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10.7 Rights And Warrants

Learn about rights and warrants and how they are used to raise capital in the Canadian securities market. Understand their features, benefits, and intrinsic value.

Distinguish between the features, benefits, and intrinsic value of rights and warrants.

Rights and warrants, akin to call options on stocks, are financial instruments granting the holder the right, though not the obligation, to purchase a certain quantity of stock at a predetermined price by a specific date.

However, unlike conventional options, rights and warrants are typically issued by companies as a capital-raising strategy. Although the exercise of these instruments can lead to the dilution of existing shareholders’ stakes, they enable companies to generate capital swiftly and cost-effectively.

Time to Expiration

One of the primary distinctions between rights, warrants, and call options lies in the duration until expiration. Rights are generally short-term instruments, with expiration dates often spanning as short as four to six weeks post-issuance. On the other hand, warrants are generally longer-term, typically issued with an expiration period extending from three to five years.

Term Definition
Rights Short-term securities allowing purchase of stock at a preset price within weeks.
Warrants Long-term securities allowing purchase of stock at a preset price over a period of years.

Features, Benefits, and Intrinsic Values


  • Issuer: Rights and warrants are issued by companies looking to raise capital.
  • Expiry Period: Rights expire within a few weeks, while warrants may be valid for several years.
  • Exercisability: Both allow purchase of stock at specified prices.
  • Trading: Can be traded on the secondary market independently of the stock.

Benefits to Investors

  • Leverage: Provides leverage similar to options, as investors can control a larger amount of stock for a lesser initial investment.
  • Cost-Effective: Acquiring stock at a potentially lower price than market value if the option is exercised.
  • Flexibility: Ability to buy or sell rights and warrants before expiration allows liquidity and profit opportunities.

Intrinsic Value

The intrinsic value of rights and warrants can be calculated as follows:

$$ \begin{array}{l} \text{Intrinsic Value} = (P - X) \times N \\ \\ {Where:} \\ P = \text{Current Market Price of a Stock} \\ X = \text{Exercise Price} \\ N = \text{Number of Shares per Right/Warrant} \\ \\ \text{For unexercised warrants, if } P < X, \text{ the intrinsic value is zero.} \\ \\ \\ {Example:} \\ \text{Current Market Price (P) = CAD 50} \\ \text{Exercise Price (X) = CAD 45} \\ \text{Number of Shares per Right/Warrant (N) = 100 Shares} \\ \\ \text{Then the Intrinsic Value} = (50 - 45) \times 100 = CAD\$ 500 \end{array} $$

Key Differences

    graph TD;
	    A[Exercisability] -->|Short-term\n4-6 weeks|R[Rights]
	    A -->|Long-term\n~3-5 years|W[Warrants]
	    R --> D[Designed to raise quick capital]
	    W --> E[Tend to raise larger capital over time]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happens if rights or warrants are not exercised by their expiration date?

Rights and warrants typically expire worthless if not exercised before or on the expiration date.

Can rights and warrants be sold before they are exercised?

Yes, rights and warrants can be traded independently on the secondary market before their expiration.

Do rights or warrants offer any voting rights in the company issuing them?

Rights and warrants do not offer any voting rights to their holders. Voting rights are only conferred upon fully exercising those and acquiring the underlying stock.

Key Takeaways

  • Rights and warrants act akin to call options but are typically issued by the company seeking to raise capital.
  • Rights have short-term time horizons (4 to 6 weeks), while warrants generally come with a longer expiration period (3 to 5 years).
  • Both instruments dilute existing shares but provide significant capital-raising advantages for companies.
  • Investors benefit from leverage, potential capital gains, and flexibility with these instruments.

By understanding the differences and strategic usage of rights and warrants, both companies and investors can effectively leverage these powerful financial instruments.

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## What is a primary purpose of issuing rights and warrants? - [ ] To decrease a company's market value - [ ] To reduce the number of shareholders - [x] To raise capital quickly and cost-effectively - [ ] To ensure long-term stability > **Explanation:** Rights and warrants are typically issued by a company as a method of raising capital in a quick and cost-effective manner. ## How do rights and warrants differ primarily from call options? - [ ] Rights and warrants can increase dividend payouts - [x] Rights and warrants are issued by the company that wants to raise capital - [ ] Call options are usually non-transferable - [ ] Rights and warrants must be held until expiration > **Explanation:** Unlike call options, rights and warrants are usually issued by the company as a method of raising capital. ## What is one of the key features of both rights and warrants? - [ ] They guarantee a fixed dividend - [x] They give the owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy stock at a specified price - [ ] They must be redeemed prior to expiration - [ ] They are only issued for long-term capital growth > **Explanation:** Like call options on stocks, rights and warrants give their owners the right, but not the obligation, to buy a specific amount of stock at a specified price on or before the expiration date. ## What is the typical expiration period for rights? - [ ] 1-2 years - [ ] 6-12 months - [ ] 3-5 years - [x] 4-6 weeks > **Explanation:** Rights are usually very short term, with an expiration date often as little as four to six weeks after they are issued. ## How long do warrants typically last before they expire? - [ ] 6-12 months - [x] 3-5 years - [ ] 1-2 years - [ ] A few weeks > **Explanation:** Warrants tend to be issued with three to five years to expiration. ## What effect can the exercise of rights and warrants have on existing shareholders? - [ ] It increases their voting power - [ ] It decreases the company's stock price - [x] It can dilute their positions - [ ] It guarantees higher dividends > **Explanation:** Although they may dilute the positions of existing shareholders if they are exercised, they allow the company to raise capital quickly and cost-effectively. ## What is an intrinsic value in the context of rights and warrants? - [ ] The guaranteed future value of the stock - [ ] The difference between the price paid for the right/warrant and its market value - [x] The value of the right/warrant if exercised at the current market price - [ ] The nominal value appointed by the company > **Explanation:** Intrinsic value refers to the value of the right/warrant if exercised at the current market price. ## Who usually issues rights and warrants? - [ ] Institutional investors - [ ] Stock exchanges - [x] The company seeking to raise capital - [ ] Regulatory bodies > **Explanation:** Rights and warrants are usually issued by a company as a method of raising capital. ## Why might a company choose to issue rights instead of common shares? - [ ] To significantly increase market volatility - [x] To quickly and cost-effectively raise capital without immediate dilution - [ ] To ensure shareholders receive dividends faster - [ ] To decrease the number of outstanding shares > **Explanation:** Issuing rights allows a company to raise capital quickly and cost-effectively, though it may dilute positions later if exercised. ## In comparison to rights, warrants typically have... - [ ] A shorter expiration period - [ ] Lower market value - [ ] Higher dividend yields - [x] A longer expiration period > **Explanation:** Warrants tend to be issued with a longer expiration period (three to five years) compared to rights, which often expire within four to six weeks.

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In this section

  • 10.7.1 Rights
    A comprehensive guide on rights offers, intrinsic value of rights during ex-rights and cum-rights periods, and how rights are traded on stock exchanges.
  • 10.7.2 Warrants
    Learn everything about warrants in this comprehensive guide: their characteristics, valuation, and advantages, along with essential definitions and key takeaways.
Tuesday, July 23, 2024