Discussion question 1
Cost of Capital
In the links below, you will explore how companies compute their cost of capital by computing a weighted average of the three major components of capital: debt, preferred stock, and common equity. The firm’s cost of capital is a key element in capital budgeting decisions and must be understood in order to justify capital projects.
For this Discussion, imagine the following scenario:
You are the director of operations for your company, and your vice president wants to expand production by adding new and more expensive fabrication machines. You are directed to build a business case for implementing this program of capacity expansion. Assume the company’s weighted average cost of capital is 13%, the after-tax cost of debt is 7%, preferred stock is 10.5%, and common equity is 15%. As you work with your staff on the first cut of the business case, you surmise that this is a fairly risky project due to a recent slowing in product sales. As a matter of fact, when using the 13% weighted average cost of capital, you discover that the project is estimated to return about 10%, which is quite a bit less than the company’s weighted average cost of capital. An enterprising young analyst in your department, Harriet, suggests that the project is financed from retained earnings (50%) and bonds (50%). She reasons that using retained earnings does not cost the firm anything since it is cash you already have in the bank and the after-tax cost of debt is only 7%. That would lower your weighted average cost of capital to 3.5% and make your 10% projected return look great.
Based on the scenario above, post your reactions to the following questions and concerns:
What is your reaction to Harriet’s suggestion of using the cost of debt only? Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Why? Do you think capital projects should have their own unique cost of capital rates for budgeting purposes, as opposed to using the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) or the cost of equity capital as computed by CAPM? What about the relatively high risk inherent in this project? How can you factor into the analysis the notion of risk so that all competing projects that have relatively lower or higher risks can be evaluated on a level playing field?
Discussion Question 2
Beta and Capital Budgeting
Part 1: Beta
Visit the following web site or other websites:
1. Search for the beta of your company (Intel)
2. In addition, find the beta of 3 different companies within the same industry as your company (Group Project).
3. Explain to your classmates what beta means and how it can be used for managerial and/or investment decision
4. Why do you think the beta of your company (individual project) and those of the 3 companies you found are different from each other? Provide as much information as you can and be specific.
Part 2: Capital Budgeting
Before you respond to Part 2 of discussion 6 review the following information on Capital Budgeting Techniques
To avoid damaging its market value, each company must use the correct discount rate to evaluate its projects. Review and discuss the following:
• Compare and contrast the internal rate of return approach to the net present value approach. Which is better? Support your answer with well-reasoned arguments and examples.
• Is the ultimate goal of most companies–maximizing the wealth of the owners for whom the firm is being operated–ethical? Why or why not?
• Why might ethical companies benefit from a lower cost of capital than less ethical companies?
For each discussion i also need 3 reply’s to post to the other students, i will post the reply’s and instructions soon.
Please include at least 500 words for each discussion