Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Cost of Equity Capital

Firms may raise equity capital internally by retaining earnings. Alternatively, they could distribute the entire earnings to equity shareholders and raise equity capital externally by issuing new shares. In both cases, shareholders are providing funds to the firms to finance their capital expenditures. Therefore, the equity shareholders’ required rate of return would be the same whether they supply funds by purchasing new shares or by foregoing dividends, which could have been distributed to them. There is, however, a difference between retained earnings and issue of equity shares from the firm’s point of view. The firm may have to issue new shares at a price lower than the current market price. Also, it may have to incur flotation costs. Thus, external equity will cost more to the firm than the internal equity.

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