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Question 99  capital structure, interest tax shield, Miller and Modigliani, trade off theory of capital structure

A firm changes its capital structure by issuing a large amount of debt and using the funds to repurchase shares. Its assets are unchanged.

Assume that:

  • The firm and individual investors can borrow at the same rate and have the same tax rates.
  • The firm's debt and shares are fairly priced and the shares are repurchased at the market price, not at a premium.
  • There are no market frictions relating to debt such as asymmetric information or transaction costs.
  • Shareholders wealth is measured in terms of utiliity. Shareholders are wealth-maximising and risk-averse. They have a preferred level of overall leverage. Before the firm's capital restructure all shareholders were optimally levered.

According to Miller and Modigliani's theory, which statement is correct?

Question 104  CAPM, payout policy, capital structure, Miller and Modigliani, risk

Assume that there exists a perfect world with no transaction costs, no asymmetric information, no taxes, no agency costs, equal borrowing rates for corporations and individual investors, the ability to short the risk free asset, semi-strong form efficient markets, the CAPM holds, investors are rational and risk-averse and there are no other market frictions.

For a firm operating in this perfect world, which statement(s) are correct?

(i) When a firm changes its capital structure and/or payout policy, share holders' wealth is unaffected.

(ii) When the idiosyncratic risk of a firm's assets increases, share holders do not expect higher returns.

(iii) When the systematic risk of a firm's assets increases, share holders do not expect higher returns.

Select the most correct response:

Question 237  WACC, Miller and Modigliani, interest tax shield

Which of the following discount rates should be the highest for a levered company? Ignore the costs of financial distress.

Question 241  Miller and Modigliani, leverage, payout policy, diversification, NPV

One of Miller and Modigliani's (M&M's) important insights is that a firm's managers should not try to achieve a particular level of leverage or interest tax shields under certain assumptions. So the firm's capital structure is irrelevant. This is because investors can make their own personal leverage and interest tax shields, so there's no need for managers to try to make corporate leverage and interest tax shields. This is true under the assumptions of equal tax rates, interest rates and debt availability for the person and the corporation, no transaction costs and symmetric information.

This principal of 'home-made' or 'do-it-yourself' leverage can also be applied to other topics. Read the following statements to decide which are true:

(I) Payout policy: a firm's managers should not try to achieve a particular pattern of equity payout.

(II) Agency costs: a firm's managers should not try to minimise agency costs.

(III) Diversification: a firm's managers should not try to diversify across industries.

(IV) Shareholder wealth: a firm's managers should not try to maximise shareholders' wealth.

Which of the above statement(s) are true?

Copyright © 2014 Keith Woodward