Investment decision otherwise known as capital budgeting decision is perhaps the most important decision taken by a Finance Manager. Whatever is the objective of the firm, whether profit maximization or wealth maximization, capital budgeting decision affects performance of the firm decisively. These investment decisions have the following implications for the firm.
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- They define the strategic focus and direction of the business. The capital expenditure made in new investments may result in entry into new products, services or new markets.
- Capital budgeting decisions require large funds and generally have long repayment periods. The results of capital budgeting continue to impact the finances of the firm for many years. Due to long project life, assessment involves number of years of future events leading to difficulty and uncertainty regarding the accuracy of assessment.
- Capital budgeting decisions are mostly irreversible. They involve investment in plant and machinery or new soft wares or technology etc. They are normally industry or user specific. If the project does not proceed ahead, it may be difficult to find buyers for the assets and the only alternative would be scar the assets at a huge loss.
The measurement of the cost of preference capital poses some conceptual difficulty. In the case of debt, there is a binding legal obligation on the firm to pay interest, and the interest constitutes the basis to calculate the cost of debt. However, in the case of preference capital, payment of dividends is not legally binding on the firm and even if the dividends are paid, it is not a charge on earnings; rather it is a distribution or appropriation of earnings to preference shareholders. One may be, therefore, tempted to conclude that the dividends on preference capital do not constitute cost. This is not true.
The cost of preference capital is a function of the dividend expected by investors. Preference capital is never issued with an intention not to pay dividends. Although it is not legally binding upon the firm to pay dividends on preference capital, yet it is generally paid when the firm makes sufficient profits. The failure to pay dividends, although does not cause bankruptcy, yet it can be a serious matter from the ordinary shareholders’ point of view.… Read More »
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 will 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.
Is Equity Capital Free of Cost?
It is sometimes argued that the equity capital is free of cost. The reasons for such argument is that it is not legally binding for firms to pay dividends to ordinary shareholders.… Read More »
The ‘Ploughing Back of Profits‘ is a technique of financial management under which all profits of a company are not distributed amongst the shareholders as dividend, but a part of the profits is retained or reinvested in the company. This process of retaining profits year after year and their utilization in the business is also known as ploughing back of profits.
It is actually an economical step, which a company takes, in the sense, that instead of distributing the entire earnings by way of dividend, it keeps a certain percentage of profit to be re-introduced into the business for its development. Such a phenomenon is also known as ‘Self-Financing’,‘Internal Financing’, or ‘Inter- Financing’. A part of profits is ploughed back or re-employed into the business and is regarded as in ideal source of financing expansion and modernization schemes as there is no immediate pressure to pay a return on this portion of stockholders equity. Under this method, a part of total profits is transferred to various reserves such as General Reserve, Replacement Fund, Reserve Fund, and Reserve for Repairs and Renewals, etc.… Read More »
There are different views regarding the meaning and concept of surplus in financial management. According to one school of thought, the balance remaining after deducting the liabilities and share capital from the total of assets is known as ‘surplus‘. In the opinion of the other school, ‘surplus‘ represents the ‘undistributed earnings’ of a company, i.e., the balance of profits remaining after paying dividends to the shareholders. Still, there are others in whose opinion ‘surplus‘ is a left over which represents an addition to assets that is carried over on the ‘equity side’. But, surplus is solely equity of stock-holders and not an asset in any sense of the word. In simple words, ‘surplus‘ may be described as the net income of the company remaining after payment of dividend and all other expenses. It is the difference between the book value of the assets and the sum of liabilities and capital.
Surplus is considered to be a sort of a blanket covering of many corporate purposes.… Read More »
Credit rating is a codified rating assigned to an issue by authorized credit rating agencies. These agencies have been promoted by well-established financial Institutions and reputed banks/finance companies. Credit rating is a relative ranking arrived at by a systematic analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a company and debt instrument issued by the company, based on financial statements, project analysis, creditworthiness factors and future prospectus of the project and the company appraised at a point of time.
Objectives of Credit Rating
Credit rating aims to:
- Provide superior information to the investors at a low cost;
- Provide a sound basis for proper risk-return structure;
- Subject borrowers to a healthy discipline, and
- Assist in the framing of public policy guidelines on institutional investment.
Thus, credit rating in financial services represent an exercise in faith building for the development of a healthy financial system.
Approaches to Credit Rating
As a technique for independent examination of the investment worth of financial securities as an input to investment decision-making, the process of credit rating usually involves use of one or more of (i) implicit judgmental approach and (ii) explicit judgmental approaches and (iii) statistical approach.… Read More »