A Note on the Weighted Average Cost of Capital WACC (Nota Sobre El Costo Promedio De Capital)
Duke University - Duke Center for International Development in the Sanford School of Public Policy
September 26, 2008
Monografías No 62, Serie de Finanzas, La medición del valor y del costo de capital en la empresa, Facultad de Administración de la Universidad de los Andes, July 2002, pp. 61-98
Most finance textbooks (See Benninga and Sarig, 1997, Brealey, Myers and Marcus, 1996, Copeland, Koller and Murrin, 1994, Damodaran, 1996, Gallagher and Andrew, 2000, Van Horne, 1998, Weston and Copeland, 1992) present the Weighted Average Cost of Capital WACC calculation as:
WACC = d(1-T)D% eE% (1)
Where d is the cost of debt before taxes, T is the tax rate, D% is the percentage of debt on total value, e is the cost of equity and E% is the percentage of equity on total value. All of them precise (but not with enough emphasis) that the values to calculate D% y E% are market values. Although they devote special space and thought to calculate d and e, little effort is made to the correct calculation of market values. This means that there are several points that are not sufficiently dealt with: Market values, location in time, occurrence of tax payments, WACC changes in time and the circularity in calculating WACC. The purpose of this note is to clear up these ideas and emphasize in some ideas that usually are looked over.
Also, some suggestions are presented on how to calculate, or estimate, the equity cost of capital.
Note: The downloadable paper is in Spanish. The English version is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=254587
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: Weighted Average Cost of Capital, WACC, firm valuation, capital budgeting, equity cost of capital
JEL Classification: D61, G31, H43, M40, M46Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 10, 2001 ; Last revised: October 22, 2012
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