Corporate Finance - Business and Financial Risk
1. Business Risk
A company's business risk is the risk of the firm's assets when no debt is used. Business risk is the risk inherent in the company's operations. As a result, there are many factors that can affect business risk: the more volatile these factors, the riskier the company. Some of those factors are as follows:
- Sales risk - Sales risk is affected by demand for the company's product as well as the price per unit of the product.
- Input-cost risk - Input-cost risk is the volatility of the inputs into a company's product as well as the company's ability to change pricing if input costs change.
2. Financial Risk
A company's financial risk, however, takes into account a company's leverage. If a company has a high amount of leverage, the financial risk to stockholders is high - meaning if a company cannot cover its debt and enters bankruptcy, the risk to stockholders not getting satisfied monetarily is high.
Let's use the troubled airline industry as an example. The average leverage for the industry is quite high (for some airlines, over 100%) given the issues the industry has faced over the past few years. Given the high leverage of the industry, there is extreme financial risk that one or more of the airlines will face an imminent bankruptcy.
Effect of Changes in Sales or Earnings on EBIT
Differing amounts of debt financing cause changes in EPS and thus a company's stock price. The calculations for EBIT and EPS are as follows:
EBIT = sales - variable costs - fixed costs
EPS = [(EBIT - interest)*(1-tax rate)] / shares outstanding
The following is Newco's cost of debt at various capital structures. Newco has $1 million in total assets and a tax rate of 40%. Assume that, at a debt level of zero, Newco has 20,000 shares outstanding.
Figure 11.10: Newco's cost of debt at various capital structures
At debt level 0%:
Shares outstanding are 20,000 and interest costs are 0.
EPS = [($5,000,000 - 2,000,000 - 2,400,000-0)*(1-0.4)]/20,000
EPS = $18 per share
At debt level 20%:
Shares outstanding are 16,000 [20,000*(1-20%)] and interest costs are 8,000 (200,000*0.04).
EPS = [($5,000,000 - 2,000,000 - 2,400,000-8,000)*(1-0.4)]/16,000
EPS = $22.20 per share
At debt level 40%:
Shares outstanding are 12,000 [20,000*(1-40%)] and interest costs are 24,000 (400,000*0.06).
EPS = [($5,000,000 - 2,000,000 - 2,400,000-24,000)*(1-0.4)]/12,000
EPS = $28.80 per share
At debt level 60%:
Shares outstanding are 8,000 [20,000*(1-60%)] and interest costs are 48,000 (600,000*0.08).
EPS = [($5,000,000 - 2,000,000 - 2,400,000-48,000)* (1-0.4)]/8,000
EPS= $41.40 per share
At debt level 80%:
Shares outstanding are 4,000 [20,000*(1-80%)] and interest costs are 80,000 (800,000*0.10).
EPS = [($5,000,000 - 2,000,000 - 2,400,000-80,000)* (1-0.4)]/4,000
EPS = $78.00 per share
With each increase in debt level (accompanied with the decrease in shares outstanding), Newco's earnings per share increases.