Optimal Capital Structure

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DEFINITION of 'Optimal Capital Structure'

The best debt-to-equity ratio for a firm that maximizes its value. The optimal capital structure for a company is one which offers a balance between the ideal debt-to-equity range and minimizes the firm's cost of capital. In theory, debt financing generally offers the lowest cost of capital due to its tax deductibility. However, it is rarely the optimal structure since a company's risk generally increases as debt increases.

BREAKING DOWN 'Optimal Capital Structure'

A company's ratio of short and long-term debt should also be considered when examining its capital structure. Capital structure is most often referred to as a firm's debt-to-equity ratio, which provides insight into how risky a company is for potential investors. Determining an optimal capital is a chief requirement of any firm's corporate finance department.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the formula for calculating weighted average cost of capital (WACC) in Excel?

    When analyzing different financing options, companies need to look at how much it will cost to fund operations. There are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why can additional paid in capital never have a negative balance?

    The additional paid-in capital figure on a company's balance sheet can never be negative because companies do not pay investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How many votes am I entitled to, if I own ordinary shares of a company?

    If an investor owns one ordinary share of a company, that investor is entitled to one vote on all of that company's major ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What debt/equity ratio is common for companies in the telecommunications sector?

    Telecommunications companies engage in capital-intensive projects that require large investments in infrastructure, wireless ... Read Full Answer >>
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    In the utilities sector, for companies providing general utilities such as gas and electricity, the average debt/equity ratio, ... Read Full Answer >>

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