First, you have to estimate the business risk in the company by taking a weighted average of the risks of the businesses that the company operates. Finally, taking a weighted average of the cost of equity and after-tax cost of debt yields a cost of capital. For the cost of debt, I do have a problem, since all I usually have at the industry level is a book interest rate (obtained by dividing the interest expense by the book value of debt) which is not very useful from a cost of capital perspective. I use the variance in trendy boutique prices as an indicator of the risk and use it to estimate a default spread in US dollar terms, which then allows me to compute a cost of debt. Third, you have to bring in the cost of borrowing, net of any tax benefit, which will reflect the default risk in the company. For investors, the cost of capital is a discount rate to value a business: Investors looking at buying into a business are effectively buying a portfolio of investments, current and future, and to value the business, they have to make an assessment of the collective risk in the portfolio and how it may change over time.
What matters is whether an option is mispriced relative to the underlying stock or to other options at any given point in time so they can create a spread and reduce the risk of buying or selling the option. Thus, a Russian company’s cost of equity is computed using the Russian ERP (see my earlier post on country risk) and a German company’s cost of equity is computed based on the German ERP. Second, I assume that the company gets all its revenues in the country in which it is incorporated and assign it the equity risk premium of that country. Once I have the industry groups, I estimate the cost of equity for each group (in US dollar terms, by using a US dollar risk free rate and a equity risk premium in US dollar terms, though the magnitude of the premium can vary across countries and regions) by using the average beta across companies in the sector. In making these estimates, I first begin by breaking my total sample of 41,410 companies down into 96 industry groups, some of which may be far broader than you would like to see. As you look at companies, I hope that you can use this for perspective, i.e., in making judgments on what comprises a high, low and median cost of capital.
Second, from a first principles perspective, I believe that since betas measure risk from a macro risk perspective, you are better served with broader categories than narrow ones. While these methodologies are somewhat harder to comprehend and ace, they are the most solid ones since they are objective. While you are undertaking a weight loss regime we suggest you benefit from a group of water based vegetables which can be classed as “free”. First, I estimate a beta for each industry group by averaging the betas of the individual companies in that group, and these estimates are more precise with larger sample sizes. After two months of weekly video meetings, listening to and reading expert testimony, and public hearings, the group published the “Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine” in September. The PPP first passed in Congress’s $2.2 trillion stimulus package late last month ran out of funds in less than two weeks.
I prefer this broad categorization for two reasons. If you, as an investor, are given the task of estimating the cost of capital for a company, here is the sequence of steps. While investors may also find this information useful in valuation/investment analysis, I also estimate costs of capital for individual companies, and while my data providers no longer allow me to share these company-specific costs of capital, I can still provide information on the distribution of costs of capital across companies that can be useful to investors. To help companies in investment analysis, I try to estimate costs of capital by sector, in the hope that a multi-business company will be able to find the information here to build up business-specific costs of capital. The former requires companies to provide information on their business mixes and the latter generally is easier to do in a liquid, public market. A cost of capital of 12.5% for a global company would put it in the 94th percentile of companies. If you are approaching the same task as a CFO, you have to follow the same sequence to get a cost of capital for the company but you have to go further and estimate the costs of capital for the individual businesses that the company is invested in.