Mini Case: 14 - 13 d. How would changes in these items affect the AFN? (1) sales increase, (2) the dividend payout ratio increases, (3) the profit margin increases, (4) the capital intensity ratio increases, and (5) SEC begins paying its suppliers sooner. (Consider each item separately and hold all other things constant.) Answer: 1. If sales increase, more assets are required, which increases the AFN. 2. If the payout ratio were reduced, then more earnings would be retained, and this would reduce the need for external financing, or AFN. Note that if the firm is profitable and has any payout ratio less than 100 percent, it will have some retained earnings, so if the growth rate were zero, AFN would be negative, i.e., the firm would have surplus funds. As the growth rate rose above zero, these surplus funds would be used to finance growth. At some point, i.e., at some growth rate, the surplus AFN would be exactly used up. This growth rate where AFN = $0 is called the “sustainable growth rate,” and it is the maximum growth rate which can be
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