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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 14 DIVIDENDS AND DIVIDEND POLICY Answers to Concepts Review and Critical Thinking Questions 1. Dividend policy deals with the timing of dividend payments, not the amounts ultimately paid. Dividend policy is irrelevant when the timing of dividend payments doesnt affect the present value of all future dividends. 2. A stock repurchase reduces equity while leaving debt unchanged. The debt ratio rises. A firm could, if desired, use excess cash to reduce debt instead. This is a capital structure decision. 3. First, relatively young and less profitable firms generally should not make cash distributions. They need the cash to fund investments (and flotation costs discourage the raising of outside cash). However, as a firm matures, it begins to generate free cash flow (which, you will recall, is internally generated cash flow beyond that needed to fund profitable investment activities). Significant free cash flow can lead to agency problems if it is not distributed. Managers may become tempted to pursue empire building or otherwise spend the excess cash in ways not in the shareholders best interests. Thus, firms come under pressure to make distributions rather than horde cash. And, consistent with what we observe, we expect large firms with a history of profitability to make large distributions. Thus, the life cycle theory says that firms trade off the agency costs of excess cash retention against the potential future costs of external equity financing. A firm should begin making distributions when it generates sufficient internal cash flow to fund its investment needs now and into the foreseeable future. 4. Friday, December 29 is the ex-dividend day. Remember not to count January 1 because it is a holiday, and the exchanges are closed. Anyone who buys the stock before December 29 is entitled to the dividend, assuming they do not sell it again before December 29. 5. No, because the money could be better invested in stocks that pay dividends in cash that will benefit the fundholders directly. 6. The change in price is due to the change in dividends, not to the change in dividend policy . Dividend policy can still be irrelevant without a contradiction. 7. The stock price dropped because of an expected drop in future dividends. Since the stock price is the present value of all future dividend payments, if the expected future dividend payments decrease, then the stock price will decline. 8. The plan will probably have little effect on shareholder wealth. The shareholders can reinvest on their own, and the shareholders must pay the taxes on the dividends either way. However, the shareholders who take the option may benefit at the expense of the ones who dont (because of the discount). Also as a result of the plan, the firm will be able to raise equity by paying a 10% flotation cost (the discount), which may be a smaller discount than the market flotation costs of a new issue. 9. If these firms just went public, they probably did so because they were growing and needed the...
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- Winter '08