16-1 Schweser Satellites Inc. produces satellite earth stations that sell for $100,000 each. The firm's fixed costs, F, are $2 million; 50 earth stations are produced and sold each year; profits total $500,000; and the firm's assets (all equity financed) are $5 million. The firm estimates that it can change its production process, additing $4 million to investment and $500,000 to fixed operating costs. This change will 1) reduce variable costs per unit by $10,000 and 2) increase output by the additional output. The firm has tax loss carry-forwards that cause its tax rate to be zero, its cost of equity is 15 percent, and it uses no debt.
a. Should the firm make the change?
b. Would the firm's operating leverage increase or decrease if it made the change? What about its breakeven point?
c. Would the new situation expose the firm to more or less business risk than the old one?
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