End of Chapter SolutionsLiquidity measures how quickly and easily an asset can be converted to cash without significant loss in value. It’s desirable for firms to have high liquidity so that they have a large factor of safety in meeting short-term creditor demands. However, since liquidity also has an opportunity cost associated with it—namely that higher returns can generally be found by investing the cash into productive assets—low liquidity levels are also desirable to the firm. It’s up to the firm’s financial management staff to find a reasonable compromise between these opposing needs.
1. Capital budgeting (deciding whether to expand a manufacturing plant), capital structure (deciding whether to issue new equity and use the proceeds to retire outstanding debt), and working capital management (modifying the firm’s credit collection policy with its customers). 2. Disadvantages: unlimited liability, limited life, difficulty in transferring ownership, hard to raise capital funds. Some advantages: simpler, less regulation, the owners are also the managers, sometimes personal tax rates are better than corporate tax rates. 3. The primary disadvantage of the corporate form is the double taxation to shareholders of distributed earnings and dividends. Some advantages include: limited liability, ease of transferability, ability to raise capital, unlimited life, and so forth. 4. In response to Sarbanes-Oxley, small firms have elected to go dark because of the costs of compliance. The costs to comply with Sarbox can be several million dollars, which can be a large percentage of a small firms profits. A major cost of going dark is less access to capital. Since the firm is no longer publicly traded, it can no longer raise money in the public market. Although the company will still have access to bank loans and the private equity market, the costs associated with raising funds in these markets are usually higher than the costs of raising funds in the public market. 5. The treasurer’s office and the controller’s office are the two primary organizational groups that report directly to the chief financial officer. The controller’s office handles cost and financial accounting, tax management, and management information systems, while the treasurer’s office is responsible for cash and credit management, capital budgeting, and financial planning. Therefore, the study of corporate finance is concentrated within the treasury group’s functions. 6. To maximize the current market value (share price) of the equity of the firm (whether it’s publicly- traded or not). 7. In the corporate form of ownership, the shareholders are the owners of the firm. The shareholders elect the directors of the corporation, who in turn appoint the firm’s management. This separation of ownership from control in the corporate form of organization is what causes agency problems to exist. Management may act in its own or someone else’s best interests, rather than those of the shareholders. If such events occur, they may contradict the goal of maximizing the share price of the equity of the firm. 8. A primary market transaction.