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Economics of Enterprise – Q&A


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3. Halka Company is a no-growth firm. Its sales fluctuate seasonally, causing total assets to vary from $320,000 to $410,000, but fixed assets remain constant at $260,000. If the firm follows a maturity matching (or moderate) working capital financing policy, what is the most likely total of long-term debt plus equity capital?

a. $260,642
b. $274,360
c. $288,800
d. $304,000
e. $320,000
2. Which of the following statements is CORRECT?

a. A firm that makes 90% of its sales on credit and 10% for cash is growing at a constant rate of 10% annually. Such a firm will be able to keep its accounts receivable at the current level, since the 10% cash sales can be used to finance the 10% growth rate.
b. In managing a firm's accounts receivable, it is possible to increase credit sales per day yet still keep accounts receivable fairly steady, provided the firm can shorten the length of its collection period (its DSO) sufficiently.
c. Because of the costs of granting credit, it is not possible for credit sales to be more profitable than cash sales.
d. Since receivables and payables both result from sales transactions, a firm with a high receivables-to-sales ratio must also have a high payables-to-sales ratio.
e. Other things held constant, if a firm can shorten its DSO, this will lead to a higher current ratio.
1. Swim Suits Unlimited is in a highly seasonal business, and the following summary balance sheet data show its assets and liabilities at peak and off-peak seasons (in thousands of dollars):
Peak Off-Peak
Cash $ 50 $ 30
Marketable securities 0 20
Accounts receivable 40 20
Inventories 100 50
Net fixed assets 500 500
Total assets $690 $620
Payables and accruals $ 30 $ 10
Short-term bank debt 50 0
Long-term debt 300 300
Common equity 310 310
Total claims $690 $620
From this data we may conclude that
a. Swim Suits' current asset financing policy calls for exactly matching asset and liability maturities.
b. Swim Suits' current asset financing policy is relatively aggressive; that is, the company finances some of its permanent assets with short-term discretionary debt.
c. Swim Suits follows a relatively conservative approach to current asset financing; that is, some of its short-term needs are met by permanent capital.
d. Without income statement data, we cannot determine the aggressiveness or conservatism of the c
what gives a person acomparative advantage
Zervos Inc. had the following data for 2008 (in millions). The new CFO believes (a) that an improved inventory management system could lower the average inventory by $4,000, (b) that improvements in the credit department could reduce receivables by $2,000, and (c) that the purchasing department could negotiate better credit terms and thereby increase accounts payable by $2,000. Furthermore, she thinks that these changes would not affect either sales or the costs of goods sold. If these changes were made, by how many days would the cash conversion cycle be lowered?

Original Revised
Annual sales: unchanged
Cost of goods sold: unchanged
Average inventory: lowered by $4,000
Average receivables: lowered by $2,000
Average payables: increased by $2,000
Days in year $110,000
365 $110,000
Analyze the approaches to capital structure decisions and determine which theory is the most applicable across the widest number of scenarios. Explain your rationale.
Select a company in which you would like to invest and use the Internet to research how the company is currently using its free cash flow.

Determine how the company you selected should address its free cash flow, either through distributions to shareholders or repurchasing of stock. Explain your rationale.
5. Which of the following statements is CORRECT?

a. Generally, debt-to-total-assets ratios do not vary much among different industries, although they do vary among firms within a given industry.
b. Electric utilities generally have very high common equity ratios because their revenues are more volatile than those of firms in most other industries.
c. Drug companies (prescription, not illegal!) generally have high debt-to-equity ratios because their earnings are very stable and, thus, they can cover the high interest costs associated with high debt levels.
d. Wide variations in capital structures exist both between industries and among individual firms within given industries. These differences are caused by differing business risks and also managerial attitudes.
e. Since most stocks sell at or very close to their book values, book value capital structures are almost always adequate for use in estimating firms' costs of capital.
4. Companies HD and LD have identical amounts of assets, operating income (EBIT), tax rates, and business risk. Company HD, however, has a much higher debt ratio than LD. Company HD’s basic earning power ratio (BEP) exceeds its cost of debt (rd). Which of the following statements is CORRECT?

a. Company HD has a higher return on assets (ROA) than Company LD.
b. Company HD has a higher times interest earned (TIE) ratio than Company LD.
c. Company HD has a higher return on equity (ROE) than Company LD, and its risk, as measured by the standard deviation of ROE, is also higher than LD’s.
d. The two companies have the same ROE.
e. Company HD’s ROE would be higher if it had no debt.
Which of the following statements is CORRECT?

a. In general, a firm with low operating leverage also has a small proportion of its total costs in the form of fixed costs.
b. There is no reason to think that changes in the personal tax rate would affect firms’ capital structure decisions.
c. A firm with high business risk is more likely to increase its use of financial leverage than a firm with low business risk, assuming all else equal.
d. If a firm's after-tax cost of equity exceeds its after-tax cost of debt, it can always reduce its WACC by increasing its use of debt.
e. Suppose a firm has less than its optimal amount of debt. Increasing its use of debt to the point where it is at its optimal capital structure will decrease the costs of both debt and equity financing.
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