Bài giảng Financial Markets - Lecture 10: Corporate Equity, Earnings and Dividends

The Corporation [1611] A body corporate legally authorized to act as a single individual, an artificial person created by royal charter, prescription, or act of legislature, and having authority to preserve certain rights in perpetual succession. (OED) Compare publicani of ancient Rome, essentially corporations (though the most prominent were private collecting agencies for taxes)

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Lecture 10: Corporate Equity, Earnings and DividendsThe Corporation[1611] A body corporate legally authorized to act as a single individual, an artificial person created by royal charter, prescription, or act of legislature, and having authority to preserve certain rights in perpetual succession. (OED)Compare publicani of ancient Rome, essentially corporations (though the most prominent were private collecting agencies for taxes) For-Profit vs. Non-ProfitFor-profit corporation is owned by shareholders, equal claim after debts paid, subject to corporate profits tax.Non-profit is not owned, self-perpetuating directors. Not subject to corporate profits tax.Common vs. Preferred StockCommon stock: dividend is at discretion of firm, subject to legal restrictionsPreferred stock: Specified dividend does not have to be paid, but firm cannot pay dividend on common stock unless all past preferred stock dividends are paid.Corporate bonds: Firm is contractually obligated to pay coupons and there is a maturity date when principal must be paid.Limited LiabilityEven publicani had some form of limited liability sometimesNew York State legislature made limited liability standard for all corporations, 1811Standard copied by other states, finally California, 1931.Other Corporate ObligationsConvertible bonds: bondholder has option to convert the bond to stockEmployee incentive optionsTracking stockJunk bondsWarrantsPartnership contractsVoting of Common SharesUsually one share one vote, in person or by proxy, for board of directors and some other essential matters Shareholders meetings usually annual event, and required by law for big events such as merging corporationShareholder meeting circuses Berle and Means Adolf A. Berle Jr., and Gardiner C. Means, The Modern Corporation and Private Property, 1933Separation of ownership and control“ownership is so widely scattered that working control can be maintained with but a minority interest.”The “quasi-public corporation” is constrained by law to serve other interests.Payment of DividendsPurely discretionaryYoung firms typically pay noneNASDAQ dividend yield virtually zeroCorporate culture influences dividends. MicrosoftLiquidity constraints on dividendsModigliani-Miller Dividend Irrelevance TheoryJournal of Business, 1961.Assume no taxes or transactions costsConsider purely financial transaction: selling shares to pay dividendsM&M Conclusion: Dividend policy has no effect on the value of the firm.Purely nominal difference between dividend checks and repurchase checks.Adding Taxes to M&M WorldDividends are taxable as personal income, share repurchases are capital gains, lower rate.Announcing payment of new dividends should lower value of firm by present value of taxes.Why Do Firms Pay Dividends?Hersch Shefrin and Meir Statman: Self-control theory of dividends. (analogy to Christmas clubs, overwithholding) Rule of thumb spending rule.Prospect theory interpretation: framing matters. Dividends framed as income.University endowments once required high-yield investments to provide incomeDividend SignallingBy raising dividends, firm shows it can court bankruptcy.Battacharya, Hakansson, RossProblem: alternative signalling methods are cheaper tax-wiseLintner Model of DividendsDIVt-DIVt-1= ( × EPSt-DIVt-1) =adjustment rate, 0< <1=target ratio, 0< <1Kahneman & Tversky Framing Example“US is preparing for a rare Asian disease which is expected to kill 600 people.”“If Program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved. If program B is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that 600 people will be saved and a 2/3 probability that no people will be saved.” (Majority: A)K&T Framing ContinuedOther respondents given a different choice:If program C is adopted, 400 people will die If Program D is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that no one will die, and a 2/3 probability tha 600 people will die.” (Majority: D) Scientific American 1981General Public Utilities CorpPresident Kuhn proposed to substitute stock dividends for cash dividends, and offered to sell the stock dividend for any stockholder for minimal transaction cost. (ca. 1968)Direct saving to shareholder: $4 million a year.Intense negative shareholder reactionS&P D/E & D/P 1871-2004Share RepurchaseOnce rare, now S&P 500 firms repurchase approx. 2% of shares per year. They issue about 1% of shares per year in employee option exercise, so net repurchase is about 1% per year.Repurchase now almost as high as dividends paid, but firms still pay dividends. A puzzle.Reasons for Share RepurchaseTax break for investorsFirms’ unwillingness to cut dividends, uncertainty that current earnings will continuePrice pop after a repurchase. Buybacks taken as a signal. But price pops are fading.Now investors sometimes view repurchase as a sign that firm is “old economy.” NASDAQ firms less likely to repurchase shares, as if they think value is too high.Employee Options and Share RepurchaseThe “overhang,” percent of stock market promised to employees via options, stood at 6.2% in 144 of largest S&P 500 firms in 1998.Option holders have an interest in repurchasing shares rather than paying dividends.Lambert Lanen & Larker JFQA 1985: dividend payouts reduced after option plans introduced.Reasons for Declining Dividend, Earnings Yield in New MillenniumPerception of great growth opportunities with new technologyFirst-mover advantage prizedDividends, Earnings are for losersProblem in valuing firms
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