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Leverage, Capital Structure, and Dividend Policy SLP

Module 4 – SLP

Leverage, Capital Structure, and Dividend Policy

Review the 1) dividends for the past three years and 2) capital structure of the company you have been researching for your SLP assignment. Then answer the following questions in a Word document (except for the Excel portion specifically noted). The paper should be 2 pages in length.

  1. What has occurred with your selected company’s dividend payout, dividend yield, and dividend per share over the past three years? Do you have any explanations for what has occurred? Also, has this company had any stock splits or stock repurchases in recent years?
  2. How does your selected company’s dividend payout, dividend yield, and dividend per share compare with other companies in its industry? Has the company’s dividend strategy been similar to other companies in its industry?
  3. Use Excel to plot your selected company’s earnings and dividends over the past three years. Do you notice any patterns? What dividend policies from the background readings best match these patterns?

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • For computational problems, make sure to show your work and explain your steps.
  • For short answer/short essay questions, make sure to reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 11-14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.

Module 4 – Background

Leverage, Capital Structure, and Dividend Policy

Required Reading

Capital Structure

Start with this interactive tutorial from Pearson that will give you a short overview of the main topics from this module:

Obi, P. (2014). Capital structure and financial leverage. Purdue University. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKBdJX-rHMg

Now go through the following tutorials from Investopedia which include some videos. Start out with the tutorial on degree of operating leverage, then scroll down to the sections on earnings before interest and taxes and degree of financial leverage:

Investopedia

Degree of operating leverage. (n.d.). Investopedia. Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/degreeofoperatingleverage.asp

Now dive deeper into the concepts of capital structure with the following two book chapters. Pay special attention to the concepts of operating leverage, financial leverage, business vs. financial risks, and the major theories of capital structure choices. While the tutorials above will give you a broad overview of the main topics, the following readings have worked out problems and solutions that will be essential for completing the Case Assignment:

Vishwanath, S. (2007). Chapter 19: Optimal capital structure. Corporate finance: Theory and practice. SAGE Publications India. Available in the Trident Online Library.

Brigham, E. & Houston, J. (n.d.). Chapter 13: Capital structure and leverage. Fundamentals of Financial Management. Cengage Learning.

Finally, take a look at the following book chapter on dividend policy. Take a close look at the concepts of regular dividend policy and low-regular-and-extra dividend policy, as well as stock splits and stock repurchases:

Clive, M. (2012). Chapter 15: Dividend policy. Financial management for non-financial managers. Kogan Page. Available in the Trident Online Library.

Optional Reading

Ahmad, A. (n.d.) Firm debt part 1: Calculating how much to borrow. Coursera. Retrieved from: https://www.coursera.org/learn/finance-debt/lecture/0P8l0/firm-debt-part-1-calculating-how-much-to-borrow

Sexton, N. (2010). Introduction to dividend policy. LSBF Global MBA. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPVdxCJ2iCI

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