# Free cash flow to equity

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In corporate finance, free cash flow to equity (FCFE) is a metric of how much cash can be distributed to the equity shareholders of the company as dividends or stock buybacks—after all expenses, reinvestments, and debt repayments are taken care of. Whereas dividends are the cash flows actually paid to shareholders, the FCFE is the cash flow simply available to shareholders. [1] [2] The FCFE is usually calculated as a part of DCF or LBO modelling and valuation. The FCFE is also called the levered free cash flow.

Corporate finance is an area of finance that deals with sources of funding, the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. The primary goal of corporate finance is to maximize or increase shareholder value. Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms.

Share repurchase is the re-acquisition by a company of its own stock. It represents a more flexible way of returning money to shareholders.

## Basic formulae

Assuming there is no preferred stock outstanding:

${\displaystyle FCFE=FCFF+Net\ Borrowing-Interest*(1-t)}$

where:

Interest expense relates to the cost of borrowing money. It is the price that a lender charges a borrower for the use of the lender's money. On the income statement, interest expense can represent the cost of borrowing money from banks, bond investors, and other sources. Interest expense is different from operating expense and CAPEX, for it relates to the capital structure of a company, and it is usually tax-deductible.

or

${\displaystyle FCFE=NI+D\&A-Capex-\Delta WC+Net\ Borrowing}$

or

${\displaystyle FCFE=NI-[(1-b)(Capex-D\&A)+(1-b)(\Delta WC)]}$

where:

• NI is the firm's net income;
• D&A is the depreciation and amortisation;
• b is the debt ratio;
• Capex is the capital expenditure;
• ΔWC is the change in working capital;
• Net Borrowing is the difference between debt principals paid and raised;
• In this case, it is important not to include interest expense, as this is already figured into net income. [4]

In business and accounting, net income is a measure of the profitability of a venture. It is an entity's income minus cost of goods sold, expenses, depreciation & amortization, interest, and taxes for an accounting period. It is computed as the residual of all revenues and gains over all expenses and losses for the period, and has also been defined as the net increase in shareholders' equity that results from a company's operations. It is different from the gross income, which only deducts the cost of goods sold.

Capital expenditure or capital expense is the money a company spends to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, or land. It is considered a capital expenditure when the asset is newly purchased or when money is used towards extending the useful life of an existing asset, such as repairing the roof.

Working capital is a financial metric which represents operating liquidity available to a business, organisation or other entity, including governmental entities. Along with fixed assets such as plant and equipment, working capital is considered a part of operating capital. Gross working capital is equal to current assets. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. If current assets are less than current liabilities, an entity has a working capital deficiency, also called a working capital deficit.

## FCFF vs. FCFE

• Free cash flow to firm (FCFF) is the cash flow available to all the firm's providers of capital once the firm pays all operating expenses (including taxes) and expenditures needed to support the firm's productive capacity. The providers of capital include common stockholders, bondholders, preferred stockholders, and other claimholders.
• Free cash flow to equity (FCFE) is the cash flow available to the firm’s common stockholders only.
• If the firm is all-equity financed, its FCFF is equal to FCFE.

- FCFF is the cash flow available to the suppliers of capital after all operating expenses (including taxes) are paid and working and fixed capital investments are made. - It is calculated by making the following adjustments to EBIT.

## Negative FCFE

Like FCFF, the free cash flow to equity can be negative. If FCFE is negative, it is a sign that the firm will need to raise or earn new equity, not necessarily immediately. Some examples include:

• Large negative net income may result in the negative FCFE;
• Reinvestment needs, such as large capex, may overwhelm net income, which is often the case for growth companies, especially early in the life cycle.
• Large debt repayments coming due that have to be funded with equity cash flows can cause negative FCFE; highly levered firms that are trying to bring their debt ratios down can go through years of negative FCFE.
• The waves of the reinvestment process, when firms invest large amounts of cash in some years and nothing in others, can cause the FCFE to be negative in the big reinvestment years and positive in others; [5]
• FCFF is a preferred metric for valuation when FCFE is negative or when the firm's capital structure is unstable.

## Uses

There are two ways to estimate the equity value using free cash flows:

• Discounting free cash flows to firm (FCFF) at the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) yields the enterprise value. The firm’s net debt and the value of other claims are then subtracted from EV to calculate the equity value.
• If only the free cash flows to equity (FCFE) are discounted, then the relevant discount rate should be the required return on equity. This provides a more direct way of estimating equity value.
• In theory, both approaches should yield the same equity value if the inputs are consistent.

The weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets. The WACC is commonly referred to as the firm's cost of capital. Importantly, it is dictated by the external market and not by management. The WACC represents the minimum return that a company must earn on an existing asset base to satisfy its creditors, owners, and other providers of capital, or they will invest elsewhere.

Enterprise value (EV), total enterprise value (TEV), or firm value (FV) is an economic measure reflecting the market value of a business. It is a sum of claims by all claimants: creditors and shareholders. Enterprise value is one of the fundamental metrics used in business valuation, financial modeling, accounting, portfolio analysis, and risk analysis.

## Related Research Articles

In finance, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis is a method of valuing a project, company, or asset using the concepts of the time value of money. All future cash flows are estimated and discounted by using cost of capital to give their present values (PVs). The sum of all future cash flows, both incoming and outgoing, is the net present value (NPV), which is taken as the value of the cash flows in question.

In finance, the net present value (NPV) or net present worth (NPW) applies to a series of cash flows occurring at different times. The present value of a cash flow depends on the interval of time between now and the cash flow. It also depends on the discount rate. NPV accounts for the time value of money. It provides a method for evaluating and comparing capital projects or financial products with cash flows spread over time, as in loans, investments, payouts from insurance contracts plus many other applications.

The internal rate of return (IRR) is a measure of an investment’s rate of return. The term internal refers to the fact that the calculation excludes external factors, such as the risk-free rate, inflation, the cost of capital, or various financial risks.

In accounting, equity is the difference between the value of the assets and the value of the liabilities of something owned. It is governed by the following equation:

In corporate finance, as part of fundamental analysis, economic value added (EVA) is an estimate of a firm's economic profit, or the value created in excess of the required return of the company's shareholders. EVA is the net profit less the capital charge (\$) for raising the firm's capital. The idea is that value is created when the return on the firm's economic capital employed exceeds the cost of that capital. This amount can be determined by making adjustments to GAAP accounting. There are potentially over 160 adjustments but in practice only several key ones are made, depending on the company and its industry. EVA is a service mark of Stern Value Management.

The APV was introduced in 1974 bij Stewart Myers. According to Myers, the value of the levered firm is equal to the value of the firm with no debt plus the present value of the tax savings due to the tax deductability of interest payments, the so called value of the tax shield (VTS). Myers proposes calculating the VTS by discounting the tax savings at the cost of debt (Kd). The argument is that the risk of the tax saving arising from the use of debt is the same as the risk of the debt. The method is to calculate the NPV of the project as if it is all-equity financed. Then the base-case NPV is adjusted for the benefits of financing. Usually, the main benefit is a tax shield resulted from tax deductibility of interest payments. Another benefit can be a subsidized borrowing at sub-market rates. The APV method is especially effective when a leveraged buyout case is considered since the company is loaded with an extreme amount of debt, so the tax shield is substantial.

In corporate finance, free cash flow (FCF) or free cash flow to firm (FCFF) is a way of looking at a business's cash flow to see what is available for distribution among all the securities holders of a corporate entity. This may be useful to parties such as equity holders, debt holders, preferred stock holders, and convertible security holders when they want to see how much cash can be extracted from a company without causing issues to its operations.

The retained earnings of a corporation is the accumulated net income of the corporation that is retained by the corporation at a particular point of time, such as at the end of the reporting period. At the end of that period, the net income at that point is transferred from the Profit and Loss Account to the retained earnings account. If the balance of the retained earnings account is negative it may be called accumulated losses, retained losses or accumulated deficit, or similar terminology.

Return on capital (ROC), or return on invested capital (ROIC), is a ratio used in finance, valuation and accounting, as a measure of the profitability and value-creating potential of companies after taking into account the amount of initial capital invested. The ratio is calculated by dividing the after-tax operating income (NOPAT) by the book value of both debt and equity capital less cash/equivalents.

Business valuation is a process and a set of procedures used to estimate the economic value of an owner's interest in a business. Valuation is used by financial market participants to determine the price they are willing to pay or receive to effect a sale of a business. In addition to estimating the selling price of a business, the same valuation tools are often used by business appraisers to resolve disputes related to estate and gift taxation, divorce litigation, allocate business purchase price among business assets, establish a formula for estimating the value of partners' ownership interest for buy-sell agreements, and many other business and legal purposes such as in shareholders deadlock, divorce litigation and estate contest. In some cases, the court would appoint a forensic accountant as the joint expert doing the business valuation.

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Capital budgeting, and investment appraisal, is the planning process used to determine whether an organization's long term investments such as new machinery, replacement of machinery, new plants, new products, and research development projects are worth the funding of cash through the firm's capitalization structure. It is the process of allocating resources for major capital, or investment, expenditures. One of the primary goals of capital budgeting investments is to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders.

Valuation using discounted cash flows is a method for determining the current value of a company using future cash flows adjusted for time value of money. The future cash flow set is made up of the cash flows within the determined forecast period and a continuing value that represents the cash flow stream after the forecast period. Discounted Cash Flow valuation was used in industry as early as the 1700s or 1800s, widely discussed in financial economics in the 1960s, and became widely used in U.S. Courts in the 1980s and 1990s.

A tax shield is the reduction in income taxes that results from taking an allowable deduction from taxable income. For example, because interest on debt is a tax-deductible expense, taking on debt creates a tax shield. Since a tax shield is a way to save cash flows, it increases the value of the business, and it is an important aspect of business valuation.

In finance, the T-model is a formula that states the returns earned by holders of a company's stock in terms of accounting variables obtainable from its financial statements. The T-model connects fundamentals with investment return, allowing an analyst to make projections of financial performance and turn those projections into a required return that can be used in investment selection. Mathematically the model is as follows:

A financial ratio or accounting ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from an enterprise's financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization. Financial ratios may be used by managers within a firm, by current and potential shareholders (owners) of a firm, and by a firm's creditors. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare the strengths and weaknesses in various companies. If shares in a company are traded in a financial market, the market price of the shares is used in certain financial ratios.

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Residual income valuation is an approach to equity valuation that formally accounts for the cost of equity capital. Here, "residual" means in excess of any opportunity costs measured relative to the book value of shareholders' equity; residual income (RI) is then the income generated by a firm after accounting for the true cost of capital. The approach is largely analogous to the EVA/MVA based approach, with similar logic and advantages. Residual Income valuation has its origins in Edwards & Bell (1961), Peasnell (1982), and Ohlson (1995).

## References

1. "Free Cash Flow To Equity - FCFE". investopedia.com . Retrieved 2015-02-13.
2. "Free Cash Flow - Valuation". cfainstitute.org. Archived from the original on 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
3. Damodaran, Aswath (1999). Investment Valuation: Tools and Techniques for Determining the Value of Any Asset . John Wiley & Sons. ISBN   978-1118011522.
4. "Free Cash Flow to Equity". financeformulas.net. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
5. "The Little Book of Valuation". stern.nyu.edu . Retrieved 2015-02-18.