An Overview of Corporate Finance and
The Financial Environment
Assume that you recently graduated with a degree in finance and have just reported to work as an investment advisor at the brokerage firm of Balik and Kiefer Inc. One of the firm’s clients is Michelle Dellatorre, a professional tennis player who has just come to the United States from Chile. Dellatorre is a highly ranked tennis player who would like to start a company to produce and market apparel that she designs. She also expects to invest substantial amounts of money through Balik and Kiefer. Dellatorre is also very bright, and, therefore, she would like to understand, in general terms, ...view middle of the document...
The proprietorship also has three important limitations: (1) it is difficult for a proprietorship to obtain large sums of capital; (2) the proprietor has unlimited personal liability for the business’s debts, and (3) the life of a business organized as a proprietorship is limited to the life of the individual who created it.
The major advantage of a partnership is its low cost and ease of formation. The disadvantages are similar to those associated with proprietorships: (1) unlimited liability, (2) limited life of the organization, (3) difficulty of transferring ownership, and (4) difficulty of raising large amounts of capital. The tax treatment of a partnership is similar to that for proprietorships, which is often an advantage.
The corporate form of business has three major advantages: (1) unlimited life, (2) easy transferability of ownership interest, and (3) limited liability. While the corporate form offers significant advantages over proprietorships and partnerships, it does have two primary disadvantages: (1) corporate earnings may be subject to double taxation and (2) setting up a corporation and filing the many required state and federal reports is more complex and time-consuming than for a proprietorship or a partnership.
In a limited partnership, the limited partners are liable only for the amount of their investment in the partnership; however, the limited partners typically have no control. The limited liability partnership form of organization combines the limited liability advantage of a corporation with the tax advantages of a partnership. Professional corporations provide most of the benefits of incorporation but do not relieve the participants of professional liability. S corporations are similar in many ways to limited liability partnerships, but LLPS frequently offer more flexibility and benefits to their owners.
c. How do corporations “go public” and continue to grow? What are agency problems?
Answer: A company goes public when it sells stock to the public in an initial public as the firm grows, it might issue additional stock or debt. An agency problem occurs when the managers of the firm act in their own self interests and not in the interests of the shareholders.
d. What should be the primary objective of managers?
Answer: The corporation’s primary goal is stockholder wealth maximization, which translates to maximizing the price of the firm’s common stock.
d. 1. Do firms have any responsibilities to society at large?
Answer: Firms have an ethical responsibility to provide a safe working environment, to avoid polluting the air or water, and to produce safe products. However, the most significant cost-increasing actions will have to be put on a mandatory rather than a voluntary basis to ensure that the burden falls uniformly on all businesses.
d. 2. Is stock price maximization good or bad for society?
Answer: The same actions that maximize stock prices...