discussion 13

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Chapter13-CorporateValuationValue-BasedManagementandCorporateGovernance..pptx

Corporate Governance

CHAPTER 13

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Topics in Chapter

Agency Conflicts

Corporate Governance

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Corporate Governance and Corporate Value

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What is an agency relationship?

An agency relationship arises whenever one or more individuals, called principals, (1) hires another individual or organization, called an agent, to perform some service and (2) then delegates decision-making authority to that agent.

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If you are the only employee, and only your money is invested in the business, would any agency problems exist?

No agency problem would exist. A potential agency problem arises whenever the manager of a firm owns less than 100 percent of the firm’s common stock, or the firm borrows. You own 100 percent of the firm.

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Would hiring additional people create agency problems?

An agency relationship could exist between you and your employees if you, the principal, hired the employees to perform some service and delegated some decision-making authority to them.

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Owner/managers versus Outside Shareholders

Benefits of being an owner/manager:

Increase wealth due to owning company

Perquisites (perks):

Luxurious offices

Executive assistants

Expense accounts

Limousines and auto allowances

Country club memberships

Generous retirement plan

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Who bears the costs of the perks?

If the owner/manager owns all the stock, the owner/manager bears all costs.

If there are also outside shareholders, they bear some of the cost due to the owner/manager’s perks.

Therefore, minority shareholders will pay less for shares of stock—this is an agency cost.

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Borrowers versus Lenders

After the loan is originated, borrowers can make decisions that affect the lender:

Invest in risky projects.

Who benefits most if there is a small payoff, medium payoff, or big payoff?

Who loses most if there is a small loss, medium loss, or big loss?

Take on additional debt

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Agency Cost of Debt

Creditors anticipate possible harmful actions by stockholders

Creditors charge higher interest rate.

Company’s cost of capital goes up.

Value of company goes down.

This is an agency cost.

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What actions reduce agency cost of debt?

Securing the loan with company’s assets.

Placing restrictive covenants in debt agreements. The borrower must:

Maintain profitability ratios and retained earnings at a certain level before making any distributions to shareholders.

Maintain debt ratios at specified levels.

Not issue more debt.

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The Modern Corporation

Many shareholders, none who own a controlling interest in the company.

Decision-making delegated by shareholders to an elected board of directors.

Board delegates most decision-making to hired executives, who then hire other employees and delegate some decision-making.

Potential agency conflict between shareholders and managers.

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Six Potential Problems with Managerial Behavior (1 of 2)

Expend too little time and effort.

Consume too many nonpecuniary benefits.

Avoid difficult decisions (e.g., close plant) out of loyalty to friends in company.

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Six Problems with Managerial Behavior (2 of 2)

Reject risky positive NPV projects to avoid looking bad if project fails; take on risky negative NPV projects to try and hit a home run.

Avoid returning capital to investors by making excess investments in marketable securities or by paying too much for acquisitions.

Massage information releases or manage earnings to avoid revealing bad news.

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Corporate Governance

The set of laws, rules, and procedures that influence a company’s operations and the decisions made by its managers.

Sticks (threat of removal)

Carrots (compensation)

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Corporate Governance Provisions Under a Firm’s Control

Board of directors

Charter provisions affecting takeovers

Compensation plans

Capital structure choices

Internal accounting control systems

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Effective Boards of Directors (1 of 4)

Election mechanisms make it easier for minority shareholders to gain seats:

Not a “classified” board (i.e., all board members elected each year, not just those with multi-year staggered terms)

Board elections allow cumulative voting

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Effective Boards of Directors (2 of 4)

CEO is not chairman of the board and does not have undue influence over the nominating committee.

Board has a majority of outside directors (i.e., those who do not have another position in the company) with business expertise.

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Effective Boards of Directors (3 of 4)

Is not an interlocking board (CEO of company A sits on board of company B, CEO of B sits on board of A).

Board members are not unduly busy (i.e., set on too many other boards or have too many other business activities)

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Effective Boards of Directors (4 of 4)

Compensation for board directors is appropriate

Not so high that it encourages cronyism with CEO

Not all compensation is fixed salary (i.e., some compensation is linked to firm performance or stock performance)

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Anti-Takeover Provisions

Targeted share repurchases (i.e., greenmail)

Shareholder rights provisions (i.e., poison pills)

Restricted voting rights plans

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Stock Options in Compensation Plans (1 of 2)

Gives owner of option the right to buy a share of the company’s stock at a specified price (called the strike price or exercise price) even if the actual stock price is higher.

Usually can’t exercise the option for several years (called the vesting period).

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Stock Options in Compensation Plans (2 of 2)

Can’t exercise the option after a certain number of years (called the expiration, or maturity, date).

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Problems with Stock Options

Manager can underperform market or peer group, yet still reap rewards from options as long as the stock price increases to above the exercise cost.

Options sometimes encourage managers to falsify financial statements or take excessive risks.

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Block Ownership

Outside investor owns large amount (i.e., block) of company’s shares

Institutional investors, such as CalPERS or TIAA-CREF

Blockholders often monitor managers and take active role, leading to better corporate governance

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Regulatory Systems and Laws

Companies in countries with strong protection for investors tend to have:

Better access to financial markets

A lower cost of equity

Increased market liquidity

Less noise in stock prices

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