SOUTHEASTERN STEEL COMPANY
Dividend policy Southeastern Steel Company (SSC) was formed 5 years ago to exploit a new continuous casting process. SSC’s founder, Donald Brown and Margo Valencia, had been employed in the research process (which Brown and Valencia had developed), they decided to strike out on their own. One advantage of the new process was that it required relatively little capital in comparison with the typical steel company, so Brown and Valencia have been able to avoid issuing new stock, and thus they own all of the shares. However, SSC has now reached the stage in which outside equity capital is necessary if the firm is to achieve its growth targets yet still maintain its target capital structure of 60 percent equity and 40 percent debt. Therefore, Brown and Valencia have decided to take the company public. Until now, Brown and Valencia have themselves reasonable salaries but routinely reinvested all after-tax earnings in the firm, so dividend policy has not been an issue. However, before talking with potential outside investors, they must decide on a dividend policy.
Assume that you were recently hired by Arthur Adamson & Company (AA), a national consulting firm, which has been asked to help SSC prepare for its public offering. Martha Millon, the senior AA consultant in your group, has asked you to make a presentation to Brown and Valencia in which you review the theory of dividend policy and discuss the following questions. a. (1) What is meant by the term “dividend policy”?
(2) Explain briefly the dividend irrelevance theory that was put forward by Modigliani and Miller. What were the key assumptions underlying their theory? (3) Discuss why some investors may prefer high-dividend-paying stocks, while other investors prefer stocks that pay low or non-existent dividends. b.
Discuss (1) the information content, or signalling, hypothesis, (2) the clientele effect,
and (3) their effects on dividend policy.
(1) Assume that SSC has an...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document