Weighted average cost of capital calculator

The Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) is a financial metric that represents the average cost of financing a company’s assets, considering both debt and equity components.

Ian Hawkins

Page written by Ian Hawkins. Last reviewed on July 12, 2024. Next review due April 1, 2025.

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Weighted average cost of capital

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What is WACC?

WACC, or Weighted Average Cost of Capital, is a financial metric used to assess a company’s cost of capital from all its sources, including equity and debt. It’s essentially the average rate of return that a company is expected to pay its security holders to finance its assets. WACC is crucial because it provides a benchmark for making investment decisions, evaluating projects, and determining the overall financial health of a business.

How to calculate weighted average cost of capital?

To calculate the weighted average cost of capital you can simply input values to the calculator or:

Use this formula: WACC=(VE×Re)+[VD×Rd×(1Tc)]

Where – 

  • E = Market value of equity
  • D = Market value of debt
  • V = Total market value of the company’s financing (equity + debt)
  • Re = Cost of equity
  • Rd = Cost of debt
  • Tc = Corporate tax rate
  1. Determine the market value of equity (E) and the market value of debt (D). Add these two values to find the total value of the firm (V).
  2. Determine the cost of equity (Re) and the cost of debt (Rd). These are the required rates of return on equity and debt, respectively.
  3. Find the corporate tax rate (Tc) applicable to the company.
  4. Plug the values into the formula to calculate the WACC.

What is WACC Used for?

WACC is a versatile tool used in various aspects of corporate finance, including:

  1. Investment Appraisal: Companies use WACC to evaluate the profitability of potential investment projects. If a project’s return exceeds the WACC, it is considered a good investment.

  2. Valuation: WACC is used in discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis to discount future cash flows to their present value. This helps in determining the fair value of a company.

  3. Performance measurement: WACC serves as a hurdle rate for comparing the company’s performance. A return above WACC indicates value creation, while a return below WACC suggests value destruction.

  4. Capital structure optimization: By analyzing WACC, companies can determine the optimal mix of debt and equity financing to minimize their overall cost of capital and maximize value.

Understanding and accurately calculating WACC helps businesses make informed financial decisions, align their capital structure with strategic goals, and enhance shareholder value.

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