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 May 17, 2024. Next review due March 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. Alongside being a financial metric that represents the average cost of financing a company’s assets, it represents the average rate of return a company is expected to pay to all its investors, including shareholders and debt holders, for funding its operations. The lower the WACC in relation to the company’s return on investment (ROI), the better.

How to calculate weighted average cost of capital?

To calculate the weighted average cost of capital:

  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.


Calculating WACC for a private company involves estimating the company's cost of equity and cost of debt. The cost of equity can be derived from comparable publicly traded companies or through methods like the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). The cost of debt can be estimated by analysing the interest rates on similar corporate bonds or loans.

A higher WACC typically indicates a higher cost of capital for the company, which can be considered unfavourable as it may reduce the company's investment opportunities and profitability. However, WACC should be assessed in comparison to the company's return on investment to determine its overall impact on value creation.

There is no universally applicable benchmark for a "good" WACC score, as it varies depending on factors such as industry, market conditions, and the company's risk profile. Generally, a WACC lower than the company's return on investment signifies value creation, while a WACC higher than the return on investment may indicate value destruction.

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