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    Calculating cost of equity using capital asset pricing model

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    Current Yield to Maturity (YTM) on a U.S. Government bond that matures based on the Treasury Bill Rate for 1 year is 0.10 and for 13 weeks is 0.02.
    For Amazon.com the following is assumed:
    Beta 0.77
    RF 5%
    RF = 1
    RM =5
    RM - RF= 4
    What is the cost of equity for Amazon.com?
    Based on the Betas of Ebay and Overstock.com compute their cost of equity. How does each compare to Amazon.com. Is it surprising that Ebay and Overstock have a higher or lower cost of equity?
    Do you think your Amazon.com should have a lower or a higher cost of capital than the average organization which is 8.2%?
    Explain how would you go about finding the cost of equity using the APT model and the dividend growth model for Amazon? What additional information might be needed that is not needed in using CAPM?

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    Solution Preview

    Computation for Amazon's Cost of Equity using CAPM
    Cost of equity for Amazon = risk free rate + beta*Risk premium = RF + Beta*(RM-RF) = 0.10% + 0.77*(5%-0.10%) = 3.94%
    The above cost of equity computation used the capital asset pricing model.
    Please double check your initial computation of risk premium. Risk free rate is not 1%, but 0.10%.

    Computation for eBay's Cost of Equity using CAPM
    Beta = 0.88 (Yahoo! Finance)
    Cost of equity = 0.10% + 0.88*(5%-0.10%) = 4.49%

    Computation for Overstock.com's Cost of Equity using CAPM
    Beta = 0.38 (Yahoo! Finance)
    Cost of equity = 0.10% + 0.38*(5%-0.10%) = 2.00%

    I was really surprised that Overstock.com has a lower cost of equity than Amazon. This lower cost of equity means that the market views Amazon as a riskier business than Overstock.com which I strongly disagree. Amazon's business is now more stable than before and its business model has proven to be sound.

    As for eBay's cost of equity, I expected that it will be higher than Amazon given eBay's business. Amazon owns portion of its goods for sale giving it more control ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution involves calculating the cost of equity using a capital asset pricing model.

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