Unlevered Cost of Capital - Explained
What is the Unlevered Cost of Capital?
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Table of ContentsWhat is an Unlevered Cost of Capital?How Does an Unlevered Cost of Capital Work?Unlevered Cost of Capital Calculation
What is an Unlevered Cost of Capital?
The unlevered cost of capital is the evaluating of the expected rate of return on a company's assets using a hypothetical debt-free situation. The unlevered cost of capital is purely theoretical, it is an evaluation of a company that maintains that the company can finance itself without any debt. Also, the cost of executing a capital project by a company is estimated without the effect of debt. When investors use the unlevered cost of capital, it is an estimate of equity returns without any debt.
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How Does an Unlevered Cost of Capital Work?
Typically, capital projects and investments in an unlevered cost of capital are cost-effective, they are not expensive as the levered cost of capital. Using the unlevered cost of capital, investors measure the strength of the investment of a company and equity returns they are likely to get when they invest in the company. A company with low unlevered returns can experience a downturn of investors or rejection of investments by investors. Higher costs are generated in levered cost projects and investments due to issuance of debt, unlevered cost projects however are presumed to be debt-free. The cost of a compact financing a project without accumulating any debt is the unlevered cost of project.
Unlevered Cost of Capital Calculation
When calculating the unlevered cost of capital, certain factors are essential, these are; market risk premium, Unlevered Beta and risk-free rate of return. The Formula for calculating unlevered cost of capital is: Unlevered Cost of Capital = Risk-Free Rate + Unlevered Beta (Market Risk Premium). Unlevered Beta means the volatility of an investment when compared to the market or other companies. Market Risk Premium on the other hand, is calculated by deducting the expected market returns from the risk-free rate of return.