From Cost of Equity to Cost of Capital

While equity is undoubtedly an important and indispensable ingredient of the financing mix for every business, it is but one ingredient. Most businesses finance some or much of their operations using debt or some hybrid of equity and debt. The costs of these sources of financing are generally very different from the cost of equity, and the minimum acceptable hurdle rate for a project will reflect their costs as well, in proportion to their use in the financing mix. Intuitively, the cost of capital is the weighted average of the costs of the different components of financing -- including debt, equity and hybrid securities -- used by a firm to fund its financial requirements.

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