How can one calculate the present value of a stock given forecasts of future dividends and future stock price

Stockholders generally expect to receive (1) cash dividends and (2) capital gains or losses. The rate of return that they expect over the next year is defined as the expected dividend per share DIV1 plus the expected increase in price P1 - P0, all divided by the price at the start of the year P0.

Unlike the fixed interest payments that the firm promises to bondholders, the dividends that are paid to stockholders depend on the fortunes of the firm. That's why a company's common stock is riskier than its debt. The return that investors expect on any one stock is also the return that they demand on all stocks subject to the same degree of risk. The present value of a stock equals the present value of the forecast future dividends and future stock price, using that expected return as the discount rate.

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Sell Your Annuity

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