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Do all-equity firms destroy value by holding cash?

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  • Kisser, Michael

    ()
    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

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    Abstract

    Empirical evidence shows that as of 2006, nearly every fifth large U.S. public corporation was all-equity financed and that the corresponding average cash holding were nearly twice as high as of the average U.S. firm. This paper therefore presents a simple real-options model to characterize the value of cash for all-equity financed firms and analyze its impact on a firm's investment decision. The model shows that precautionary saving may lead to a delay in investment policy compared to the benchmark of full external financing. This is because saving is an option to invest at a lower price in the future and this option has an additional time value, thereby delaying optimal investment. In the context of growth options and external financing frictions cash has extra value but this value is mostly negatively related to volatility. Testing empirically whether all-equity firms destroy value by holding that much cash, I show that on average the market values cash approximately at par. Moreover, cash is rather valued at a premium if the presence of growth opportunities is being controlled for.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010/17.

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    Length: 58 pages
    Date of creation: 21 Dec 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2010_017

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    Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
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    Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
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    Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
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    Keywords: All-equity firms; cash holding;

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    References

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    1. Stefan Hirth & Marliese Uhrig-Homburg, 2010. "Investment Timing when External Financing is Costly," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7-8), pages 929-949.
    2. Adriano Rampini & Andrea Eisfeldt, 2005. "Financing Shortfalls and the Value of Aggregate Liquidity," 2005 Meeting Papers 889, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Goyal, Vidhan K. & Lehn, Kenneth & Racic, Stanko, 2002. "Growth opportunities and corporate debt policy: the case of the U.S. defense industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-59, April.
    4. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    5. Han, Seungjin & Qiu, Jiaping, 2007. "Corporate precautionary cash holdings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 43-57, March.
    6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    7. Andrea Gamba & Alexander Triantis, 2008. "The Value of Financial Flexibility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2263-2296, October.
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