Saturday, 25 April 2009

Two important things in the capital structure of the business

Capital Structure

When looking at capital structure, try to determine two things:

1. Is the business a consumer or producer of capital? Does it constantly require capital infusions to build growth or replace assets? Warren Buffett - and many other value investors - shun businesses that cannot generate sufficient capital on their own. In fact, one of the guiding principles behind Berkshire Hathaway is the generation of excess capital by subsidiary businesses that can be deployed elsewhere.

2. Is the business properly leveraged? Overleveraged businesses are at risk and additionally burden earnings with interest payments. Under-leveraged businesses, while better than overleveraged, may not be maximizing potential returns to shareholders.

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