Essay on American Home Product (AHP) Case

Words: 1284
Pages: 6

American Home Products (AHP) has established a strong track record of revenue growth and return on equity over the past decade, producing a host of products in four separate business lines: prescription drugs, packaged drugs, food products, and housewares/household products. AHP’s distinctive culture emphasizes conservatism, cost control and risk aversion. AHP’s corporate structure also concentrated most decision-making authority with the incumbent chief executive, William F. Laporte. This approach and the results that followed has led to popularity amongst investors, with Laporte had stating that “a corporation’s primary mission is to make money for its stockholders and maximize profits by minimizing costs.”
In line with the corporate
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Although these calculations provide a quantitative estimate of the effects of increased leverage, there are still several qualitative factors to consider, as will be discussed below.
Detailed calculations can be found in Exhibit 1 for D/V ratios (book basis) from 10% to 100%. Although we used book D/V as the label for each option (consistent with the case text), our debt rating/risk of default calculations were done using market D/V as described above. Using a tax rate of 48% tax rate and an assumption that the price will remain at $30, for different debt to value ratios, we can see that the present value of the tax shield increases as we increase debt, with interest rates also slowing increasing and the WACC slowly decreasing.

The tax shield benefit must be compared to the costs of financial distress. Cost of financial distress was calculated using the formula: Exp. cost of FD=prob. of FD × cost of FD of default where FD is financial distress. We also assumed the interest rate charged would increase as debt rose to reflect the increased risk. With the yield premium on AAA and BBB debt as endpoints, we used linear interpolation to estimate the yield premium at the intermediate bond ratings. We also used bond ratings to estimate the probability of default using historical data. Our calculations yielded the following:

The costs of financial distress are