StarDucks, Inc (SDUX) is an American coffee company with more than 10,000 coffeehouses operating in the United States.


After the initial 5 years, SDUX believes the market will continue in perpetuity: however, given that the segment will reach maturity, it would very likely be a zero growth business. The company uses NPV for capital budgeting decisions on new products and investments.

As of today, SDUX currently has $8 billion in bonds (debt) outstanding. Their stock closed at $40/share and there are 300 million shares outstanding. The beta of SDUX stock (equity) is approximately 0.8. SDUX is an “A-rated’ company credit-wise, and continues to borrow at the current rate of 3.1% like most companies in that rating category. They face a marginal tax rate of 35%. Recent market data shows that 10-year US treasuries yield 1.8% and the expected market risk premium going forward is 6%.

Additionally, in considering the new investment, SDUX is likely going to raise new capital which it will finance through an equity offering. Based on the recommendation by their investment bank, SDUX considers establishing a new capital structure that will be 75% equity if they decide to go forward with the new business.

SDUX has also identified a pure play company, G-Latte-O Corp, that only produces and sells high end coffee-flavored gelato products. G-Latte-O has a capital structure that is 15% debt – 85% equity and has an equity beta of 1.4. They have the same marginal tax rate as SDUX.

a) Calculate the current WACC for SDUX Corporation and determine whether the company should proceed with the investment at that discount rate.

b) Calculate the appropriate risk-adjusted discount rate that SDUX should use to evaluate the new investment, and then determine whether the company should proceed with the investment using this risk-adjusted rate.

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