Critically assess the Pecking Order Theory of Capital Structure

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There is no universal theory of the debt-equity choice, and no reason to expect one. In this essay I will critically assess the Pecking Order Theory of capital structure with reference and comparison of publicly listed companies. The pecking order theory says that the firm will borrow, rather than issuing equity, when internal cash flow is not sufficient to fund capital expenditures. This theory explains why firms prefer internal rather than external financing which is due to adverse selection, asymmetry of information, and agency costs (Frank & Goyal, 2003). The trade-off theory comes from the pecking order theory it is an unintentional outcome of companies following the pecking-order theory. This explains that firms strive to achieve an…show more content…
If the firms funding requirements are larger than their retained earnings, they must issue debt as this is preferred to issuing equity. Based on this theory, a firm’s financing policies could be viewed as signalling management’s view of the firm’s stock value (Wang & Lin 2010).Myers and Majluf (1984) also add that if firms issued no new securities but only used its retained earning to support the investment opportunities, the information asymmetric could be resolved. This suggests that issuing equity turn out to be more expensive as asymmetric information insiders and outsiders increase. Large firms should then issue debt to avoid selling under priced securities. As the requirement for external financing increases, businesses will work down the pecking order, from safe to riskier debt, perhaps to convertible securities or preferred stock, and finally to equity as a last resort. Each firm's debt ratio therefore reflects its cumulative requirement for external financing (Myers 2001).The pecking order theory clarifies why the bulk of external financing comes from debt. It also describes why organizations that are more profitable borrow less: since their goal debt ratio is, low-in the pecking order they do not have a goal since profitable firms have more internal financing available. The trade-off theory of capital structure refers to the suggestion that a business chooses the
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