What is the Cost of Equity Formula?

Cost of Equity Formula

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Cost of Equity Formula

The cost of equity is the return a company requires to decide if an investment meets capital return requirements. It is used in business valuation to see whether a business is a good investment risk. Companies often use the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) to calculate it.

Here is the formula according to the CAPM:

Cost of Equity = Risk-Free Rate + Beta * (Market Return – Risk-Free Rate)


  • Risk-Free Rate is the return on a risk-free investment, such as a U.S. Treasury Bond.
  • Beta represents the volatility, or systematic risk, of a security or a portfolio in comparison to the market as a whole. Beta is used in the CAPM, which calculates the expected return of an asset based on its beta and expected market returns.
  • Market Return is the total return on the market as a whole.

Example of the Cost of Equity Formula

Let’s provide an example using the CAPM formula for the cost of equity:

Cost of Equity = Risk-Free Rate + Beta * (Market Return – Risk-Free Rate)

Suppose we have the following data for a hypothetical company:

  • Risk-Free Rate: 2%
  • Beta: 1.2
  • Market Return: 10%

We can substitute these values into the formula:

Cost of Equity = 2% + 1.2 * (10% – 2%)

Solving this equation gives:

Cost of Equity = 2% + 1.2 * 8%
Cost of Equity = 2% + 9.6% = 11.6%

So, in this example, the cost of equity or the return required by an investor for investing in this company is 11.6%. This means that in order to attract investors, the company needs to offer a return on equity of at least 11.6%.

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