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Question – Payout Policy


Here are key financial data for Microsoft Corporation (MSFT):


Estimated earnings for June 2015

$22.41 billion

Number of shares outstanding

8.24 billion

Target payout ratio


Closing stock price, October 3, 2014


Estimated stock price, June 30, 2015



Suppose Microsoft is considering some alternative payout plans for the company’s shareholders to be implemented at the end of their fiscal year, which is June 2015.  These plans are in relation to the dollar amount that would be paid out under normal circumstances, using their target payout ratio.  [All corporate and personal taxes can be ignored for the purpose of this exercise.]


Complete the following table as accurately as possible, showing what would happen after payment under each of three alternative payout plans.  Assume that investors learn nothing about the company’s prospects when the payout announcement is made (in other words, there are no signaling effects).                                                                                                        [9 × 2]



Regular cash dividend

Share repurchase

3-for-2 Stock split

Share price at the end of the fiscal year (give your answer to the nearest cent)




Number of shares outstanding at the end of the fiscal year

(give your answer in billions of shares, to 2 d.p.)




Estimated earnings per share (EPS) at the end of the fiscal year (give your answer to the nearest cent)






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