Topics: Stock market, Corporate finance, Preferred stock Pages: 6 (1920 words) Published: June 19, 2006

MCI is at a critical point in their company history. After going public in 1972 they experienced several years of operating losses. Then in 1974 the FCC ordered MCI's largest competitor AT&T to supply interconnection to MCI and the rest of the long distance market. With a more even playing field the opportunities to increase market share and revenue were significant. In order to maximize this opportunity MCI required capital. Their poor financial performance required them to use less traditional instruments to obtain financing. The capital acquired supported their growth until they reached a level of profitability in 1978. Subsequently they continued to increase their net income and the quality of their balance sheet. With continued prospects for growth tempered with some regulatory uncertainty they need to determine their optimal financial structure for the future. CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS

MCI's capital requirements for the next 3 years are x,y and z. (see exhibit A). These values are based on a number of different assumptions. (See exhibit B). The forecast is not without a level of uncertainty. Specifically there are regulatory decisions where the outcome is not clear at this time. This could impact profit margin plus or minus seven percentage points. (See exhibit c) CAPITAL STRUCTURE

MCI current capital structure is x% debt and y% equity. Their key ratios are a, b, and c. Comparing to other firms in the utilities industry they appear to be underutilizing (debt/equity). (See exhibit D). Referencing the forecast there is expected to be an x% annual increase in net income which would support an increase in (debt/equity) and keep ratios within the range of other firms in the industry(see exhibit E) HISTORICAL FINANCING

Since going public in 1972 MCI has a number of different instruments to raise capital including common stock, convertible preferred stock, debenture, subordinated debenture and convertible subordinated debenture (see exhibit F). Essentially, MCI relied heavily on convertible debt. As their stock price rose, the debt was converted to equity. Jeremy Stein (1992) states that a "good firm will use convertibles because the firm's true value will be made known before the debt is due". Following Stein's observations, Jen, Choi, and Lee (1997) conclude that "convertible bond financing is an attractive alternative for companies that have large growth potential but find both conventional debt and equity financing very costly". MCI clearly had a vision for substantial growth. The MCI management saw an opportunity for financing that would result in issuing equity and leave the possibility open to acquiring more debt in the future, if needed. The advantage to choosing a convertible bond for financing is that "they provide issuers with ‘cheap' debt and allow them to sell equity at a premium over current value". Jen, Choi, Lee (1997).

Subsequent to their initial public offering in 1971 which raised $27,070,000 by issuing 6,000,000 shares MCI required additional capital in 1975. They were able to raise an additional $8,165,000 of capital by issuing 9,600,000 units of common stock at a price of $1.00 per share. To increase the attractiveness of the offer a 5 year warrant was attached which allowed for the purchase of additional shares of stock at an exercise price of $1.25. This was the best instrument to use at the time considering their poor 1974 profitability results, profitability ratios and the stock price at the time. (see exhibit G). Given their positive prospects for growth the warrants provided significant upside for investors which helped to offset the high risk associated with MCI's financial performance at that time. Equally important to investors was the FCC decision in May of 1974 that required AT&T to supply MCI with interconnection. This ruling supported the possibility for increased market share and...

Bibliography: Author not named (2002), Assessing a Firm 's Future Financial Health, Harvard Business School Publishing.
Stein, J. (1992). Convertible Bonds As Backdoor Equity Financing. Retrieved on June 12, 2006, from the World Wide Web at:
Jen, F, Choi, D, and Lee, S. (1997). Some Evidence on Why Companies Use Convertible Bonds. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Retrieved on June 12, 2006 from the World Wide Web at:
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