Capital AllocationCash & Working Capital
November 17, 2021

New Wrinkles to Iron Out in Capital Structure Analysis as Fed Resets

Five areas of focus for treasury teams embarking on new analysis of capital structure as the outlook for rates changes.Capital structure analysis has taken on added importance and complexity for corporate treasurers who piled on liquidity to survive the pandemic but are now “skeptical about keeping a large chunk of change around,” as one member put it at a recent meeting of NeuGroup for Large-Cap Treasurers. NeuGroup senior executive advisor Roger Heine, a former investment banker experienced in helping companies…
Capital AllocationESG
June 10, 2021

Balancing Act for Energy Firms: ESG vs. Capital Returns, Discipline

More takeaways from a NeuGroup pilot meeting of oil and gas treasurers weighing the role of finance in energy transition strategies, conducted in partnership with Societe Generale.By Joseph NeuOur discussion with oil and gas treasurers validated that there is a strong belief that investors (and especially on the bond side) want capital discipline and not just a commitment to ESG initiatives. ESG mandates are sold as an indicator of strong returns, especially in the long run; so if companies underperform…
Capital AllocationCapital Markets
May 20, 2021

Back in Fashion, Buybacks Have Corporates Scoping Capital Structure

Many corporates are deciding whether to restart share repurchase plans suspended in 2020.After the pandemic hit, the volume of share repurchases plummeted and what continued was mainly executed by companies managing the top-20 programs in terms of volume, Societe Generale bankers told assistant treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting sponsored by the bank. Dividend payouts, meanwhile, stayed relatively steady and were only cut or canceled as a last resort, Societe Generale said (see chart). An increasing number of companies have…
Capital AllocationInsurance
March 18, 2021

Where Captives Fit in the Insurance Puzzle Corporates Want to Solve

Captives offer tax advantages and flexibility, but treasury teams must make sure trapping cash in them is worth the benefits.Rising insurance costs are putting more focus on captives, a solution that offers tax advantages, flexibility and lower costs than traditional insurance. For those reasons and others, several members at a recent meeting of NeuGroup for Retail Treasury said they plan to expand their captives to cover more risk.Other members say captives are not a good use of capital for their…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsCash & Working Capital
March 11, 2021

Do Stock Buybacks Create Value or Just Return Capital to Investors?

Members at companies with excess cash discuss whether share repurchases generate economic value for shareholders.ConocoPhillips on Wednesday announced it is resuming its share repurchase program, citing its “long-standing priority to return greater than 30% of cash from operations to shareholders annually.” The company is not alone: A recent NeuGroup Peer Research Survey showed that 82% of respondents consider the return of excess capital the primary objective of their company’s share repurchase program. Only 9% said creating shareholder value was the…
BankingCapital AllocationCapital Markets
March 2, 2021

A Third Path for Stock Buybacks: Enhanced Open Market Repurchases

Some NeuGroup members have turned to eOMRs to get the flexibility of OMRs and pricing below VWAP, like ASRs.Many NeuGroup members across groups at recent meetings agreed they have enough excess liquidity and trust in market stability to restart share repurchases; but there has been a range of views about how much emphasis to place on the price per share a corporate pays for its own stock. Where companies fall on the spectrum of answers may determine if they opt…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsESG
March 2, 2021

Getting Granular on Green Bond Proceeds: Capex? Opex? Both?

Some investors prefer that green bonds finance capex projects, but corporates use proceeds for opex, too—with caveats.How a corporate intends to spend the proceeds from a green bond is integral to deciding whether to issue the bond in the first place. You need to have sufficient uses to create a deal that is large enough to make the costs worthwhile and ensure that investors will participate. NeuGroup members at a recent ESG working group meeting addressed a related, more granular…
Capital AllocationCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
February 18, 2021

Cash Cushions and Covid: Retailers Not Yet Ready To Declare Victory

Retail treasurers returning to offense with share repurchases and dividends are proceeding with caution.A growing number of retailers in the NeuGroup Network are spending or preparing to spend some of the excess cash they raised at the beginning of the pandemic on share repurchases and dividends. But most treasurers at these retailers remain cautious and conservative as they return to playing offense—not surprising given that these companies were among the worst impacted by lockdowns and social distancing. Declare victory? “One…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsCOVID-19
February 11, 2021

Sending a Strong Signal: Accelerated Share Repurchase Programs

As more companies resume stock buybacks, some treasurers are feeling pressure to use ASRs.Corporates eager to send a clear signal to investors about their financial health are brushing the dust off stock buyback plans and weighing—if not committing to—accelerated share repurchase (ASR) programs. That was among the takeaways from a NeuGroup meeting of treasurers this week. It’s the latest development in a journey that began in the spring when the pandemic slammed the brakes on many share repurchase programs. In…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsTalking Shop
February 11, 2021

Talking Shop: Do You Use Barra Beta or Bloomberg To Calculate WACC?

Member question: “Is anyone using Barra to calculate WACC (weighted average cost of capital) or do you use another service provider? “To calculate cost of equity, we use our beta available from Bloomberg. Over the last year, our beta has decreased. The lower beta results in a lower calculated cost of equity and then WACC.“We think this could be a short-term impact and need to be very thoughtful about how to apply it in various analysis. In recent conversations, we…