Unlevered Beta Calculator
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Unlevered beta, also known as asset beta, is a financial metric that assesses a firm's market volatility without the impact of its capital structure, particularly debt. It provides a purer measure of a company's inherent risk compared to levered beta, which includes the effects of debt.
Historical Background
The concept of unlevered beta emerges from the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), which aims to understand investment risk and return. Unlevered beta adjusts for the effect of leverage (use of debt), allowing investors and analysts to compare companies' risks on a likeforlike basis regardless of their capital structure.
Calculation Formula
The unlevered beta is calculated using the formula:
\[ \text{Unlevered Beta} = \frac{\text{Levered Beta}}{1 + (1  t) \times \left(\frac{d}{e}\right)} \]
where:
 \(t\) is the tax rate,
 \(d\) is the total debt,
 \(e\) is the total equity.
Example Calculation
For a company with a levered beta of 1.2, a tax rate of 30%, total debt of $500,000, and total equity of $1,000,000:
\[ \text{Unlevered Beta} = \frac{1.2}{1 + (1  0.3) \times \left(\frac{500,000}{1,000,000}\right)} \approx 0.92308 \]
Importance and Usage Scenarios
Unlevered beta is critical for comparing the volatility of companies within the same industry but with different capital structures. It is also essential in corporate finance for valuing businesses and calculating the cost of capital.
Common FAQs

What is the difference between levered and unlevered beta?
 Levered beta measures a company's risk including its debt, while unlevered beta removes the impact of leverage, reflecting the company's risk relative to the market without considering its capital structure.

Why adjust beta for leverage?
 Adjusting beta for leverage helps in analyzing the true risk of the company's assets, free from the effects of its financing decisions, making it easier to compare companies across different industries or with varied financial structures.

Can unlevered beta change over time?
 Yes, unlevered beta can change as a company's operational risk or the market environment changes, even if its leverage remains constant.
This calculator facilitates the conversion from levered to unlevered beta, aiding analysts, investors, and students in understanding and applying this important financial metric in their analyses and decisionmaking processes.