Difference Between Cost of Equity and Cost of Retained Earnings (With Table)

An analyst should determine the paths that lead the company to the next stage both as a benefit and as a reputation. It means the production of income if you claim benefit. Companies are looking for equity funding or retained earnings. Both words are highly comprehensive.

Cost of Equity vs Cost of Retained Earnings

The difference between cost of equity and cost of retained earnings is that the COE is accepted by a company’s debt holders while CORE is supplied and collected by the company’s owners. Both of these are key capital cost elements.

The cost of equity ensures that equity lenders have to return at the required amount. There is also a way to determine the worth of equity costs. Models are used, and the most popular model is the pricing model of capital assets (CAPM).

The cost of retained earnings costs is the expenses that a company has internally generated. The cost of retained earnings values thus estimates the return investors hope to gain from their equity investments in the business derived from a valuation model of capital assets (CAPM).

Comparison Table Between Cost of Equity and Cost of Retained Earnings

Parameters of Comparison Cost of EquityCost of Retained Earnings
DefinitionCost of equity is the required rate of return for equity owners, or we may claim the equities owned by shareholders.The part of revenues that were not paid but maintained and used in the company by shareholders is retained income.
Formular(a) = r(f) + ß(a) [ r(m) – r(f) RE = Beginning Period RE + Net Income/Loss – Cash Dividends – Stock Dividends
Rate based on returnCost of equity is essentially a return rate requested by a company’s owners.Shareholders are entitled to a stable return rate, even though the business is not profitable enough.
Base of interestThere’s no paying interest at any moment.Retained revenues do not allow shareholders to profit fully from the company’s real revenues. This leads to unhappiness among shareholders and a negative influence on the share’s market value.
FoundationThe equity costs are determined using a proposed formula, namely CAPM.The rate of retained profits approximates the return investors hope to make on the company’s equity investment and can be extracted from the model of capital asset pricing (CAPM).

What is Cost of Equity?

In the end, the returns generated are significant. Not only is it a must, but it also leads to the next stage of inspiration. Equity costs are also associated with sales production. This means that a corporation or management has to determine if an investment complies with the capital gain. It is simply the portion earned by a company’s owners. The cost of equity in a business reflects the services or something worthwhile which markets ask to own property in return for ownership risks.

Various models are used for value calculation, but the dominant is the model of dividend capitalization and capital assets pricing model (CAPM). The formula covers the next year’s dividend per share, the new stock price valuation, and the dividend increase. It is a relation in the group or the lender in question to two distinct terms. There are two ways to raise money from a corporation. Mode of Equity or debt There is no requirement to repay equity, but the benefits associated with taxation that are not here cost more than the share capital.

What are Retained Earnings?

The retained income (RE) is the cumulative share of the earnings of a company that is not paid to owners as dividends but reserved for reinvestment. These funds are normally used to buy or discharge debt liabilities for working capital and fixed assets (capital expenditures). After every accounting year, recovered earnings shall be listed on the balance sheet in the equity column of the shareholder. The RE balance is applied to or lowered by a net loss to measure the RE balance, and dividend payments are subtracted.

A summarized report is still kept, which contains the modifications to the RE for a certain duration, called the declaration of retained profit. The retained profit is an important relationship between the statement of revenue and the balance sheet, as reported on an equity basis, which links the two accounts. The aim of maintaining such income may vary and involves the purchase of new machinery and equipment, research and development expenditure, or other practices which could theoretically lead to growth for the business. This reinvestment in the business is intended in the future to generate still more income.

Main Differences Between Cost of Equity and Cost of Retained Earnings 

  1. The equity holders or loan holders are accountable for retained profits, while the lenders are responsible for their equity costs.
  2. The cost of equity is all about debt, banks, and loans; thus, it is payable, while the retained earnings have little to do with taxation.
  3. The cost of retained earnings is the rate requested by bondholders, while the cost of equity is the rate of return on the investment required by the owners.
  4. Retained earnings doesn’t have to be repaid but are more than debt in general whereas costs of equity are higher than debt, they yield a high return premium
  5. Considering the formula, the cost of equity concerns the dividend capitalization model for the valuation of capital assets, but costs of retained earnings are both pre-tax rates and tax adjustments.


Capital costs are the expense of the funds of a business to include the debt and the equity, in line with the economic and accounting concept. From an investor standpoint, this is the required rate of return on the outstanding shares of a portfolio firm.

Equity relies on returns and models and debts on taxation and rates of interest. Also, equity costs are higher than retained income. Both of these are essential for the benefit and sales of the company.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/b14670f2cec7ae6df7cb39d734bbf844/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=35192
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1911-3846.2011.01088.x
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