CUSTOMER ACQUISITION COST is calculated by dividing total acquisition expenses by total new customers. However, there are different opinions on what constitutes an acquisition expense, e.g. rebates and special discounts do not represent an actual cash outlay, yet they have an impact on cash (and, presumably, on the customer). There is no set standard, i.e. acquisition costs vary across industries. When acquisition data is available, it is best to try to determine if you are comparing apples to apples. This is not easy, as customer acquisition data is usually scarce and the methodology is often questionable.
REVERSE COST-BENEFIT METHOD is based on the short-cut rate of return formula and amounts to asking the question: given the cost of the investment, what level of annual benefits would produce a given rate of return (8 percent, for instance) on the investment?
DEBT RATINGS is the creditworthiness of a borrower as measured in the U.S. by debt rating agencies Moody's and Standard and Poor's. A triple A (AAA) rating means that there is almost no likelihood of the borrower failing to pay.
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