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Analyzing Project Cash Flows

12.1 Identifying Incremental Cash

Flows (pgs. 380–382)

12.2 Forecasting Project Cash

Flows (pgs. 383–389)

12.3 Inflation and Capital

Budgeting (pgs. 389–390)

12.4 Replacement Project Cash

Flows (pgs. 390–394)

Objective 1. Identify incremental cash flows that are relevant to project valuation.

Objective 3. Evaluate the effect of inflation on project cash flows.

Objective 4. Calculate the incremental cash flows for replacement-type investments.

Objective 2. Calculate and forecast project cash flows for expansion-type investments.

Part 1 Introduction to Financial Management (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4)

Part 2 Valuation of Financial Assets (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Part 3 Capital Budgeting (Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14)

Part 4 Capital Structure and Dividend Policy (Chapters 15, 16)

Part 5 Liquidity Management and Special Topics in Finance (Chapters 17, 18, 19, 20)

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Forecasting Sales of Hybrid Automobiles In 2001, when Toyota introduced the first-generation model of its gas-electric powered hybrid car, the Prius, it seemed more like a science experiment than real competition for auto industry market share. Toyota’s decision to introduce the Prius and enter the hybrid car market was particularly difficult to eval- uate because the cash flows were so difficult to forecast. Revenues from the Prius would depend largely upon how many buyers the newly designed hybrids drew away from traditionally powered cars—a number that would be strongly influenced by the future price of gasoline. Moreover, some of the hybrid sales would come from customers who would have otherwise bought another Toyota model. These are difficult issues for any firm to face; however, they are issues a financial manager must address to make an informed decision about the introduction of an innovative new product.

379

In this chapter, we calculate investment cash flows and discuss methods that can be used to develop cash flow forecasts. It is not always obvious what constitutes a relevant cash flow, and we of- fer some guidelines that are designed to avoid some of the more

common mistakes in valuing investments. In particular, we will stress that for the purpose of valuation, as we learned from Principle 3: Cash Flows Are the Source of Value.P

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380 PART 3 | Capital Budgeting

Regardless of Your Major…

Cash flow forecasting frequently involves more than just the finance specialists in the firm. In practice, teams of technical, marketing, ac- counting, and other specialists often work to- gether to develop cash flow forecasts for large investments. For example, major airlines are now beginning to provide Internet access on

their flights. The idea is that for a fee of, say, $10 per flight, a customer can buy wireless access to the Internet while in-flight. However, the airline must overcome a number of hurdles to offer this

service. There are technical issues related to both the hardware that must be installed on the aircraft and the infrastructure required to support access to the Internet—and all of this costs money. Then there is the question of how much revenue the airline would receive from this

service. Consequently, for the airline to analyze the decision to include in-flight Internet access, it needs a team that includes technical staff, such as engineers, to address the cost of installing and maintaining the service; marketing personnel to estimate customer acceptance rates and revenues; and a financial analyst to combine the various cost and revenue estimates into a proj- ect evaluation.

Your Turn: See Study Question 12–2.

“The Internet on Airline Flights—

Making It Happen”

12.1 Identifying Incremental Cash Flows When a firm takes on a new investment it does so in the anticipation that it will change the firm’s future cash flows. So when we are evaluating whether to undertake the investment, as we learned from Principle 3: Cash Flows Are the Source of Value, we consider the cash flows that add value to the firm and thus, add value for the shareholders. In particular we con- sider what we will refer to as the incremental cash flow associated with the investment—that is, the additional cash flow a firm receives from taking on a new project.

To understand this concept of incremental cash flows, suppose that you recently opened a small convenience store. The store has been a big success and you are offered the opportu- nity to rent space in a strip mall six blocks away to open a second convenience store. To eval- uate this opportunity, you begin by calculating the costs of the initial investment and the cash flows from the investment in exactly the same way you evaluated the initial site. However, be- fore calculating the NPV of this new opportunity, you start to think about how adding a sec- ond location will affect your sales in the initial location. To what extent will you generate business by simply stealing business from your initial location? Cash flows that are generated by stealing customers from your initial location are clearly worth less to you than cash flows generated by stealing customers from your competitors.

This example serves to emphasize that the proper way to look at the cash flows from the second convenience store involves calculating the incremental cash flows generated by the new store. That is, the cash flows for the second store should be calculated by comparing the total cash flows from two stores less the total cash flows without the second store. More generally, we define incremental project cash flows as follows:

(12–1)

Thus, to find the incremental cash flow for a project, we take the difference between the firm’s cash flows if the new investment is, and is not, undertaken. This may sound simple enough, but there are a number of circumstances in which estimating this incremental cash flow can be very challenging, requiring the analyst to carefully consider each potential source of cash flow.

Incremental Project Cash Flows

� aFirm Cash Flows with the Project b � a Firm Cash Flowswithout the Project b ISBN

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CHAPTER 12 | Analyzing Project Cash Flows 381

Guidelines for Forecasting Incremental Cash Flows In this section we focus on some simple guidelines for proper identification of incremental cash flows for a project. As we will see, this is not always easy to do, so it is helpful to have a set of basic guidelines to help us avoid some common mistakes.

Sunk Costs Are Not Incremental Cash Flows Sunk costs are those costs that have already been incurred or are going to be incurred regard- less of whether or not the investment is undertaken. An example would be the cost of a mar- ket research study or a pilot program. These costs are not incremental cash flows resulting from the acceptance of the investment because they will be incurred in any case. For example, in the convenience store example just discussed, if last year you spent $1,000 getting an appraisal of the prospective site for the second store, this expenditure is not relevant to the decision we have to make today, because you already spent that money. The cost of the appraisal is a sunk cost since the money has already been spent and cannot be recovered whether or not you build the second convenience store.

Overhead Costs Are Generally Not Incremental Cash Flows Overhead expenses such as the cost of heat, light, and rent often occur regardless of whether we accept or reject a particular project. In these instances, overhead expenses are not a rele- vant consideration when evaluating project cash flows.

To illustrate, consider the decision as to whether the university bookstore should open a sub shop in an underutilized portion of the bookstore. The bookstore manager estimates that the sub shop will take up one-tenth of the bookstore’s floor space. If the store’s monthly heat and light bill is $10,000, should the manager allocate $1,000 of this cost to the sub shop pro- posal? Assuming the space will be heated and lighted regardless of whether or not it is con- verted into a sub shop, the answer is no.

Look for Synergistic Effects Oftentimes the acceptance of a new project will have an effect on the cash flows of the firm’s other projects or investments. These effects can be either positive or negative, and if these syn- ergistic effects can be anticipated, their costs and benefits are relevant to the project analysis.

Don’t Overlook Positive Synergies

In 2000, GM’s Pontiac division introduced the Aztek, a boldly designed sport-utility vehicle aimed at young buyers. The idea was to sell Azteks, of course, but also to help lure younger customers back into Pontiac’s showrooms. Thus, in evaluating the Aztek, if Pontiac’s analysts were to have focused only on the expected revenues from new Aztek sales, they would have missed the incremental cash flow from new customers who came in to see the Aztek but in- stead purchased another Pontiac automobile.

Another example of a synergistic effect is that of Harley-Davidson’s introduction of the Buell Blast and the Lightning Low XB95—two smaller, lighter motorcycles targeted at younger riders and female riders not yet ready for heavier and more expensive Harley-Davidson bikes. The company had two goals in mind when it introduced the Buell Blast and Lightning Low bikes. First, it was trying to expand its customer base into a new market made up of Genera- tion Xers. Second, it wanted to expand the market for existing products by introducing more people to motorcycling. That is, the Buell Blast and Lightning Low models were offered not only to produce their own sales, but also to ultimately increase the sales of Harley’s heavier cruiser and touring bikes.

Beware of Cash Flows Diverted from Existing Products

An important type of negative synergistic effect comes in the form of revenue cannibalization. This occurs when the offering of a new product draws sales away from an existing product. This is a very real concern, for example, when a firm such as Frito-Lay considers offering a new flavor of Dorito® chips. A supermarket allocates limited shelf space to Frito-Lay’s snack products. So, if a new flavor is offered, it must take space away from existing products. If the new flavor is expected to produce $10 million per year in cash flows, perhaps as much as

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382 PART 3 | Capital Budgeting

$6 million of this cash flow may be at the expense of existing flavors of Doritos®. Conse- quently, we take the resulting $4 million dollars, our incremental cash flow, as the relevant cash flow in evaluating whether or not to introduce the new flavor.

Account for Opportunity Costs In calculating the cash flows of an investment it is important to account for what economists refer to as opportunity costs, the cost of passing up the next best choice when making a deci- sion. To illustrate, consider the convenience store example we introduced earlier. Remember that we were considering whether to open a second location just a few blocks from our first very successful store. Let’s now assume that you have purchased the building in which the sec- ond store is to be located and it has space for two businesses. One of the spaces is occupied by a tanning salon and you are considering opening a second convenience store in the unoccupied space. Since you already own the building and the space needed for the convenience store is currently unused, should you charge the second convenience store business for use of the open space? The answer is no if you have no other foreseeable use for the space. However, what if a local restaurant owner approaches you with a proposal to rent the space for $2,000 a month? If you open the second convenience store, you will then forego the $2,000 per month in rent, and this becomes a very relevant incremental expense since it represents an opportunity cost of putting in the convenience store.

Work in Working Capital Requirements Many times a new project involves an additional investment in working capital. Additional working capital arises out of the fact that cash inflows and outflows from the operations of an investment are often mismatched. That is, inventory is purchased and paid for before it is sold. For example, this may take the form of new inventory to stock a sales outlet or an additional investment in accounts receivable resulting from additional credit sales. Some of the funds needed to finance the increase in inventory and accounts receivable may come from an increase in accounts payable that arises when the firm buys goods on credit. As a result, the actual amount of new investment required by the project is determined by the difference in the sum of the increase in accounts receivables plus inventories less the increase in accounts payable. We will refer to this quantity as net operating working capital. You may recall that in Chapter 3 we defined net working capital as the difference in current assets and current liabil- ities. Net operating working capital is very similar but it focuses on the firm’s accounts receiv- able and inventories compared to accounts payable.

Ignore Interest Payments and Other Financing Costs Although interest payments are incremental to the investments that are partly financed by bor- rowing, we do not include the interest payments in the computation of project cash flows. The reason, as we will discuss more fully in Chapter 14, is that the cost of capital for the project takes into account how the project is financed, including the after-tax cost of any debt that is used in financing the investment. Consequently, when we discount the incremental cash flows back to the present using the cost of capital, we are implicitly accounting for the cost of rais- ing funds to finance the new project (including the after-tax interest expense). Including inter- est expense in both the computation of the project’s cash flows and in the discount rate would amount to counting interest twice.

Before you move on to 12.2

Concept Check | 12.1 1. What makes an investment cash flow relevant to the evaluation of an investment proposal?

2. What are sunk costs?

3. What are some examples of synergistic effects that affect a project’s cash flows?

4. When borrowing the money needed to make an investment, is the interest expense incurred relevant to the analysis of the project? Explain.

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CHAPTER 12 | Analyzing Project Cash Flows 383

12.2 Forecasting Project Cash Flows To analyze an investment and determine whether it adds value to the firm, following Principle 3: Cash Flows Are the Source of Value, we use the project’s free cash flow. Recall from Chapter 3 that a free cash flow is the total amount of cash available for distribution to the creditors who have loaned money to finance the project and to the owners who have invested in the equity of the proj- ect. In practice this cash flow information is compiled from pro forma financial statements. Pro forma financial statements are forecasts of future financial statements. We can calculate free cash flow using Equation (12–2) as follows:

Operating Cash Flow

(12–2)

Net Operating Profit after Taxes or NOPAT

Increase in Capital Expenditures

(CAPEX) �

Increase in Net Operating Working

Capital (NOWC)

Free Cash Flow

� Net Operating Income (Profit)

� Taxes � Depreciation

Expense

Figure 12.1 contains a quick reference guide to the free cash flow calculation, including fur- ther elaborations concerning the specific calculations.

Dealing with Depreciation Expense, Taxes, and Cash Flow When accountants calculate a firm’s taxable income, one of the expenses they subtract out is depreciation. In fact, depreciation has already been deducted from revenues before we calcu- late net operating income. However, depreciation is a non–cash flow expense. If you think about it, depreciation occurs because you bought a fixed asset (for example, you built a plant) in an earlier period, and now, by depreciating the asset, you’re effectively allocating the ex- pense of acquiring the asset over time. However, depreciation is not a cash expense since the

Figure 12.1

A Quick Reference Guide for Calculating an Investment’s Free Cash Flow The annual free cash flow for an investment project is calculated using Equation (12–2):

(12–2)

Net Operating Profit after Taxes or NOPAT

Important Definitions and Concepts:

• Net Operating Income is the profit after deducting the cost of goods sold and all operating expenses (including depreciation expense). Net operating income or net operating profit is also equal to earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for capital in- vestment projects since projects do not have other (non-operating) sources of income or expense. For firms that have both op- erating and non-operating income and expenses, EBIT differs from net operating income by the amount of these non-operating sources of income and expense.

• Net Operating Profit after Taxes (NOPAT) is equal to the firm’s net operating profit minus taxes on net operating profit. Note that we do not deduct interest expense before computing the corporate income taxes owed because the tax deductibility of interest is accounted for in the computation of the discount rate or the weighted average cost of capital, which is discussed in detail in Chapter 14.

• Depreciation Expense is allocation of the cost of fixed assets to the period when the assets are used.

• Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) is the periodic expenditure of money for new capital equipment that generally occurs at the time the investment is undertaken (i.e., in year 0). However, many investments require periodic expenditures over the life of the investment to repair or replace worn out capital equipment. Finally, if the equipment has a salvage value then this becomes a cash inflow in the final year of the project’s life.

• Change in Net Operating Working Capital (NOWC) represents changes in the balance of accounts receivable plus inven- tories less accounts payable. Any changes in this quantity represent either the need to invest more cash or an opportunity to extract cash from the project.

>> END FIGURE 12.1

Free Cash Flow

� Net Operating Income (Profit)

� Taxes � Depreciation

Expense �

Increase in Capital Expenditures

(CAPEX) �

Increase in Net Operating Working Capital (NOWC)

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384 PART 3 | Capital Budgeting

actual cash expense occurred when the asset was acquired. As a result, the firm’s net operat- ing income understates cash flows by the amount of depreciation expense that is deducted for the period. Therefore, we’ll want to compensate for this by adding depreciation back into net operating income when calculating cash flows.

For our purposes in this chapter, depreciation is calculated using a simplified version of the straight-line method. Specifically, we calculate annual depreciation for a piece of plant or equipment by taking its initial cost (including the cost of any equipment plus shipping costs and other costs incurred when installing the equipment) and dividing this total by the depre- ciable life of the equipment. If the equipment has an expected salvage value at the end of its useful life this is deducted from the initial cost before determining the annual depreciation ex- pense. For example, if a firm were to purchase a piece of equipment for $100,000 and paid an additional $20,000 in shipping and installation expenses, then the initial outlay for the equip- ment and its depreciable cost would be $120,000. If the equipment is expected to last 5 years at which time it will have a salvage value of $40,000 then the annual depreciation expense would be $16,000 � ($100,000 � 20,000 � 40,000) � 5 years.

In the Appendix to this chapter we discuss the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS), which is used for most tangible depreciable property. This method is typically used by firms to compute their tax liability but straight-line is used for financial reporting to the public.

Four-Step Procedure for Calculating Project Cash Flows Our objective is to identify incremental cash flows for the project, or changes to the firm’s cash flows as a result of taking the project. To do this, we forecast cash flows for future periods and then estimate the value of the project using the investment criteria discussed in the previous chapter. As we introduce these calculations, keep in mind the guidelines introduced in the pre- vious section dealing with sunk costs, synergistic effects, and opportunity costs. In order to es- timate project cash flows for future periods, we use the following four-step procedure:

Step 1. Estimating a Project’s Operating Cash Flows

Step 2. Calculating a Project’s Working Capital Requirements

Step 3. Calculating a Project’s Capital Expenditure Requirements

Step 4. Calculating a Project’s Free Cash Flow

In the pages that follow we will discuss each of these steps in detail.

Step 1: Estimating a Project’s Operating Cash Flows Operating cash flow is simply the sum of the first three terms found in Equation 12–2. Specif- ically, operating cash flow for year t is defined in Equation 12–3:

(12–3)

NOPATt

There are two observations we should make regarding the computation of operating cash flow:

• First, our estimate of cash flows from operations begins with an estimate of net op- erating income. However, when calculating net operating income we subtract out depre- ciation expense since it is a tax deductible expense. Thus to estimate the cash flow the firm has earned from its operations we first calculate the firm’s tax liability based on net oper- ating income and then add back depreciation expense.

• Second, when we calculate the increase in taxes, we ignore interest expenses. Even if the project is financed with debt, we do not subtract out the increased interest payments. Cer- tainly there is a cost to money, but we are accounting for this cost when we discount the free cash flows back to present. If we were to subtract out any increase in interest expenses and then discount those cash flows back to the present, we would be double counting the inter- est expense—once when we subtracted it out, and once again when we discounted the cash flows back to the present. In addition, when we calculate the increased taxes from taking on the new project, we calculate those taxes from the change in net operating income so as not to allow any increase in interest expense to impact our tax calculations. The important point

Operating Cash Flowt

� Net Operating

Income (or Profit)t � Taxest �

Depreciation Expenset

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CHAPTER 12 | Analyzing Project Cash Flows 385

Checkpoint 12.1

Forecasting a Project’s Operating Cash Flow The Crockett Clothing Company, located in El Paso, TX, owns and operates a clothing factory across the Mexican border in Juarez. The Juarez factory imports materials into Mexico for assembly and then exports the assembled products back to the United States without having to pay duties or tariffs. This type of factory is commonly referred to as a maquiladora.

Crockett is considering the purchase of an automated sewing machine that will cost $200,000 and is expected to operate for five years, after which time it is not expected to have any value. The investment is expected to generate $360,000 in additional revenues for the firm during each of the five years of the project’s life. Due to the expanded sales, Crockett expects to have to expand its investment in accounts receivable by $60,000 and inventories by $36,000. These investments in working capital will be partially offset by an increase in the firm’s accounts payable of $18,000, which makes the increase in net operating working capital equal to $78,000 in year zero. Note that this investment will be returned at the end of year five as inventories are sold, receivables are collected, and payables are repaid.

The project will also result in cost of goods sold equal to 60% of revenues while incurring other annual cash operat- ing expenses of $5,000 per year. In addition, the depreciation expense for the machine is $40,000 per year. This depre- ciation expense is one-fifth of the initial investment of $200,000 where the estimated salvage value is zero at the end of its five-year life. Profits from the investment will be taxed at a 30% tax rate and the firm uses a 20% required rate of return. Cal- culate the operating cash flow.

STEP 1: Picture the problem

Operating cash flows only encompass the revenues and operating expenses (after-taxes) corresponding to the operation of the asset. Therefore, they only begin with the end of the first year of operations (year 1). The oper- ating cash flow then is determined by the revenues less operating expenses for years 1 through 5.

OCF1 OCF2 OCF3 OCF4 OCF5

0 1 2 3 4 5Time Period

Operating Cash Flow

Years

Operating cash flow (OCF) for years 1 through 5 equals the sum of additional revenues less operating expenses (cash expenses and depreciation) less taxes plus depreciation expense.

The following list summarizes what we know about the investment opportunity:

Equipment cost or CAPEX (today) $(200,000) Project life 5 years Salvage Value 0 Depreciation expense $ 40,000 per year Cash operating expenses $ (5,000) per year Revenues (Year 1) $ 360,000 per year Growth rate for revenues 0% per year Cost of Goods Sold/Revenues 60% Investment in Net Operating Working Capital (Year 0) $ (78,000) Required rate of return 20% Tax rate 30%

STEP 2: Decide on a solution strategy

Using Equation (12–3), we calculate operating cash flow as the sum of NOPAT and depreciation expense as follows:

(12–3)

NOPAT

STEP 3: Solve

The project produces $360,000 in revenues annually and cost of goods sold equals 60% of revenues or $(216,000) leaving gross profits of $144,000. Subtracting cash operating expenses of $5,000 per year and de- preciation expenses of $40,000 per year we get net operating income of $99,000. Subtracting taxes of $29,700

Operating Cash Flow

� Net Operating

Income (or Profit) � Taxes �

Depreciation Expense

(12.1 CONTINUED >> ON NEXT PAGE)

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386 PART 3 | Capital Budgeting

Operating Cash Flow Calculation Income Statement Calculation

Revenues Revenues

Less: Cost of Goods Sold Less: Cost of Goods Sold

Equals: Gross Profit Equals: Gross Profit

Less: Operating Expenses (including depreciation) Less: Operating Expenses (including depreciation)

Equals: Net Operating Income (Profit) Equals: Net Operating Income (Profit)

Less: Taxes based on Net Operating Income Less: Interest Expense

Equals: Net Operating Profit after Taxes (NOPAT) Earnings before Taxes (EBT)

Plus: Depreciation Expense Less: Taxes based on EBT

Operating Cash Flow Net Income

leaves net operating profit of $69,300. Finally adding back depreciation expense this gives us operating cash flow of $109,300 per year for years 1 through 5:

D iff

er en

ce s d

STEP 4: Analyze

The project contributes $99,000 to the firm’s net operating income (before taxes), and if the project operates ex- actly as forecast here, this will be the observed impact of the project on the net operating income on the firm’s income statement. Of course, in a world where the future is uncertain, this will not be the outcome. As such, we might want to analyze the consequences of lower revenues and higher costs. For example, if project revenues were to drop to $300,000, the operating cash flow would drop to only $92,500. We will have more to say about how analysts typically address project risk analysis in Chapter 13.

STEP 5: Check yourself

Crockett Clothing Company is reconsidering its sewing machine investment in light of a change in its expecta- tions regarding project revenues. The firm’s management wants to know the impact of a decrease in expected revenues from $360,000 to $240,000 per year. What would be the project’s operating cash flows under the re- vised revenue estimate?

ANSWER: Operating cash flow � $75,700.

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