Capital ExpendituresWhenever we make an expenditure that generates a cash flow benefit for more than one year, this is a capital expenditure. Examples includepurchase of new equipment, expansion of production facilities, buying another company, acquiring new technologies, launching a research & development program, etc., etc., etc. Capital expenditures often involve large cash outlays with major implications onfuture values of
Capital Budgeting Analysis is a process of evaluating how we invest in capital assets; i.e. assets that provide cash flow benefits for more than one year. We are trying to answer following question:
Three Stages of Capital Budgeting Analysis The
It has been said that how we spend our money today determines what our value will be tomorrow. Therefore, we will focus much of our attention on present values so that we can understand how expenditures today influence values infuture. A very popular approach to looking at present values of projects is discounted cash flows or DCF. However, we will learn that this approach is too narrow for properly evaluating a project. We will include three stages within Capital Budgeting Analysis:
- Decision Analysis for Knowledge Building
- Option Pricing to Establish Position
- Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) for makingInvestment Decision
Stage 1: Decision AnalysisDecision-making is increasingly more complex today because of uncertainty. Additionally, most capital projects will involve numerous variables and possible outcomes. For example, estimating cash flows associated with a project involves working capital requirements, project risk, tax considerations, expected rates of inflation, and disposal values. We have to understand existing markets to forecast project revenues, assess competitive impacts of
In financial management, we refer to this analytical hierarchy asMultiple Attribute Decision Model (MADM). Multiple attributes are involved in capital projects and each attribute indecision needs to be weighed differently. We will use an analytical hierarchy to structure
- We systematically consider both financial and non-financial criteria.
- Judgements and assumptions are included withindecision based on expected values.
- We focus more of our attention on those parts of
decision that are important. the
- We include
opinions and ideas of others intodecision. Group or team decision making is usually much better than one person analyzing the decision. the
Simple Example of a Decision Tree:
Stage 2: Option Pricinguncertainty about our project is first reduced by obtaining knowledge and working decision through a decision tree. second stage in this process is to consider all options or choices we have or should have forproject. Therefore, before we proceed to discounted cash flows we need to build a set of options into our project for managing unexpected changes.
In financial management, consideration of options within capital budgeting is called contingent claims analysis or option pricing. For example, suppose you have a choice between two boiler units for your factory. Boiler A uses oil and Boiler B can use either oil or natural gas. Based on traditional approaches to capital budgeting,least costs boiler was selected for purchase, namely Boiler A. However, if we consider option pricing Boiler B may be
Options can take many forms; ability to delay, defer, postpone, alter, change, etc. These options give us more opportunities for creating value within capital projects. We need to think of capital projects as a bundle of options. Three common sources of options are:
1. Timing Options: ability to delay our investment inproject.
2. Abandonment Options: ability to abandon or get out of a project that has gone bad.
3. Growth Options: ability of a project to provide long-term growth despite negative values. For example, a new research program may appear negative, but it might lead to new product innovations and market growth. We need to considergrowth options of projects.
Option pricing isadditional value that we recognize within a project because it has flexibilities over similar projects. These flexibilities help us manage capital projects and therefore, failure to recognize option values can result in an under-valuation of a project.
Stage 3: Discounted Cash FlowsSo we have completedfirst two stages of capital budgeting analysis: (1) Build and organize knowledge within a decision tree and (2) Recognize and build options within our capital projects. We can now make an investment decision based on Discounted Cash Flows or DCF.
Unlike accounting, financial management is concerned withvalues of assets today; i.e. present values. Since capital projects provide benefits intofuture and since we want to determine
Discounting refers to taking a future amount and finding its value today. Future values differ from present values because oftime value of money. Financial management recognizes
1. Inflation reduces values over time; i.e. $ 1,000 today will have less value five years from now due to rising prices (inflation).
2. Uncertainty in
3. Opportunity Costs of money; $ 1,000 today is worth more to us than $ 1,000 five years from now because we can invest $ 1,000 today and earn a return.
Present values are calculated by referring to tables or we can use calculators and spreadsheets for discounting. discount rate we will use isopportunity costs of
If we were to receivesame cash flows year after year into
We now understand discounting of cash flows (DCF) and