Evaluating Cherone Equipment's Plans With Varying Risk for Increasing Its Production Capacity Cherone Equipment, a manufacturer of electronic fitness equipment, wishes to evaluate two alternative plans for increasing its production capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for its key product-the Cardio-cycle. After months of investigation and analysis, the firm has pruned the list of alternatives down to the following two plans, either of which would allow it to meet its forecast product demand.
Plan X Use current proven technology to expand the existing plant and semi-automated production line. This plan is viewed as only slightly riskier than the firm's current average level of risk.
Plan Y Install new, just-developed automatic production equipment in the existing plant to replace the current semi-automated production line. Because this plan eliminates the need to expand the plant, it is less expensive than Plan X, but it is believed to be far riskier because of the unproven nature of the technology.
Cherone, which routinely uses NPV to evaluate capital budgeting projects, has a cost of capital of 12%. Currently, the risk-free rate of interest is 9%. The firm has decided to evaluate the two plans over a 5-year period, at the end of which each production line would be liquidated. The relevant cash flows associated with each plan are summarized in the following table.
|Year||Cash inflows||Cash Inflows|
The firm has determined the risk-adjusted discount rate (RADR) applicable to each plan as shown in the following table.
Discount rate (RADR
Further analysis of the two plans has disclosed that each has a real option embedded within its cash flows.
Plan X Real Option: at the end of 3 years the firm could abandon this plan and install the automatic equipment, which by then would have a proven track record. This abandonment option is expected to add $100,000 of NPV and has a 25% chance of being exercised.
Plan Y Real Optional: Because plan Y does not require current expansion of the plant, it creates an improved opportunity for future plant expansion. This option allows the firm to grow its business into related areas more easily if business and economic conditions continue to improve. This growth option is estimated to be worth $500,000 of NPV and has a 20% chance of being exercised.
a. Assuming that the two plans have the same risk as the firm, use the following capital budgeting techniques and the firm's cost of capital to evaluate their acceptability and relative ranking.
(1) Net present value (NPV).
(2) The Internal rate of Return (IRR)
b. Recognizing the differences in plan risk, use the NPV method, the risk-adjusted discount rates (RADRs), and the data given earlier to evaluate the acceptability and relative ranking of the two plans.
c. Compare and contrast your finding in parts (a ) and(b ). Which plan would you recommend? Did explicit recognition of the risk differences between the plans affect this recommendation?
d. Use the real-options data given above for each plan to find the strategic NPV, NPVstrategic, for each plan.
e. Compare and contrast your findings in part d with those in part (b ). Did explicit recognition of the real options in each plan affect your recommendation?
f. Would your recommendations in parts(a ),(b ),and(d ) change if the firm were operating under capital rationing? Explain.
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