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FIN 390 Assignment Capital Budgeting Mini Case Instructions

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FIN 390 Assignment
Capital Budgeting Mini Case
Instructions: Please read the mini case below. Then answer the questions with regard to the
case. Submit your answers in a Word or pdf file and upload it into the dropbox provided for this
purpose on the D2L site for this class.
The assignment counts for 5% of your overall grade in this course, and will be scored out of 100
points. Dave Wang and Eva Welch are facing an important decision. After having discussed different
financial scenarios into the wee hours of the morning, the two computer engineers felt it was
time to finalize their cash flow projections and move to the next stage – decide which of two
possible projects they should undertake.
Both had a bachelor degree in engineering and had put in several years as maintenance engineers
in a large chip manufacturing company. About six months ago, they were able to exercise their
first stock options. That was when they decided to quit their safe, steady job and pursue their
dreams of starting a venture of their own. In their spare time, almost as a hobby, they had been
collaborating on some research into a new chip that could speed up certain specialized tasks by
as much as 25%. At this point, the design of the chip was complete. While further
experimentation might improve the performance of their design, any delay in entering the market
now may prove to be costly, as one of the established players might introduce a similar product
of their own. The duo knew that now was the time to act if at all.
They estimated that they would need to spend about $1,000,000 on plant, equipment and
supplies. As for future cash flows, they felt that the right strategy at least for the first year would
be to sell their product at dirt-cheap prices in order to induce customer acceptance. Then, once
the product had established a name for itself, the price could be raised. By the end of the fifth
year, their product in its current form was likely to be obsolete. However, the innovative
approach that they had devised and patented could be sold to a larger chip manufacturer for a
decent sum. Accordingly, the two budding entrepreneurs estimated the operating cash flows for
this project (call it Project A) as follows:
Year Project A
Expected Cash flows ($) 0
5 (1,000,000)
1,500,000 An alternative to pursuing this project would be to sell their innovative chip design to one of the
established chip makers. This way, they would receive an upfront payment. But the amount would be relatively small – perhaps around $200,000 – as neither their product nor their
innovative approach had a track record.
They could then invest in some plant and equipment that would test silicon wafers for zircon
content before the wafers were used to make chips. Too much zircon would affect the long-term
performance of the chips. The task of checking the level of zircon was currently being performed
by chip makers themselves. However, many of them, especially the smaller ones, did not have
the capacity to permit 100% checking. Most tested only a sample of the wafers they received.
Dave and Eva were confident that they could persuade at least some of the chip makers to
outsource this function to them. By exclusively specializing in this task, their little company
would be able to slash costs by more than half, and thus allow the chip manufacturers to go in for
100% quality check for roughly the same cost as what they were incurring for a partial quality
check today. The life of this project too is expected to be only about five years.
The initial investment for this project is estimated at $ 1,100,000. After taking into account the
sale of their patent, the net investment would be $900,000. As for the future, Eva and Dave were
pretty sure that there would be sizable profits in the first year. But thereafter, the zircon content
problem would slowly start to disappear with advancing technology in the wafer industry.
Keeping this in mind, they estimate the future cash inflows for this project (call it Project B) as
follows: Year Project B
Expected Cash flows ($) 0
5 ($900,000)
100,000 Eva and Dave now need to make their decision. For purposes of analysis, they plan to use a
required rate of return of 20% for both projects. Ideally, they would prefer that the project they
choose have a payback period of less than 3.5 years and a discounted payback period of less than
4 years.
Below are the results of the analysis they have carried out so far:
Payback period (in years)
Discounted payback period (in years)
Net Present Value (NPV)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
Profitability Index Project A
1.61 Project B
1.66 Modified Internal Rate of Return (MIRR) 32.04% 32.84% One of the concerns that Eva and Dave have is regarding the reliability of their cash flow
estimates. All the analysis in the table above is based on “expected” cash flows. However, they
are both aware that actual future cash flows may be higher or lower. Assignment Questions:
Note: Please keep your responses brief and to the point. Your answers must be typed up in
double space, Times New Roman 12 font, with 1.25-inch margins, and uploaded into the D2L
dropbox as a Word or pdf file. I expect your submission to be between two to four pages in
Please name your file as follows: FirstName.LastName.Fin390-sectionNumber, for example,
The assignment counts for 5% of your overall grade in this course, and will be scored out of 100
points. 20 of these points will be based on presentation and clarity of writing (including
correctness of grammar). The remaining 80 points are distributed across the 6 questions as
indicated below.
1. Briefly, summarize the key facts of the case and identify the problem being faced by our
two budding entrepreneurs. In other words, what is the decision that they need to make?
(10 points)
2. List the different approaches that can be used to solve this problem. In other words, what
are the various criteria or metrics that can be used to help make this decision? (10 points)
3. Rank the projects based on each of the following metrics: Payback period, Discounted
payback period, NPV, IRR, Profitability Index, and MIRR. (10 points)
4. Dave believes that the best approach to make the decision is the NPV approach.
However, Eva is not so sure that ignoring the other metrics is a good idea. Which of the
approaches or metrics would you propose? In other words, would you prefer one or more
of these approaches over the others? Explain why. (20 points)
5. Which of these projects would you recommend? Explain why. (10 points)
6. Briefly state the limitations of the approach you used in making this decision, and outline
what further analysis you would recommend. (20 points)

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FIN 390 Assignment Capital Budgeting Mini Case Instructions

Capital Budgeting case Analysis Facts of the case In the given case, Dave Wang and Eva Welch are looking forward to invest in a project. They want to quit their job and pursue the dream of starting......

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