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Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by David B. Yoffie, Michael Slind. The Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 (referred as “Csd Cola” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Strategy & Execution. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Competition, Competitive strategy, Financial markets, International business, Marketing.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment




Case Description of Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 Case Study


Examines the industry structure and competitive strategy of Coca-Cola and Pepsi over 100 years of rivalry. New challenges in 2006 include boosting flagging carbonated soft drink (CSD) sales and finding new revenue streams. Both firms also began to modify their bottling, pricing, and brand strategies. They looked to emerging international markets to fuel growth and broaden their portfolios of alternate beverages like tea, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and bottled water. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola had vied for the "throat share" of the world's beverage market. The most intense battles of the cola wars were fought over the $66 billion CSD industry in the United States, where the average American consumes 52 gallons of CSD per year. In a "carefully waged competitive struggle," from 1975 to 1995, both Coke and Pepsi had achieved average annual growth of around 10%, as both U.S. and worldwide CSD consumption consistently rose. This cozy situation was threatened in the late 1990s, however, when U.S. CSD consumption declined slightly before reaching what appeared to be a plateau. Considers whether Coke's and Pepsi's era of sustained growth and profitability was coming to a close or whether this apparent slowdown was just another blip in the course of a century of enviable performance. A rewritten version of an earlier case.


Case Authors : David B. Yoffie, Michael Slind

Topic : Strategy & Execution

Related Areas : Competition, Competitive strategy, Financial markets, International business, Marketing




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10017117) -10017117 - -
Year 1 3461378 -6555739 3461378 0.9434 3265451
Year 2 3959287 -2596452 7420665 0.89 3523751
Year 3 3952278 1355826 11372943 0.8396 3318409
Year 4 3234812 4590638 14607755 0.7921 2562274
TOTAL 14607755 12669885


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2652768

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Profitability Index
2. Net Present Value
3. Internal Rate of Return
4. Payback Period

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Csd Cola shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.
2. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Csd Cola have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Strategy & Execution Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Csd Cola often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Csd Cola needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10017117) -10017117 - -
Year 1 3461378 -6555739 3461378 0.8696 3009894
Year 2 3959287 -2596452 7420665 0.7561 2993790
Year 3 3952278 1355826 11372943 0.6575 2598687
Year 4 3234812 4590638 14607755 0.5718 1849514
TOTAL 10451885


The Net NPV after 4 years is 434768

(10451885 - 10017117 )






Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10017117) -10017117 - -
Year 1 3461378 -6555739 3461378 0.8333 2884482
Year 2 3959287 -2596452 7420665 0.6944 2749505
Year 3 3952278 1355826 11372943 0.5787 2287198
Year 4 3234812 4590638 14607755 0.4823 1559998
TOTAL 9481183


The Net NPV after 4 years is -535934

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9481183 - 10017117 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Csd Cola to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.



Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Csd Cola has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Csd Cola can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Csd Cola, then the stock price of the Csd Cola should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Csd Cola should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.




References & Further Readings

David B. Yoffie, Michael Slind (2018), "Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.