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NPV: National Australia Bank (B) Net Present Value Case Analysis
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National Australia Bank (B) 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 National Australia Bank (B) case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. National Australia Bank (B) case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Graham Hubbard, Judy Hubbard. The National Australia Bank (B) (referred as “Nab Turnaround” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Strategy & Execution. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Crisis management, Financial management, 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 National Australia Bank (B) Case Study


This is a chronological series of two cases. The (A) case is about the fall from grace of a revered, high-performing Australian company that had gone international in its quest for growth. The (B) case is about the turnaround that followed. The (A) case covers the period 2000 to 2004. It includes the National Australia Bank (NAB) 2000 corporate/business strategy, the MLC acquisition, the sale of Michigan National, the HomeSide financial disaster and consequent sale, and the 2003 foreign exchange trading disaster that ultimately led to recognition that NAB was truly in trouble. The (B) case is about the turnaround that followed. It covers the period 2004 to 2006, at which point the new chief executive office (CEO) declares that the three year turnaround is almost over and the new NAB is back in business. It covers the investigation of the foreign exchange trading scandal disaster, the changes in personnel in the top management team and the board, the introduction of new external people to support the new CEO and many other detailed events that took place as part of the turnover. The (A) case is primarily about implementation of strategy and the (B) case is primarily about implementation of strategy for a turnaround. Both cases are mainly corporate strategy cases, though they could be used in the business strategy section of a strategic management course, since the corporation is narrowly diversified and centrally controlled, so it acts like a business.


Case Authors : Graham Hubbard, Judy Hubbard

Topic : Strategy & Execution

Related Areas : Crisis management, Financial management, Marketing




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for National Australia Bank (B) Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10026576) -10026576 - -
Year 1 3444556 -6582020 3444556 0.9434 3249581
Year 2 3966860 -2615160 7411416 0.89 3530491
Year 3 3948333 1333173 11359749 0.8396 3315097
Year 4 3227354 4560527 14587103 0.7921 2556367
TOTAL 14587103 12651536


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2624960

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

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




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of National Australia Bank (B)

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 Nab Turnaround 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 Nab Turnaround 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 (10026576) -10026576 - -
Year 1 3444556 -6582020 3444556 0.8696 2995266
Year 2 3966860 -2615160 7411416 0.7561 2999516
Year 3 3948333 1333173 11359749 0.6575 2596093
Year 4 3227354 4560527 14587103 0.5718 1845250
TOTAL 10436125


The Net NPV after 4 years is 409549

(10436125 - 10026576 )






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 (10026576) -10026576 - -
Year 1 3444556 -6582020 3444556 0.8333 2870463
Year 2 3966860 -2615160 7411416 0.6944 2754764
Year 3 3948333 1333173 11359749 0.5787 2284915
Year 4 3227354 4560527 14587103 0.4823 1556401
TOTAL 9466544


The Net NPV after 4 years is -560032

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9466544 - 10026576 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Nab Turnaround 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 Nab Turnaround has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Nab Turnaround 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 Nab Turnaround, then the stock price of the Nab Turnaround 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 Nab Turnaround 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 –

Understanding of risks involved in 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 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 will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

What can impact the cash flow of 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

Graham Hubbard, Judy Hubbard (2018), "National Australia Bank (B) Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.