Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil 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 Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Michael Moffett. The Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil (referred as “Nodal Nodal's” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Finance & Accounting. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, International business, Risk management.

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 Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil Case Study

This is a Thunderbird Case Study.Just when John Penman thought Nodal Logistics Corporation (NLC or "Nodal") was ready to move into Brazil, a new hurdle was thrown in his path. Only a few days ago-on December 11, 2007-he had finally obtained approval from the U.S.-based company's executive board to invest $45 million in an 800,000 square foot industrial property project in SA£o Paulo, Brazil. But that was before yesterday's phone call from the legal department. Nodal's legal staff had received confirmation from their SA£o Paulo-based associate that under Brazilian law, commercial real estate contracts must be denominated in Brazilian reais. One of Nodal's basic operating practices which had been so important to its international success had been to write all industrial real estate agreements in U.S. dollars. This posed a serious problem, as most industrial leases ranged from as short as five years to more than 12, and that was a very long time to be exposed to the Brazilian currency. John now had to delve into the multitude of strategies and derivatives that might allow the company to manage the currency risk; otherwise, the deal was dead.

Case Authors : Michael Moffett

Topic : Finance & Accounting

Related Areas : International business, Risk management

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10026416) -10026416 - -
Year 1 3446763 -6579653 3446763 0.9434 3251663
Year 2 3961783 -2617870 7408546 0.89 3525973
Year 3 3968983 1351113 11377529 0.8396 3332435
Year 4 3229317 4580430 14606846 0.7921 2557922
TOTAL 14606846 12667992

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2641576

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. Internal Rate of Return
2. Net Present Value
3. Profitability Index
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. Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil

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 Finance & Accounting 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 Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Nodal's 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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10026416) -10026416 - -
Year 1 3446763 -6579653 3446763 0.8696 2997185
Year 2 3961783 -2617870 7408546 0.7561 2995677
Year 3 3968983 1351113 11377529 0.6575 2609671
Year 4 3229317 4580430 14606846 0.5718 1846372
TOTAL 10448906

The Net NPV after 4 years is 422490

(10448906 - 10026416 )

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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10026416) -10026416 - -
Year 1 3446763 -6579653 3446763 0.8333 2872303
Year 2 3961783 -2617870 7408546 0.6944 2751238
Year 3 3968983 1351113 11377529 0.5787 2296865
Year 4 3229317 4580430 14606846 0.4823 1557348
TOTAL 9477754

The Net NPV after 4 years is -548662

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9477754 - 10026416 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Nodal's has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Nodal's, then the stock price of the Nodal Nodal's 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 Nodal Nodal's 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 can impact the cash flow of the project.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

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

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.

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

Michael Moffett (2018), "Nodal Logistics and Custo Brasil Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.