Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate 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 Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Josh Lehr, Pau Amigo, M. Julia Prats. The Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate (referred as “Tousignant Verizon” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Decision making.

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 Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate Case Study

In late October 2015 James Tousignant, Director of Transactions and Real Estate Development for Verizon Global Real Estate, was sitting in his office at Verizon?s headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ' a sprawling 1.4 MM square foot megaplex of 80's construction. The compound was made up of nine building-wings and a central core to serve food to over 5,000 employees each day. As he looked out his office window he pondered what he should do. Verizon had spent significant resources and energy developing their campus master plan and Verizon's new way to work within them, but had overlooked a large share of the administrative portfolio (small offices under 50K square feet) which made up two thirds of Verizon's portfolio by count, housed over 8,500 employees, and represented $62 million in annual operating cost.The next morning Tousignant would present a plan to John Vasquez, Verizon's Global Head of Real Estate, that should solve the problems with the small office portfolio as well as align the portfolio with the greater enterprise's strategic goals. Tousignant wondered if he should move forward with the plan or reconsider if the risks outweigh the benefits. Tousignant knew that if he did, the strategy would mean a strong departure from traditional corporate real estate. He would spend the rest of the night carefully reviewing the strategy, implementation, and of course the benefits, risks, and alternatives. It would be a night of Keurig and energy bars.

Case Authors : Josh Lehr, Pau Amigo, M. Julia Prats

Topic : Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Related Areas : Decision making

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10013815) -10013815 - -
Year 1 3450247 -6563568 3450247 0.9434 3254950
Year 2 3960974 -2602594 7411221 0.89 3525253
Year 3 3956997 1354403 11368218 0.8396 3322371
Year 4 3234357 4588760 14602575 0.7921 2561914
TOTAL 14602575 12664487

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2650672

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. Net Present Value
2. Payback Period
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 Tousignant Verizon 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. Tousignant Verizon 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 Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate

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 Innovation & Entrepreneurship 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 Tousignant Verizon 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 Tousignant Verizon 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 (10013815) -10013815 - -
Year 1 3450247 -6563568 3450247 0.8696 3000215
Year 2 3960974 -2602594 7411221 0.7561 2995065
Year 3 3956997 1354403 11368218 0.6575 2601790
Year 4 3234357 4588760 14602575 0.5718 1849254
TOTAL 10446324

The Net NPV after 4 years is 432509

(10446324 - 10013815 )

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 (10013815) -10013815 - -
Year 1 3450247 -6563568 3450247 0.8333 2875206
Year 2 3960974 -2602594 7411221 0.6944 2750676
Year 3 3956997 1354403 11368218 0.5787 2289929
Year 4 3234357 4588760 14602575 0.4823 1559779
TOTAL 9475590

The Net NPV after 4 years is -538225

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9475590 - 10013815 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Tousignant Verizon 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 Tousignant Verizon has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Tousignant Verizon 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 Tousignant Verizon, then the stock price of the Tousignant Verizon 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 Tousignant Verizon 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 will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

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.

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

Josh Lehr, Pau Amigo, M. Julia Prats (2018), "Verizon Reimagines Corporate Real Estate Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.