To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) 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 To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Daniel J. Isenberg, Paul W. Marshall. The To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) (referred as “Hesse Xtech” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Entrepreneurial management, Globalization, Supply chain.

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 To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) Case Study

XTech, a leading manufacturer of metal parts for the telecommunications industry, is being pushed by its large equipment vendor customers to establish a manufacturing operation in China. CEO Reinhold Hesse is debating several options: establishing a joint venture, contracting with a local partner, or setting up a wholly owned enterprise. Hesse must prepare his recommendation to the management team, which includes owners Jim and Debby Sharpe.

Case Authors : Daniel J. Isenberg, Paul W. Marshall

Topic : Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Related Areas : Entrepreneurial management, Globalization, Supply chain

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10025386) -10025386 - -
Year 1 3458760 -6566626 3458760 0.9434 3262981
Year 2 3953907 -2612719 7412667 0.89 3518963
Year 3 3940248 1327529 11352915 0.8396 3308308
Year 4 3234071 4561600 14586986 0.7921 2561687
TOTAL 14586986 12651940

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2626554

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. Internal Rate of Return
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. Hesse Xtech 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 Hesse Xtech 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 To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China)

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 Hesse Xtech 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 Hesse Xtech 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 (10025386) -10025386 - -
Year 1 3458760 -6566626 3458760 0.8696 3007617
Year 2 3953907 -2612719 7412667 0.7561 2989722
Year 3 3940248 1327529 11352915 0.6575 2590777
Year 4 3234071 4561600 14586986 0.5718 1849091
TOTAL 10437207

The Net NPV after 4 years is 411821

(10437207 - 10025386 )

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 (10025386) -10025386 - -
Year 1 3458760 -6566626 3458760 0.8333 2882300
Year 2 3953907 -2612719 7412667 0.6944 2745769
Year 3 3940248 1327529 11352915 0.5787 2280236
Year 4 3234071 4561600 14586986 0.4823 1559641
TOTAL 9467946

The Net NPV after 4 years is -557440

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9467946 - 10025386 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Hesse Xtech 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 Hesse Xtech has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Hesse Xtech 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 Hesse Xtech, then the stock price of the Hesse Xtech 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 Hesse Xtech 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.

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

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.

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

Daniel J. Isenberg, Paul W. Marshall (2018), "To JV or Not To JV? That is the Question (for XTech in China) Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.