34 Pages | 4,960 Words

Introduction. 4

Importance of Cash Flow analysis. 4

Document Structure. 5

Assumptions. 5

Why Assumptions are Important 5

Key Assumptions. 5

Business Inception. 6

Fixed exchange Rate. 6

Equal distribution of Sales. 6

Some constant Figures. 6

Constant Discount rate and No borrowing. 7

Reliability and Limitations of assumptions. 7

Cash Flow Analysis. 7

2013 Cash Flow Analysis. 7

2014 Cash Flow Analysis. 8

2015-2017 Cash Flow Analysis 9

Sensitivity Analysis of Cash Flows 9

Sensitivity Analysis for 2013. 9

Sensitivity Analysis for Net Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Exchange Rate. 9

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate. 9

Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate. 9

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate. 9

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees 10

Sensitivity Analysis for 2014. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees 10

Sensitivity Analysis for 2015-2017. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for Net Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Exchange Rate. 10

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate. 11

Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate. 11

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate. 11

Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees 11

Investment Appraisal 11

Refurbishment costs. 11

Recommendations and Conclusion. 12

Appendix A.. 13

Appendix B.. 14

Appendix C.. 15

Appendix D (A) 16

Appendix D (B) 17

Appendix D[C] 18

Appendix D [D] 19

Appendix D [E] 20

Appendix E (A) 21

Appendix E (B) 22

Appendix E (C) 23

Appendix E (D) 24

Appendix E (E) 25

Appendix F (A) 26

Appendix F (B) 27

Appendix F (C) 28

Appendix F (D) 29

Appendix F (E) 30

Appendix G.. 31

References 33

1: To input the explicit variables in the cash flow analysis and find out about the additional information required.

2: To formulate realistic and reliable assumptions in regards with the missing variables.

3: To carry out a cash flow analysis for the proposed investment and afterwards combine the numbers for prompt investment appraisal decisions

4: To carry out sensitivity analysis of the cash flows in relation to the key and important variables and determine the marginal effect on the output variable with respect to the input variable.

5: To generate realistic and practical recommendations for Matt in consideration with the current investment opportunity

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This document is structured in such a way that it becomes easy for the reader to absorb the whole process of valuation and cash flow analysis. After introduction, the document provides key assumptions. These assumptions are also tested for reliability, practicality and coherence. Additionally, the drawbacks, inherent limitations and potential inbuilt hazards are also discussed in detail. After the assumptions part, the document presents the critical cash flow analysis with step to step explanation and reasoning. This part is followed by the sensitivity analysis which presents data that pertain to change in values of three variables. After the sensitivity analysis, investment appraisal is discussed which precedes the dialogue for refurbishment costs. At the end of all the analysis, recommendations and conclusion are presented for this clock business which not only take into consideration the financial aspect but also scrutinize the operational or non-financial aspects. The end of the document consists of appendices and references.
# Assumptions

## Why Assumptions are Important

Whether it is the analysis of cash flows or the valuation of a large or small business, assumptions carry a critical role. The significance of assumptions in the current scenario is very vital as the key portions of the valuation and analysis are to be assumed. According to Mckinney consulting, assumptions should be explicit, clear and realistic. In addition to these characteristics, assumptions should be rooted in some reliable source (Johnson and McKinney, 2012). If assumptions are made from judgment, the person decreeing the judgment should be the expert of the concerned field. In relation to the current analysis, no assumption is made by virtue of judgment or ruling. The logic behind using a specific value roots in the composition and method of analysis. Additionally, the sources of assumptions are also depicted clearly in the document.
## Key Assumptions

The assumptions behind the analysis are mentioned below:
### Business Inception

1: It is assumed that the business of online selling starts from January 2013. This assumption is made by keeping into consideration the fact that Matt, the buyer of clocks, is buying the clocks in a foreign currency, Euro. The local currency of Matt is United States dollar. The value of Euro should be transformed into the relevant currency before making it an input to the cash flow analysis. The currency exchange rates for year 2013 are readily available on internet from reliable sources. Had I chosen 2014 as a base year, the uncertainty in the starting exchange rate could have hindered the whole analysis. As the base year is 2013, the average of monthly exchange rates can be used to calculate the equivalent dollar purchase costs. The exchange rates for year 2013 are taken from the official website of Bloomberg (BLOOMBERG L.P., 2013).
### Fixed exchange Rate

2: After carrying out the analysis for year 2013, this is assumed that the exchange rate will remain constant till the end of year 2017. This assumption looks unrealistic; however, it is also a fact that there are certain other ways and instruments that can incorporate the future exchange rate into the analysis more effectively. In the current scenario, sensitivity analysis is used to find out the effect of change in the exchange rate on the cash flows. This method has several advantages. First of all, the future exchange rate of any two currencies cannot be predicted with total certainty. There are various factors that affect exchange rates. The main and important constituents are the interest rates in two countries, the trade deficit or surplus, the consumer price index or the inflation rate of the countries, industrial production and retail sales etc (Kuepper, 2013). Additionally, there could be numerous sub factors. This study cannot assume and analyze all these factors into consideration. Therefore, it is wise to use a plain and constant exchange rate in the cash flows. The relevant values of the cash flows can be examined in the sensitivity analysis by changing the fixed value of exchange rate. This method can also generate a range, and number of realistic and accurate cash flows based upon several exchange rate inputs.
### Equal Distribution of Sales

3: Another key and important assumption is related to the actuality that sales are presumed to be equally distributed throughout the month. Therefore, each week will generate 10units in sales in the first year, and from the beginning of 2nd year this number will increase to 500.
### Some constant Figures

4: Additionally, it is also assumed that the sales price, number of sold units, tax rate and credit card company fees will also remain constant throughout the life of the project (five years).
### Constant Discount rate and No Borrowing

5: It is also assumed that the discount rate for discounted cash flow analysis will remain constant. For making the analysis simple and straight forward, this is also assumed that Matt will not borrow any amount from the bank, and he will use his own savings from retirement to finance any trivial cash outflows.
## Reliability and Limitations of Assumptions

In any study, the authentication of assumptions should be valid and explicit. It is because the results of the analysis depend on the output from the assumed variables (Williams, 2012). From the perspective of this study, certain assumptions fit in well while the rest seem incoherent. The assumption of constant and fixed exchange rate is overcome and handled by the sensitivity analysis. Even in the current scenario, the sensitivity analysis surrenders effective and accurate results with respect to future exchange rate. On the other hand, the assumption of constant figures looks mildly impractical. However, by keeping the simplicity and accurateness into account, the assumptions can be justified. Also, it is really impractical and unreasonable to nullify the results of the initial market research that provided the sales price and units’ figures. The ‘no additional borrowing’ assumption is valid in the sense that Matt will require only a small initial investment and ‘working capital requirements’. Matt has enough bank balance to cater for the needs of the insignificant cash outflows that need financial backing outside the clock business domain. Also, as the business goes forward, it will itself generate enough money that can be used to finance the purchases and shipment costs from Germany.
# Cash Flow Analysis

The purpose of the cash flow analysis is to transform the inputs of any financial investment to a relevant output that can explain and analyze its financial and operational effects (Keplan, 1995). For the purpose of analysis, the cash flows are divided into three categories. The first category constitutes 2013 figures; the second category contains the 2014 figures while the third contains the cash flow from 2015-2017, which by virtue of assumptions, are identical.
## 2013 Cash Flow Analysis

The Calculations for the cash flow of 2013 are shown in Appendix A. At the start of the year 2013 Matt will make his first order of clocks that will constitute supply for next two weeks. Therefore, by applying the assumption of equal distribution of sales, the first order will comprise of 20 units. The order will reach Matt in a week’s time. Therefore, the sales will start from 7th of January 2013. Till 15th of the month, according to the equal distribution assumptions, only 10 units will be sold. The second order will be made on the 15th of the same month (January). This order of 20 goods will reach Matt on 22nd of the month. Till then, Matt can use the extra 120 units in the inventory to replenish the demand. On 23rd, the new consignment will arrive that will maintain the supply till the 7th of the next month. On the same day, when the inventory will run out, next consignment will reach Matt for distribution. In this way, Matt can make sure that the stock is reloaded in time. However, according to this system, Matt will have to pay additional $12020 worth of purchasing costs in the first month. The first payment of $11880from the credit card company will reach Matt’s account on 15th of February. However, as there is no additional borrowing; therefore, all the costs are incurred from his bank account. The shipping and purchasing cost for Matt is transformed into dollar values before making them an input to the model. The exchange rate used in the calculations is the average exchange rate for the year 2013. The average value will distribute the purchasing costs equally to every month. The resultant figure of the converted dollar amount will be the same as if for every month a separate and corresponding rate is used. The salary portion is also included in the costs and included in the cash flow. However, the inclusion of the wage in the expenses is done purposefully. The net effect of the transaction will be zero as the money will leave Matt’s bank account and will again be submitted there. However, there is a practical benefit of including the wage in expenses. The wage is an allowable expense and hence it can be deducted from the overall revenues. This $7500 expense will decrease the net tax paid by Matt. The monthly tax savings can be calculated as follows:

Monthly Tax Savings = $7500*30% = $2250

This is a substantial amount if saved for a long time period, especially 5 years. There is another potential benefit of including this amount in the expenses. If Matt retires or suffers from an unexpected illness, he will have to hire someone to do the job. If I assume that Matt salary is essentially not an expense, then, the side effects of another person carrying out the job will not be included in the analysis. Therefore, from a contingency planning point of view, this value is very critical to include in the cash flows. The monthly cash flows are discounted to the start of the year 2013. For this purpose, effective monthly rate is calculated. The annual discount rate is mentioned to be 5%. The following formula is used to convert the annual figure to the monthly figure.

1+Annual Rate = (1+Monthly Rate) ^ 12

The effective monthly rate comes out to be 0.41%. After discounting the cash flows by this value, the PV of annual after tax cash flow comes out to be -$58375.## 2014 Cash Flow Analysis

The cash flows for the year 2014 are depicted in Appendix B. At the end of 2011 Matt has just 10 units in his inventory and the next consignment will reach him on 7th of the month. Hence, from 1-15th of the first month of year 2014, a total of 135 (10+ {250/2}) units will be sold. From there onwards, the semi-monthly demand can easily be replenished with the supply. The purchasing price, sales price and all other variables are considered to be constant. Monthly rent and wage are also included in the cash flow analysis. On the 15th of the first month, January, Matt will receive the money from the credit card company. This value will amount to 99% of the December sales for year 2013. Additionally, in February, the cash inflow will be a little less as only 10 units were sold in the first week of the month. The cash inflows will stabilize after the 2nd month at $198000. After discounting the values with the respective effective monthly rate, the present value of after tax cash flows comes out to be $82898.
## 2015-2017 Cash Flow Analysis

Because of the relevant assumptions, the cash flows will be identical for the proceeding three years. The per year cash flows are shown in Appendix C. For every year after 2014, the annual after tax cash flow will be $241,169. All the relevant assumptions stand validly for these three years.
# Sensitivity Analysis of Cash Flows

The purpose of sensitivity analysis is to find out the change a certain output in relation to a marginal change in one input of the model (Levine and Renelt, 1992). The year wise sensitivity analysis is explained below. In total, there are five analyses, which are described one by one for every year.
## Sensitivity Analysis for 2013

### Sensitivity Analysis for Net Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Exchange Rate

Appendix D (A) depicts the output table for the sensitivity analysis of monthly net cash flows with respect to the exchange rate. The exchange rate is varied from 1 to 1.8 by keeping the dollar as the base currency. The table shows that even for a very low exchange rate (1 dollar for one Euro), all the cash flows are negative. If you increase the exchange rate, the negativity of the cash flows further strengthens.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate

Appendix D (B) shows relevant table. The table shows that, in the desired range of exchange rates, the after tax cash flow remain negative. The highest and lowest cash flows are -$48307 and -$134332 respectively.
### Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate

Appendix D (C) shows the relevant table. The effective monthly discount rate is varied from 0.25% to 0.65%. However, as the analysis puts forward, there is not a significant difference in the cash flows. The biggest difference is of $82.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate

Appendix D (D) shows the output of data analysis. The table shows that there is not a significant difference in the figure. The difference between the highest and the lowest figure amounts to just $1227.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees

The default value of credit card company fee is 1%. This value is varied from 0.25% to 2.25%, and the effect on pre tax cash flows was studied. The difference between the highest and lowest value comes out to be around $3000. This is not a significant amount in consideration with the revenues and other figures. Appendix D (E) shows the table.
## Sensitivity Analysis for 2014

Sensitivity Analysis for Net Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Exchange Rate

Appendix E (A) represents the output table for the sensitivity analysis of monthly net cash flows with respect to the exchange rate. The table shows the from the range of 1 to 4.6 the cash flow remain positive, however, if the exchange rate is increased from 1.6 all the cash flow suddenly become negative and keep on decreasing till the exchange rate of 1.85.### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate

Appendix E (B) shows relevant table. The table shows that there is a substantial difference in the cash flows; as the exchange rate reaches the value of 1.8, the present value of cash flows decreases to -$518,749.
### Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate

Appendix E [C] shows the relevant table. The effective monthly discount rate is varied from 0.25% to 0.65%. However, as the analysis puts forward, there is not a significant difference in the cash flows.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate

Appendix E(D) shows the output of data analysis. The table shows that there is not a significant difference in the figure. The difference between the highest and the lowest figure amounts to just $8948.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees

The default value of credit card company fee is 1%. This value is varied from 0.25% to 2.25%, and the effect on pre tax cash flows was studied. Appendix E (E) shows the relevant table. In this case, there is a slightly high difference in the maximum and the minimum values. This difference amounts to $36508.
## Sensitivity Analysis for 2015-2017

### Sensitivity Analysis for Net Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Exchange Rate

As the cash flows for all three years are identical, therefore, same analysis will hold true and applicable for the three years. Appendix F (A) shows the relevant figures for the years. Same as before, if the exchange rate goes beyond 1.6, the cash flows for every month turn into negative figures. The lowest monthly cash flow that can be attained is equal to -$25000.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Exchange Rate

The sum of the present value of cash flow is highly susceptible to the changes in the exchange rate. There is a huge difference in the largest and smallest possible values. The highest value amounts to around $783,000 while the lowest value is equal to -$292204. Therefore, in response to a total variation of 0.85 in exchange rates, the present value of cash flows shows a differential of around $1.075 million. This differential is represented in Appendix F (B).
### Sensitivity Analysis for PV of Cash Flow to Matt W.R.T Monthly Discount Rate

Once again, the present value of cash flows does not show much variation in relation to the monthly discount rate. The monthly discount rate window is large but the differential seems to be trivial and manageable. This is symbolized in Appendix F(C).
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Discount Rate

Appendix F (D) shows the relevant calculations and values. As predicted by the previous sensitivity analysis, the differential is minute and immaterial. The total variation in the present value of cash flows comes around at $10000.
### Sensitivity Analysis for the sum of PV of Cash Flows W.R.T Credit Card Company Fees

In the case of credit card fees, the company looks a little immunized as the effect of decreased or enhanced fees does not carry a significance level of materiality. The total variation, as shown in Appendix F (E), comes out close to $15000.
# Investment Appraisal

Investment appraisal pertains to the study of analyzing the cash flows and financial returns arising from the investment (Garrett, 2013). Investment appraisal can comprise of various rating instruments like net present value, internal rate of return and payback period. Appendix G depicts the relevant calculations for arriving at the figure of net present value. NPV is the dollar amount of return you get after discounting all the cash flow back to time zero and adding them to the initial investment (Garrett, 2013). The Analysis shows that the net present value for the next five years of investment horizon stands at $627064. The initial investment for this project was insignificant in relation to this amount. One important point should be kept in mind that the cash flows are already discounted at the beginning of the year; therefore, the first cash inflow will occur at time 0 and the last cash inflow till happen at the end of 4th year essentially.
# Refurbishment Costs

The key in finding the total refurbishment costs is that Matt will stand at a breakeven point (Reinhardt, 2012). This means that Matt will have 0 profits in his bank account relating to this investment. Clearly, in order to find the relevant value, one has to put the NPV equation equal to zero. This means that an amount, which is equal to the value of NPV, will render Matt in a ‘break even’ situation. Therefore, total allowable refurbishment costs are equal to $624064. This is value of the refurbishment costs at the start of year 2013. If one needs to find out the value of these costs at different data, he/she will have to compound the value by the relevant amount to reach the correct number.
# Recommendations

Based on the cash flow and sensitivity analysis, several key recommendations can be put forward for Matt. Firstly, the sensitivity analysis showed that currency exchange rate can affect the value of total cash flows to a huge extent. Therefore, the first priority of Matt should be to evade or lock in the exchange rate. This can be done in various ways. Matt can only purchase from the German company in dollar amounts. In this way, the risk of currency appreciation or depreciation is transferred to the counterparty. Also, if the counterparty does not sell in dollars, by choosing from a long list of financial instruments Matt can hedge the currency exchange risk. These instruments may be forward or futures contract, put-call options and tunnel forward etc. At the same time, Matt should try to benefit from the decrease in the exchange rate. It is, therefore, advised that Matt should create a ceiling for the exchange rates. No floor will make sure that currency appreciation will profit him. Additionally, Matt should lock in his position with the credit card companies in relation to fees. Matt should also market the product efficiently on the internet. This can result in increasing the sales unit for following years. However, the feasibility analysis of the marketing expenses should be carried out first.
# Conclusion

If Matt sticks to the above mentioned recommendations, the business can generate more value through effective and deliberate planning. The cash flow analysis showed that this business if successfully carried out it has the potential to generate exceptional and handsome profits with a huge return on investment. One of the most striking features of this investment is the low initial investment in equipment and tangibles. This low investment is the key for a high return on investment. Additionally, the stumpy ‘general and administrative expenses’ are also a striking feature of this investment that enhance the return. However, the exposure to the currency and credit card fees is not a desirable feature in the whole investment process. If Matt does not take corrective, evasive and hedging manoeuvres, he can transform this lucrative investment into a financial nightmare. On the other hand, if he handles all these factors, the investment will continue to generate handsome returns.

# References

Bloomberg L.P. (2013) *Euro-US Dollar Exchange Rate*, [Online], Available: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/EURUSD:CUR [2013 November 2013].

Garrett, S.J. (2013) 'Chapter 6 – Project Appraisal and Investment Performance', in Garrett, S.J.*Introduction to the Mathematics of Finance (Second Edition)*, 2^{nd} edition, San Diego.

Gatti, S. (2013) 'Valuing the Project and Project Cash Flow Analysis', in Gatti, S.*Project Finance in Theory and Practice*, 2^{nd} edition, San Diego.

Johnson, R. and McKinney, S. (2012)*The Importance of Assumptions*, [Online], Available: http://www.mckinneyconsulting.com/index.php/leaders-library/237-the-importance-of-assumptions [26 November 2013].

Keplan, S.A. (1995) 'The Valuation of Cash Flow Forecasts: An Empirical Analysis',*The Journal of Finance*, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 1059-1093.

Kuepper, J. (2013)*Fundamental Factors That Affect Currency Values*, [Online], Available: http://finance.yahoo.com/education/currencies/article/106077/Basic_concepts_for_currencies_markets [26 November 2013].

Levine, R. and Renelt, D. (1992) 'A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions',*The American Economic Review*, vol. 82, no. 4, September, pp. 942-963.

Maravas, A. and Pantouvakis, J.-P. (2012) 'Project cash flow analysis in the presence of uncertainty in activity duration and cost',*International Journal of Project Management*, vol. 30, no. 3, April, pp. 374-384.

Reinhardt, U.E. (2012) 'Break Even Analysis For LockHeeds Tri Star: An Application Of Financial Theory',*The Journal of Finance*, vol. 28, no. 4, April, pp. 821-838.

Williams, M.A. (2012) 'Assumptions in research',*Research in Nursing & Health*, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 47-48.

Monthly Tax Savings = $7500*30% = $2250

This is a substantial amount if saved for a long time period, especially 5 years. There is another potential benefit of including this amount in the expenses. If Matt retires or suffers from an unexpected illness, he will have to hire someone to do the job. If I assume that Matt salary is essentially not an expense, then, the side effects of another person carrying out the job will not be included in the analysis. Therefore, from a contingency planning point of view, this value is very critical to include in the cash flows. The monthly cash flows are discounted to the start of the year 2013. For this purpose, effective monthly rate is calculated. The annual discount rate is mentioned to be 5%. The following formula is used to convert the annual figure to the monthly figure.

1+Annual Rate = (1+Monthly Rate) ^ 12

The effective monthly rate comes out to be 0.41%. After discounting the cash flows by this value, the PV of annual after tax cash flow comes out to be -$58375.

Appendix E (A) represents the output table for the sensitivity analysis of monthly net cash flows with respect to the exchange rate. The table shows the from the range of 1 to 4.6 the cash flow remain positive, however, if the exchange rate is increased from 1.6 all the cash flow suddenly become negative and keep on decreasing till the exchange rate of 1.85.

Garrett, S.J. (2013) 'Chapter 6 – Project Appraisal and Investment Performance', in Garrett, S.J.

Gatti, S. (2013) 'Valuing the Project and Project Cash Flow Analysis', in Gatti, S.

Johnson, R. and McKinney, S. (2012)

Keplan, S.A. (1995) 'The Valuation of Cash Flow Forecasts: An Empirical Analysis',

Kuepper, J. (2013)

Levine, R. and Renelt, D. (1992) 'A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions',

Maravas, A. and Pantouvakis, J.-P. (2012) 'Project cash flow analysis in the presence of uncertainty in activity duration and cost',

Reinhardt, U.E. (2012) 'Break Even Analysis For LockHeeds Tri Star: An Application Of Financial Theory',

Williams, M.A. (2012) 'Assumptions in research',