Background of RIC and the Appliance Control Computer Project
Regis International Corporation (RIC), a Denver based technology company, has been applying its expertise in microprocessor technology to develop a small computer specifically designed to control home appliances. Once programmed, the computer would automatically control the heating and air-conditioning system, hot water heater, and even small appliances such as coffee makers. By increasing the energy efficiency of a home, the appliance control computer can save on costs hence pay for itself in a few years. This effort has now reached the stage where a decision on whether or not to go forward with production must be made.
RIC’s marketing department plans to target sales of the appliance control computer to the owners of larger homes - the computer is cost effective only on homes with 2,000 or more square feet of heated/air-conditioned space. The marketing vice-president forecasts sales in 2022 to be $40 million and to increase by 6 percent per year. The engineering department has estimated that the firm would need a new manufacturing plant; this plant could be built and made ready for production in 1 year, once the “go” decision is made. The plant would require a 25-acre site, and RIC currently has an option to purchase a suitable tract of land for $1.2 million; the land option must be exercised on December 31, 2020. Building construction would begin in early 2021 and would continue through the end of 2021. The building, which would fall into the MACRS 39-year class (ignore any half-year convention), would cost an estimated $8 million, payable on December 31, 2021.
The necessary manufacturing equipment would be installed late in 2021 and would be paid for on December 31, 2021. The equipment, which would fall into the MACRS 7-year class, would have a cost of $6.5 million, including transportation, plus another $500,000 for installation.
The project would also require an initial investment in net working capital equal to 12 percent of the estimated sales in the first year. The initial working capital investment would be made on December 31, 2021, and on December 31 of each following year, net working capital would be increased by an amount equal to 12 percent of any sales increase expected during the coming year. The project’s estimated economic life is 6 years. At that time, the land is expected to have a market value of $1.7 million, the building a value of $1.0 million, and the equipment a value of $2 million. The production department has estimated the variable manufacturing costs would total 65 percent of dollar sales, and that fixed overhead costs, excluding depreciation, would be $8 million for the first year of operation. Fixed overhead costs, other than depreciation, are projected to increase with inflation which is expected to average 6 percent per year over the 6 year life of the project.
RIC’s marginal tax rate (federal and state) is 40 percent; its weighted average cost of capital is 15%; and the company’s policy, for capital budgeting purposes, is to assume that operating cash flows occur at the end of each year. Since the plant would begin operations on January 1, 2022, the first operating cash flows would thus occur on December 31, 2022. The capital gains tax rate is the same as the ordinary income tax rate.
As one of the company’s financial analysts, you have been assigned the task of supervising the capital budgeting analysis. For now, you may assume that the project has the same risk as the firm’s current average project, and hence you may use the corporate cost of capital, 15 percent, for this project. Calculate the NINV, NPV, IRR, and payback period for the appliance control computer project. Create Best Case and Worst Case scenarios based on the Sales number only. Assume the Best and Worst are +/- 25%.
In addition to showing the values for the NINV, FCFs, NPV, IRR, and payback period, please provide a copy of your spreadsheet that shows your calculated values for the initial investment, the cash flows, and the salvage value.