OVERVIEW OF CAPITAL BUDGETING
Mark Lester Samonte
The process of evaluating and
selecting long-term investments that
are consistent with the firm’s goal of
maximizing owners’ wealth.
An outlay of funds by the firm that
is expected to produce benefits over
a period of time greater than 1 year.
An outlay of funds by the firm
resulting in benefits received within
Capital Budgeting Process
Five distinct but interrelated steps:
proposal generation, review and analysis,
decision making, implementation,and
STEPS IN THE PROCESS
Thecapital budgeting process consists of five distinct but
1. Proposal generation. Proposals for new investment projects
are made at all levels within a business organization and are
reviewed by finance personnel. Proposals that require large
outlays are more carefully scrutinized than less costly ones.
2. Review and analysis.Financial managers perform formal review
and analysis to assess the merits of investment proposals.
3. Decision making. Firms typically delegate capital expenditure
decision making on the basis of dollar limits. Generally, the
board of directors must authorize expenditures beyond a
certain amount. Often plant managers are given authority to
make decisions necessary to keep the production line moving.
4. Implementation. Following approval, expenditures are made
and projects implemented. Expenditures for a large project
often occur in phases.
5. Follow-up. Results are monitored, and actual costs and
benefits are com- pared with those that were expected.
Action may be required if actual out- comes differ from
Independent versus Mutually
Independent Projects - Projects whose cash flows are
unrelated to (or independent of) one another; the
acceptance of one does not eliminate the others
from further consideration.
Mutually Exclusive Projects - Projects that compete
with one another, so that the acceptance of one
eliminates from further consideration all other
projects that serve a similar function.
Unlimited Funds versus
Unlimited Funds - The financial situation in which a firm
is able to accept all independent projects that
provide an acceptable return.
Capital Rationing - The financial situation in which a
firm has only a fixed number of dollars available for
capital expenditures, and numerous projects
compete for these dollars.
Accept–Reject Approach - The evaluation of capital
expenditure proposals to determine whether they
meet the firm’s minimum acceptance criterion.
Ranking Approach - The ranking of capital expenditure
projects on the basis of some predetermined
measure, such as the rate of return.
The amount of time required for
a firm to recover its initial
investment in a project, as calculated
from cash inflows.
When the payback period is used to make accept–
reject decisions, the following decision criteria apply:
• If the payback period is less than the maximum
acceptable payback period, accept the project.
• If the payback period is greater than the maximum
acceptable payback period, reject the project.
Net Present Value (NPV)
Is the present value at net cash inflows generated
by a project including salvage value, if any, less the
initial investment on the project.
When NPV is used to make accept–reject decisions, the
decision criteria are as follows:
• If the NPV is greater than $0, accept the project.
• If the NPV is less than $0, reject the project.
If the NPV is greater than $0, the firm will earn a return greater
than its cost of capital. Such action should increase the
market value of the firm, and therefore the wealth of its
owners by an amount equal to the NPV.
The profitability index (PI) is simply equal to the
present value of cash inflows divided by the initial
Internal Rate of return (IRR)
The internal rate of return (IRR) is one of the most widely
used capital budgeting techniques. The internal rate of
return (IRR) is the discount rate that equates the NPV of an
investment opportunity with $0 (because the present value of
cash inflows equals the initial investment). It is the rate of
return that the firm will earn if it invests in the project and
receives the given cash inflows. Mathematically, the IRR is the
value of r in Equation 10.1 that causes NPV to equal $0.
When IRR is used to make accept–reject decisions, the
decision criteria are as follows:
• If the IRR is greater than the cost of capital, accept the
• If the IRR is less than the cost of capital, reject the project.