MAKING CAPITAL INVESTMENT
Answers to Concepts Review and Critical Thinking Questions
In this context, an opportunity cost refers to the value of an asset or other input that will be used in a
project. The relevant cost is what the asset or input is actually worth today, not, for example, what it
cost to acquire.
For tax purposes, a firm would choose MACRS because it provides for larger depreciation deductions
earlier. These larger deductions reduce taxes, but have no other cash consequences. Notice that the
choice between MACRS and straight-line is purely a time value issue; the total depreciation is the same,
only the timing differs.
Depreciation is a non-cash expense, but it is tax-deductible on the income statement. Thus depreciation
causes taxes paid, an actual cash outflow, to be reduced by an amount equal to the depreciation tax
D. A reduction in taxes that would otherwise be paid is the same thing as a cash inflow, so the
effects of the depreciation tax shield must be added in to get the total incremental aftertax cash flows.
There are two particularly important considerations. The first is erosion. Will the essentialized book
simply displace copies of the existing book that would have otherwise been sold? This is of special
concern given the lower price. The second consideration is competition. Will other publishers step in
and produce such a product? If so, then any erosion is much less relevant. A particular concern to book
publishers (and producers of a variety of other product types) is that the publisher only makes money
from the sale of new books. Thus, it is important to examine whether the new book would displace sales
of used books (good from the publisher’s perspective) or new books (not good). The concern arises any
time there is an active market for used product.
Solutions to Questions and Problems
The $6 million acquisition cost of the land six years ago is a sunk cost. The $6.4 million current aftertax
value of the land is an opportunity cost if the land is used rather than sold off. The $14.2 million cash
outlay and $890,000 grading expenses are the initial fixed asset investments needed to get the project
going. Therefore, the proper year zero cash flow to use in evaluating this project is
$6,400,000 + 14,200,000 + 890,000 = $21,490,000
Sales due solely to the new product line are:
19,000($13,000) = $247,000,000
Increased sales of the motor home line occur because of the new product line introduction; thus:
4,500($53,000) = $238,500,000