james LaGrande had recently been appointed controller of the breakfast cereals division of a major food company. One of Jim’s first assignments was to prepare the financial analysis for a new cold cereal, Krispie Krinkles.
Mr. LaGrande discussed the product with the food lab that had designed it, with the market research department that had tested it, and with the finance people who would have to fund its introduction. After putting all the information together, he developed the following optimistic and pessimistic sales projections:
The optimistic predictions assume that the introduction of a popular product is successful. The pessimistic predictions assume that the product is introduced but does not gain wide acceptance and is terminated after 5 years. LaGrande thinks that the most likely results are halfway between the optimistic and pessimistic predictions.
LaGrande learned from finance that this type of product introduction requires a predicted rate of return of 16% before top management will authorize funds for its introduction. He also determined that the contribution margin should be about 50% on the product, but could be as low as 42% or as high as 58%. Initial investment would include $3 million for production facilities, $2.5 million for advertising and other product introduction expenses, and $1.5 million for working capital (e.g., inventory). The production facilities would have a value of $800,000 after 5 years.
Prepare a capital-budgeting analysis to determine whether to launch the product.