Exercise-6 (Capital budgeting with unequal proposal lives)

By: Rashid Javed | Updated on: September 8th, 2022

The National Food Company is comparing two proposals – proposal L and proposal M. Proposal L has a useful life of 7 years whereas proposal M has a useful life of 4 years. Both the proposals require an equal initial investment of $180,000. The information about cash inflow expected from proposal L and proposal M is given below:


The management of National Food Company wants a 10% rate of return on capital investments.

Required: Compare two proposals using net present value method. (Hint: An expert valuer estimates that the residual value of proposal L will be $60,000 at the end of Year 4.)


(1) Computation of net present value:

The two proposals have unequal useful lives and therefore their net present value cannot be directly compared. To make the proposals comparable, we assume that proposal L is terminated at the end of 4th year which is the end of the life of proposal M. For this purpose, we have to estimate the residual value of proposal L and assume that the proposal is sold at this value at the end of 4th year.

The net present value of proposal L and proposal M is computed below:

Net present value of proposal L:

  • *Value from present value of $1 table.
  • **Estimated residual value of the proposal L at the end of 4th year. The residual (or salvage) value estimated at any point of time might not necessarily be the same as the total expected future cash inflow of the proposal. In fact, it might be a different account. In this exercise, for instance, the total expected cash inflow of years 5, 6 and 7 is $80,000 (= $30,000 + $30,000 + $20,000) but we have estimated a residual value of $60,000 at the end of year 4. Such valuations are generally determined by an independent expert valuer or by the entity’s management itself.

Net present value of proposal M:


*Value from present value of an annuity of $1 in arrears table.

(2) Decision:

Proposal L looks more desirable because its net present value is more than that of proposal M.

Leave a comment