Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Excess Cash isn't always just from cash

Putting together the last few posts (House analogy for EV, FCFF and NOWC and N[O]WC as a source of funds), let's look at an example of how they are all interrelated.

Target Company:
Total Assets = $100M
AR = $10M
Inventory = $15M
AP = $10M

Industry Average
Total Assets* = $100M
AR = $5M
Inventory = $10M
AP = $20M

* Total Assets for each company are deliberately the same to make percentage calculations convenient.

Let's also assume that looking only at the company's operations, you are planning on bringing the balance sheet accounts closer in line with industry average. Implicitly, you are improving the company's operations (reducing days receivable, days on hand and increasing days payables).

Change in AR = -5M (cash inflow)
Change in Inventory = -5M (cash inflow)
Change in AP = +10M (cash inflow)

Total cash inflow from Operating Working Capital = +5M +5M + 10M = +20M

This change in accounts reflects a type of excess which can be converted into "excess cash". These changes would be manifested in operations through:

  • Collecting on debts sooner, reducing credit terms
  • Selling out of inventory without replenishment (reducing inventory size and implicit days on hand)
  • Taking longer to pay our suppliers, using more supplier credit
  • Essentially, running "leaner"

This excess cash would be captured in a financial DCF model as a change in net operating working capital in the first year of operation and built into the company's EV calculation.

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