How companies value properties

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 953, 1991

John Smith, The RTZ Corporation PLC

From a company'spoint-of-view, a good investment decision is one which results in the purchase of an asset that is worth more than it costs. Thus, in order to judge the merit of an investment opportunity, it is necessary to estimate the value of the assets to be acquired. Discounted cashflow (DCF) analysis has become widely adopted by companies in assessing potential new investments. The principle is a simple one: invest in projects which have a positive net present value, and reject those which do not. However, perhaps because of its apparent simplicity, DCF analysis is frequently misused. Good practice in the use of the technique is discussed, together with several common misconceptions. Sound analysis requires sound data; thus, the valuation process relies heavily upon a wide range of specialists to provide the basic input from which cash flow forecasts can be built up. The analyst must maintain close liaison with these specialists from the outset in order to ensure that the data provided is indeed relevant and complete.
Keywords: Mineral economics, Discounted cash flow analysis, Valuations.