A professor in the Computer Science department at United States Institute of Technology has just patented a new search engine technology and would like to sell it to you, an interested venture capitalist. The patent has a 17-year life. The technology will take a year to implement (there are no cash flows in the first year) and has an upfront cost of $100 million. You believe this technology will be able to capture 1% of the Internet search market, and currently this market generates profits of $1 billion per year. Over the next five years, the risk-neutral probability that profits will grow at 10% per year is 20% and the risk-neutral probability that profits will grow at 5% per year is 80%.
This growth rate will become clear one year from now (after the first year of growth). After five years, profits are expected to decline 2% annually. No profits are expected after the patent runs out. Assume that all risk-free interest rates are constant (regardless of the term) at 10% per year.
a. Calculate the NPV of undertaking the investment today.
b. Calculate the NPV of waiting a year to make the investment decision.
c. What is your optimal investment strategy?

  • CreatedAugust 06, 2014
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