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Integrating Real Options with Managerial Cash Flow Estimates

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This article presents a real options model that fits managerial cash flow estimates (optimistic, likely, and pessimistic projections) to a continuous geometric Brownian motion (GBM) cash flow process with changing growth and volatility parameters. The cash flows and the value of a project are correlated to a traded asset, so the real option is priced under the risk-neutral measure with a closed-form solution. The analysis is extended to a sequential compound call option for investments over multiple periods. If the project is correlated to the market, then some of the risk may be mitigated by a delta-hedging strategy. A numerical example shows that the effect of the correlated asset on the real option value is significant, and the relationship between the volatility of the project and the real option value is not analogous to the typical relationship found in financial option pricing. Integrating the expertise and industry knowledge of management, this approach makes possible a more rigorous estimation of model inputs for real option pricing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry,University of Toronto, TorontoOntario, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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