Cummins, Epley, and Mayo, a U.S.-based construction firm, has been selected as the prime contractor for a road-reconstruction project in Saudi Arabia. Based on company cost estimates, the project provides a 15% return on costs, well below the required 18%. Because of a substantial advance payment and the specific timing of the payments, the project's IRR is 40%. This case can be used as an introduction to or a reinforcement of discounted-cash-flow techniques. It provides a dramatic portrayal of the time value of money, an opportunity for sensitivity analysis, and a possibility for using decision diagrams for structuring realistic contingencies.
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