Course code BUS315

BUS315 Corporate Finance and Valuation

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2016 .

Course responsible: Glenn Roger Kristiansen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
Autumn semester.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: 2015H
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Course topics:

  • prediction of unlevered cash flow
  • discounting of cash flow
  • calculation of capital costs of capital (e.g., WACC)
  • sensitivity- and scenario analysis (e.g., the use of binomial trees)
  • fundamentals underlying corporate valuation
  • corporate valuation methods (e.g., multiples, certainty-equivalent cash flows, adjusted present value, NPV, IRR)
  • the use of risk-free interest rates (theoretical spot rates; investment horizon issues)
  • terminal value
  • assessing and calculating historical performance
  • amending the financial statement for the purpose of corporate valuation
  • financial ratios
  • corporate strategy and prediction of performance
  • unlevered beta
  • the functions of asset pricing models (e.g., CAPM and APT)
  • integrating principles and thinking in finance, strategy and accounting in order to value assets, projects and corporations

The topics listed are not meant to be exhaustive, and may be amended.

Learning outcome:

The students will learn how to value projects and corporations of various sizes. This entails integrating the disciplines of finance, strategy, and accounting. The valuation process consists of many details and potential pitfalls, which we aim to overcome through this course. There is not one correct way of valuing a company or project, and we triangulate among several methods in order to ensure that we are in the ballpark of the best estimated value.  We will employ Excel in a way that will benefit you in a later job position with respect to valuation challenges.

You will learn how to convert accounting measures into free cash flow, which is the foundation for the much used discounting-valuation method. The separation between accounting measures and cash flow is crucial for all valuation, and even though you may know the calculations by heart, it takes time to think in cash-flow terms if you have a background from accounting or business economics. The course aims to naturally shift focus from the accounting statement to the cash-flow statement and related applications for valuation purposes. We will perform pro-forma financial statements in order to estimate future unlevered operational cash flow, a basis that is important for valuation.

We naturally also focus on estimation of the cost of capital for equity, debt, and the combined assets, and the effects of debt on project and company valuation. We take into account both personal and corporate tax rates. Estimation of the cost of capital is a complex and debated area, and we will therefore spend considerable amount of time on this topic. An overview of asset-pricing models is important in this respect, together with an understanding of theoretical spot rates, which can be used as estimates for risk-free interest rates at different maturities.

Alternative valuation methods include for instance free-cash-flow discounting, the adjusted-present-value (APV) method, the flow-to-equity approach, the WACC method, the portfolio-tracking method, and the certainty-equivalent method. We will combine these methods with scenario and sensitivity analyses, for instance by systematically changing growth estimates. In this regard, the binomial-tree valuation method is an important tool when taking into account the flexibility to continue or stop a project.

We will also look at how to compare the value of projects and corporations, and why you in most cases would prefer the NPV over the IRR criterion. Lastly, capital structure and dividend policy are short topics of the course. The value of debt depends partly on your personal and corporate tax rate, and we will discuss why, for instance, required return to equity holders increases with leverage. The theoretical perspectives by Modigliani and Miller are central for the treatment of capital structure.

Learning activities:
The course will consist of lecturing together with group work, as well as compulsoy hand-ins that the students will have to pass in order to take the exam.
Teaching support:
Office hours.
Syllabus: to be announced.

BUS220, BUS210  or eqvivalent

Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)

Recommended prerequisites:
Introductory courses in finance and accounting. The students are themselves responsible for having the sufficient knowledge to undertake this course.  Students must be comfortable with reading material in English and the use of Excel. The lecture may be conducted in English depending on whether international students are present.
Mandatory activity:
Compulsory hand-ins evaluated as pass/ fail. Compulsory activity is valid until the next time the course is given.
Final written exam, 3,5 hours (counts 100 % of the total grade).
Nominal workload:
300 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Enrolled in one of the master programs at NMBU.
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
External examiner approves the exam.
Allowed examination aids: Calculator handed out, no other aids
Examination details: One written exam: A - E / Ikke bestått