I’m pleased to present a guest post on an important valuation topic by business appraiser Jeffrey M. Risius (firstname.lastname@example.org). Jeff is a Managing Director at Stout Risius Ross, Inc., a financial advisory firm specializing in valuation and financial opinions, investment banking, and dispute advisory and forensic services. Jeff specializes in valuation in a litigation setting including shareholder proceedings, bankruptcy matters and transaction disputes. Jeff’s below post elegantly explains one of the fundamental aspects of business appraisal, namely, ascertaining the equity risk premium component of the capitalization rate used in the discounted cash flow ("DCF") method. As you’ll read, this issue took front and center in a recent decision by the Delaware Chancery Court. I think you’ll find it very informative. – P.A.M.
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One commonly applied methodology in the valuation of businesses is the Discounted Cash Flow (“DCF”) Method. The premise of this method is that a company’s value is equal to the present value of all future cash flows expected to be generated by that company using a rate of return that incorporates the time value of money and the business risk associated with the cash flows. The appropriate rate of return to utilize in the DCF Method is closely related to the perceived level of risk associated with the projected cash flows.