## Abstract

The adoption of real options analysis (ROA) by practitioners, despite being widely viewed as a superior method for valuing managerial flexibility, remains limited due to varied difficulties in its implementation. In this work, we propose an approach that utilizes cash-flow estimates from managers as key inputs and results in project value cash-flows that exactly match the arbitrarily distributed estimates. We achieve this through the introduction of an observable, but not tradable, market stochastic driver process which drives the project’s cash-flow, rather than modeling the project value directly. Our framework can be used to value managerial flexibilities and obtain hedges in an easy to implement manner for a variety of real options such as entry/exit, multistage, abandonment, etc. As well, our approach to ROA provides a co-dependence between cash-flows, is consistent with financial theory, requires minimal subjective input of model parameters, and bridges the gap between theoretical ROA frameworks and practice.

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- 1.
This can be easily generalized to a project which pays out a continuous dividend.

- 2.
In earlier versions of this work, we referred to this process as the market sector indicator.

- 3.
In principle, it is possible to consider the cash-flow as a continuous stream of cash-flows, in which case (17a) would be modified to \(\mathit{dX}_{s} = (\mu -r)\pi _{s}\,\mathit{ds} +\sigma \,\pi _{s}\,\mathit{dB}_{s} +\varphi _{s}(S_{s})\,\mathit{ds}\). However, Managers rarely specify a continuous stream of cash-flows, and although operations can be viewed as providing income on a continuous basis, we opt to leave the cash-flows discrete as this is how managers typically estimate cash-flow streams.

- 4.
Since we have diffusion processes driving the relevant dynamics.

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## Acknowledgements

SJ would like to thank NSERC for partially funding this research.

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## Appendix: Proof of Results

### Appendix: Proof of Results

In this Appendix we provide concise proofs of the main results.

### 1.1 Proof of Proposition 1

We seek \(\varphi (.)\) such that \(\mathbb{P}(\varphi (S_{T}) \leq v\vert \mathcal{F}_{0}) = F^{{\ast}}(v)\). Since,

we have that

Consequently, if *F*
^{∗}(. ) is invertible then

and the proof is complete. □

### 1.2 Proof of Proposition 2

Here, we prove that the co-dependence structure of the cash-flow distribution is governed by a Gaussian copula. We require the following joint distribution function:

where \(z(T,S) = \frac{1} {\eta \sqrt{T}}\ln \frac{S} {S_{0}} -\frac{\nu -\frac{1} {2} \eta ^{2}} {\eta } \sqrt{T}\). Clearly,

where \(\{Z_{1},\ldots,Z_{k}\}\) are jointly normal with mean zero and covariance matrix \(\varOmega _{\mathit{ij}} = \sqrt{T_{\min (i,j) } /T_{\max (i,j)}}\).

Since each distribution function *F*
_{
k
}
^{∗} is assumed invertible, we then have

This completes the proof. □

### 1.3 Proof of Theorem 1

Here we provide a sketch of the proof. The first order condition in the HJB equations (18) and (19) provide the optimal investment policy in feedback control form as

The HJB equations then reduce to

subject to the appropriate terminal conditions. Writing

the above PDE reduces to

Now setting \(h^{(a)}(t,S) = \left (H^{(a)}(t,S)\right )^{\beta }\) after some tedious computations, the above non-linear PDEs for *h*
^{(a)} reduces into the linear PDEs (23) and (24) for *H*
^{(a)}. Moreover, the boundary conditions for *V*
^{(a)} become the stated boundary conditions for *H*
^{(a)}. Since classical solutions exist for the linear PDE system (23) and (24), and the resulting feedback controls are admissible, the usual arguments imply that the solution of DPE is the solution to the original optimal control problem. The uniqueness of *S*
^{∗} follows from the fact the terminal conditions and the subsequent pasting conditions are decreasing functions of *S*. Hence, the *H* function inherits this property and, therefore, the solution to (25) is unique. □

### 1.4 Proof of Theorem 2

Here we provide a sketch of the proof. The first order condition in the HJB equations (46) and (35a) provide the optimal investment policy in feedback control form as (*a* = 3, 4)

The DPEs then reduce to

and

subject to the appropriate terminal conditions. Writing

and setting \(h^{(a)}(t,S) = \left (H^{(a)}(t,S)\right )^{\beta }\) after some tedious computations, the above non-linear DPEs for *h*
^{(a)} reduce into the linear DPEs (36) and (37) for *H*
^{(a)}. Moreover, the boundary conditions for *V*
^{(a)} become the stated boundary conditions for *H*
^{(a)}. Standard results imply that the viscosity solution of the linear DPE system (36) and (37) is the solution to the original optimal control problem. The exercise point *S*
^{∗} is unique once again due to the boundary conditions and pasting conditions being decreasing in *S*. □

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Jaimungal, S., Lawryshyn, Y. (2015). Incorporating Managerial Information into Real Option Valuation. In: Aïd, R., Ludkovski, M., Sircar, R. (eds) Commodities, Energy and Environmental Finance. Fields Institute Communications, vol 74. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2733-3_8

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