Diva shoes is an international shoes company that is experiencing rapid growth. Due to this rapid growth, the company never established a robust hedging strategy to protect itself against fluctuations of the multiple currencies it engages with. This situation became more severe in Japan. The company’s growth in Japan exceeded all expectations, and unlike other countries in which the company conducted business (Italy for example) the company had almost no expenses there, and had to convert all the Yens it generated from selling its merchandise to dollars. In the last few years, the Yen appreciated against the dollars, making the company’s lack of hedging strategy have little to no impact on the bottom line. However, there are several signs that suggest that the Yen might become susceptible to weakening due to several geo-political reasons: 1. The weakening of the Mexican peso, which helped depreciate the dollar, was coming to an end. There are some concerns that as the peso go up and Mexico’s economy recovers so will the dollar. 2. There were rumors that due to the increased appreciation of the Yen, the G-7 summit might agree to take steps and prevent its further appreciation. Such intervention will have a direct impact on the Yen/Dollar exchange ratio and might adversely impact the profitability of Diva Shoes. This was an excellent time, according to Diva’s financial consultant Stone, to hedge Diva’s position on the Yen and lock it at a rate that will guarantee to meet the company’s goal of 15% growth. Stone explored 2 options for hedging, forward contact and options, each with its pros and cons. By locking the rate using a forward contract, the company is completely protected from severe fluctuation in the exchange rate. The company signs a guaranteed contract in which it commits to selling its Yen at a known rate. This means that regardless of the exchange rate at the time of the transaction, the company knows how many dollars it will receive for its Yens. However, the company minimizes its gains since if the Yen appreciates further, it will not harness those gains. The other option considered is buying the option to sell Yens at a certain price. By choosing this option, the company has the option (but not the obligation like it has in a forward contract) to sell its Yens at a certain price. So, if the Yen depreciates greatly, the company can use its option to sell it at the previously determined price. However, if the Yen appreciates a lot, the company only loses the premium it paid to purchase the options, but is not required to sell the Yen at agreed price. The company can then proceed to sell the Yen at the new, higher price, maximizing its profit. The main cost using this option is the premium. Since the market is efficient, the price of the option will reflect the expected value of the Yen, making it very expensive if the market expects the option will be exercised, or cheap if it does not. Answers:
1. There are several reasons Diva shoes is more exposed to FX-Risk in Yen than other currencies: a. It does not have any expenses in Yen, which means that any income that is generated in Japan must be brought back to the States and in the process gets converted to dollars. b. The Japanese market shows tremendous growth and becomes a major component of Diva shoe’s income. As such, it becomes paramount to its growth and has a much bigger impact on the bottom line. 2. The company is doing a little to hedge itself against Yen rate fluctuations. Currently it engages infrequently in forward contracts and sometimes tries to time the selling of the Yen “when an opportunity presents itself”. In other words, not so much. 3. In order to forecast the revenue for 1995 I had to make a few assumptions:
c. I estimated the cost of goods sold as relative to the revenue. I calculated the relationship between the two in 1994, and then used the same ratio for...