of the capital budgeting techniques discussed, which works equally well with normal and non-normal cash flows and with independent and mutually exclusive projects?

# Net Present Value

In finance, the **net present value** (**NPV**) or **net present worth** (**NPW**) is a measurement of the profitability of an undertaking that is calculated by subtracting the present values (PV) of cash outflows (including initial cost) from the present values of cash inflows over a period of time.^{[2]} Incoming and outgoing cash flows can also be described as benefit and cost cash flows, respectively.^{[3]}

What is ‘Net Present Value – NPV’

Net Present Value (NPV) is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows. NPV is used in capital budgeting to analyze the profitability of a projected investment or project.

The following is the formula for calculating NPV:

Net Present Value (NPV)

where

Ct = net cash inflow during the period t

Co = total initial investment costs

r = discount rate, and

t = number of time periods

A positive net present value indicates that the projected earnings generated by a project or investment (in present dollars) exceeds the anticipated costs (also in present dollars). Generally, an investment with a positive NPV will be a profitable one and one with a negative NPV will result in a net loss. This concept is the basis for the Net Present Value Rule, which dictates that the only investments that should be made are those with positive NPV values.

When the investment in question is an acquisition or a merger, one might also use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) metric.

Apart from the formula itself, net present value can often be calculated using tables, spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Investopedia’s own NPV calculator.

Read more: Net Present Value – NPV Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/npv.asp#ixzz4RVB1zJSW

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