# Net Present Value (NPV)

Search Dictionary

## Definition of 'Net Present Value (NPV)'

Net present value (NPV) is a method of evaluating a project's profitability. It is calculated by taking the present value of all future cash flows (both positive and negative) and subtracting the initial investment. If the NPV is positive, the project is considered to be profitable. If the NPV is negative, the project is considered to be unprofitable.

The present value of a future cash flow is calculated by discounting the cash flow by the project's discount rate. The discount rate is the rate of return that the investor could earn on an alternative investment of similar risk.

NPV is a useful tool for comparing projects with different cash flow streams and for making investment decisions. However, it is important to note that NPV does not take into account the risk of the project. For this reason, it is often used in conjunction with other decision-making tools, such as the internal rate of return (IRR) and the payback period.

Here is a more detailed explanation of how NPV is calculated:

1. First, you need to estimate the future cash flows of the project. This includes both the positive cash flows (such as sales revenue) and the negative cash flows (such as costs).
2. Then, you need to discount the future cash flows by the project's discount rate. This will give you the present value of the cash flows.
3. Finally, you need to subtract the initial investment from the present value of the cash flows. This will give you the NPV.

If the NPV is positive, the project is considered to be profitable. If the NPV is negative, the project is considered to be unprofitable.

Here are some of the advantages of using NPV:

* NPV is a simple and straightforward method to evaluate a project's profitability.
* NPV can be used to compare projects with different cash flow streams.
* NPV can be used to make investment decisions.

Here are some of the disadvantages of using NPV:

* NPV does not take into account the risk of the project.
* NPV can be difficult to calculate for projects with long cash flow streams.
* NPV can be sensitive to the choice of discount rate.

Overall, NPV is a useful tool for evaluating a project's profitability. However, it is important to be aware of its limitations before using it to make investment decisions.

Do you have a trading or investing definition for our dictionary? Click the Create Definition link to add your own definition. You will earn 150 bonus reputation points for each definition that is accepted.

Is this definition wrong? Let us know by posting to the forum and we will correct it.