# Profitability Index (PI): Definition, Components, and Formula

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## Definition of 'Profitability Index (PI): Definition, Components, and Formula'

The profitability index (PI) is a capital budgeting metric that measures the profitability of an investment relative to its cost. It is also known as the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) or the profit-investment ratio (PIR). The PI is calculated by dividing the present value of the project's future cash flows by its initial investment.

A project with a PI greater than 1 is considered to be profitable, while a project with a PI less than 1 is considered to be unprofitable. The higher the PI, the more profitable the project.

The PI is a useful tool for comparing different investment projects with different costs and cash flow streams. It can also be used to evaluate the riskiness of a project by comparing the PI to the project's expected return on investment (ROI).

The PI is calculated using the following formula:

```
PI = (Present value of future cash flows) / (Initial investment)
```

The present value of the future cash flows is calculated by discounting the project's future cash flows back to the present using the project's required rate of return. The initial investment is the amount of money that is required to invest in the project.

The PI can be interpreted in several ways. One way to interpret the PI is as the number of dollars of profit that will be generated for every dollar invested in the project. For example, a project with a PI of 2.0 will generate \$2 of profit for every \$1 invested.

Another way to interpret the PI is as the number of years it will take to recover the initial investment. For example, a project with a PI of 2.0 will take two years to recover the initial investment.

The PI is a useful tool for evaluating investment projects, but it should be used in conjunction with other capital budgeting metrics, such as the net present value (NPV) and the internal rate of return (IRR).

The following are the components of the profitability index:

* The present value of the future cash flows is the value of all future cash flows from the project, discounted back to the present using the project's required rate of return.
* The initial investment is the amount of money that is required to invest in the project.

The following is the formula for the profitability index:

```
PI = (Present value of future cash flows) / (Initial investment)
```

The profitability index is a useful tool for comparing different investment projects with different costs and cash flow streams. It can also be used to evaluate the riskiness of a project by comparing the PI to the project's expected return on investment (ROI).

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