Capital Budgeting

 Self-Paced Overview

Capital Budgeting Techniques

There are a number of capital budgeting techniques available to an analyst. For our purposes, we will only review net present value and internal rate of return.

Net Present Value

The Net Present Value technique involves discounting net cash flows for a project, then subtracting net investment from the discounted net cash flows. The result is called the Net Present Value(NPV). If the net present value is positive, adopting the project would add to the value of the company. Whether the company chooses to do that will depend on their selection strategies. If they pick all projects that add to the value of the company, they would choose all projects with positive net present values even if that value is just $1. On the other hand, if they have limited resources, they will rank the projects and pick those with the highest NPV's.

The discount rate used most frequently is the company's cost of capital.

For Example:

What would the net present value for a project with a net investment of $40,000 and the following net cash flows be if the company's cost of capital is 5%? NCFs for year one is $25,000, for year two is $36,000 and for year three is $5000.

Yr Net
Cash Flows
× PVIF@5% Discounted
Cash Flows
1 $25,000 × .952 $23,800
2 $36,000 × .907 $32,652
3 $5,000 × .864 $4,320
Total Discounted Cash Flows Discounted at 5% $60,772
Less: Net Investment − $40,000
Net Present Value $20,772

As discussed in the Time Value of Money Overview, different techniques can be used to determine present value. For this example, we'll use the Present Value Factors Table. is maintained by Dr. Sharon Garrison
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