For example, an investment of $500,000 today is expected to return $100,000 of cash each year for 10 years. The $500,000 being spent today is already a present value, so no discounting is necessary for this amount. However, the future cash receipts of $100,000 for 10 years need to be discounted to their present value. Let's assume that the receipts are discounted by 14% (the company's required return). This will mean that the present value of the those future receipts will be approximately $522,000. The $522,000 of present value coming in is compared to the $500,000 of present value going out. The result is a net present value of $22,000 coming in.
Investments with a positive net present value would be acceptable. Investments with a negative net present value would be unacceptable.
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