Net present value (NPV) is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows over a period of time. NPV is used in capital budgeting and investment planning to analyze the profitability of a projected investment or project.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. It is assumed that an investment with a positive NPV will be profitable, and an investment with a negative NPV will result in a net loss. This concept is the basis for the Net Present Value Rule, which dictates that only investments with positive NPV values should be considered.
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