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It doesn’t necessarily have any impact on the company’s working capital. It can’t be called the best formula for finding out the payback period. You need to provide the two inputs of Cumulative cash flow in a year before recovery and Discounted cash flow in a year after recovery. This means that you would need to earn a return of at least 9.1% on your investment to break even. This means that you would need to earn a return of at least 19.6% on your investment to break even.

money received

This means application of economic analysis techniques to gauge the returns that a specific project investment can generate. This helps entities decide whether a specific business model or project is worth investing in. Knight points out that some people will use “discounted payback,” a modified method that takes into account the discount rate. This is a much less straightforward calculation , but it is “far superior,” says Knight, especially if you’re only going to use the payback method.

What Is a Discounted Payback Period?

Second, we must subtract the discounted cash flows from the initial cost figure to calculate. So, once we calculate the discounted cash flows for each project period, we can subtract those discounted cash flows from the initial cost until we reach zero. The numbers used in this example are stemming from the case study introduced in our project business case article where you will also find the results of the simple payback period method. In this analysis, 3 project alternatives are compared with each other, using the discounted payback period as one of the success measures. The discounted payback period is a measure of how long it takes until the cumulated discounted net cash flows offset the initial investment in an asset or a project.

initial cost

After that, we need to calculate the fraction of the year that is needed to complete the payback. It offers in absolute terms a simple measure of comparison to rank multiple investment options. Thus, it gives a clear accept or reject criterion for investment appraisal. The third step is to subtract the number obtained after the second step from 1 to obtain the percentage of the year at which the project is totally paid back. Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts.

Is the payback period affected by discount rate?

Because of the opportunity cost of receiving cash earlier and the ability to earn a return on those funds, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar received tomorrow. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. In this case, the startup would be able to make the money back in 5.37 years. If they invest, they would not be making their money back until 0.37 years after their deadline.

Since the project’s life is calculated at 5 years, we can infer that the project returns a positive NPV. Thus, the project will likely add value to the business if pursued. To begin, the periodic cash flows of a project must be estimated and shown by each period in a table or spreadsheet. These cash flows are then reduced by their present value factor to reflect the discounting process. This can be done using the present value function and a table in a spreadsheet program. The PBP is the time that elapses from the start of the project A, to the breakeven point E, where the rising part of the curve passes the zero cash position line.

Discounted After-Tax Cash Flow – Investopedia

Discounted After-Tax Cash Flow.

Posted: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:42:42 GMT [source]

Using the payback period would lead to an identical ranking yet option 3 with a PBP of 4.71 years and option 1 with 4.77 years are much closer while in option 2, the investment would be recovered after 5.22 years. Note that period 0 doesn’t need to be discounted because that is the initial investment. Now, we can take the results from this equation and move on to the next step.

How to Calculate Discounted Payback Period?

The period is the calculation of the time period in which an investor’s initial investment would be recouped. It is calculated as the time period in which project inflows match project outflows investment. Therefore, it would be more practical to consider the time value of money when deciding which projects to approve – which is where the discounted payback period variation comes in. It is calculated by taking a project’s future estimated cash flows and discounting them to the present value. Therefore, we are comparing the investment’s initial capital outlay.

If a company is using the discounted payback period but they are not sure of their discount rate, they can use the Weighted Average Cost of Capital . This takes into account the company’s debt to equity ratio as well as their rate of risk. In order to calculate the discounted payback period, you first need to calculate the discounted cash flow for each period of the investment. Discounted Payback period is the tool that uses present value of cash inflow to measure the time require to recover the initial investment. The concept is the same as the payback period except for the cash flow used in the calculation is the present value. It is the method that eliminates the weakness of the traditional payback period.

This is the idea that money is worth more today than the same amount in the future because of the earning potential of the present money. More accurate than the standard payback period calculation, the discounted payback period factors in the time value of money. The discounted payback period is used as part of capital budgeting to determine which projects to take on.


At the point in time when the cumulative present value of the benefits starts to exceed the cumulative present value of the costs, the project has reached the payback period. Ranking projects then becomes a matter of selecting those projects with the shortest payback period. In this case, the payback period shall be the corresponding period when cumulative cash flows are equal to the initial cash outlay. Explain about payback period in non-discounted cash flow technique in capital budgeting.


This is assuming that the discounted payback period definition would make regular payments to repay the money. In case of mutual projects which has a same return, the project which has a shorter payback period should be chosen. Again, management may also set a target payback period which projects could be rejected due to high risk and uncertainty. An initial investment of Juno Products Ltd. is $23,24,000 and expecting cash flow generate $600,000 per year for 6 years.

If however cash flows arise during the year, payback will arise during year three, and more precisely (5,000/17,500 x 12) three months through the year, so giving a payback of two years and three months. The disadvantage of ignoring time value of money in the simple payback method is overcome while using the discounted payback method. Simple and discounted payback periods are both used to measure the profitability and feasibility of an investment project.

Once we’ve calculated the discounted cash flows for each period of the project, we can subtract them from the initial cost figure until we arrive at zero. The discounted payback period is a modified version of the payback period that accounts for the time value of money. Both metrics are used to calculate the amount of time that it will take for a project to “break even,” or to get the point where the net cash flows generated cover the initial cost of the project.

Getting repaid or recovering the initial cost of a project or investment should be achieved as quickly as it allows. However, not all projects and investments have the same time horizon, so the shortest possible payback period needs to be nested within the larger context of that time horizon. For example, the payback period on a home improvement project can be decades while the payback period on a construction project may be five years or less. There are two steps involved in calculating the discounted payback period.


Read through for the definition and formula of the DPP, 2 examples as well as a discounted payback period calculator. We can apply the values to our variables and calculate the discounted payback period for the investment. As the project’s money is not earning interest, you look at its cash flow after the amount of money it would have earned from interest. However, both the payback period and the discounted payback period are using to evaluate the profitability and feasibility of a specific project. Present Value FactorPresent value factor is factor which is used to indicate the present value of cash to be received in future and is based on time value of money.

“Industrial and manufacturing companies tend to like payback,” says Knight. Companies that are cash strapped and don’t have a lot of capital to spend may also focus on payback period since they are going to need the money soon. And it “obviously has to be shorter than the life of the project — otherwise there’s no reason to make the investment.” If there’s a long payback period, you’re probably not looking at a worthwhile investment. Discounted Payback Period is the time required to recover the present value of cash flows equal to the cost of investment. Year in which the cumulative present value of cash flows from investment exceed the initial cost.

Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. Company A invests in a new machine which expects to increase the contribution of $100,000 per year for five years. It determines the actual risk involved in a project and whether the investments made are recoverable or not.

Break-even point, E, where the rising part of the curve passes the zero cash position line. The time value of money is considered when using discounted payback, but otherwise the points made previously regarding the usefulness of payback hold for discounted payback as well. Again, the first step would be to ensure that the cash flows are identified, which we have already done – $17,500 per year. Payback also provides more focus on the earlier cash flows arising from a project, as these are both more certain and more important if an organisation has liquidity concerns. As well as ensuring that the cash flows rather than the profits are used within the calculation, candidates also need to ensure that they consider the timing of the cash flows. Are uniform at $4,000 per annum, and the life of the asset acquire is 5 years, then the payback period reciprocal will be as follows.

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