profitability index method is also called: What is Profitability Index? definition and meaning

  • Home
  • Forex Trading
  • profitability index method is also called: What is Profitability Index? definition and meaning

discount rates

The project will generate cash-flow of $ 40,000 , $ 50,000 & $ 50,000 in year 1, year 2 & year 3 respectively. If a project has a profitability index greater than 1, it should be accepted; if lower than 1, it should be rejected. The value of 1 is the point of indifference regarding whether to accept or reject the project. In terms of net present value, a ratio greater than 1 means that the project’s NPV is positive and it should be accepted, and a value lower than 1 means a negative NPV. Under this method, a project would be qualified to be accepted if its PI exceeds one.

proposed project

By contrast, comparisons of NPV between projects are not always functional (i.e. non-standardized metric). The formula for calculating the profitability index is as follows. Now that we have obtained the PI value for both the projects, let’s look into its application for appraising projects.

Discounted Payback Period Method

The only difference between two is that the NPV shows an absolute value whereas the PI measures the relative value in ratio format. IRR expresses the result as a percentage rather than in money terms. Comparison of percentages may sometimes be misleading. It may mislead when dealing with alternative projects of limited funds under the condition of unequal lives. It is difficult to calculate as well as understand and use. The net present value of various projects, measured as they are in today’s rupees, can be added.


Discounted cash flow is a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. The main disadvantage of the PI method is also its relative indications. Two projects having a vast difference in investment and dollar return can have the same PI. Therefore, the NPV method remains the best one in such a situation. These notes makes the financial tools for management analysis simple and easy to follow through and understand. XYZ Inc. is starting the project at the cost of $ 100,000.

Profitability Index Method: Definition & Calculations

Like NPV and IRR, PI is also a popular investment evaluation technique. However, the measurement procedure and application of the method have some differences in comparison to IRR and NPV. PI is a variation of the NPV method and requires similar computations as the NPV method. If the projects were independent, both should be accepted. In case of mutually exclusive projects, Company C should accept Project Y and reject Project Z. PI of less than one indicates loss from the investment.

  • Calculate the profitability index by dividing the present value of the expected cash flows from a project by the present value of the capital investments of a project.
  • Competing investment proposals with the same accounting rate of return may require different amounts of investment.
  • So, in that case, the best method to judge whether to invest in a project or not is the Net Present Value Method .
  • It takes into consideration the time value of money and the risk of future cash flows through the cost of capital.

Calculations greater than 1.0 indicate the future anticipated discounted cash inflows of the project are greater than the anticipated discounted cash outflows. Calculations less than 1.0 indicate the deficit of the outflows is greater than the discounted inflows, and the project should not be accepted. Calculations that equal 1.0 bring about situations of indifference where any gains or losses from a project are minimal. The PI is calculated by dividing the present value of future expected cash flows by the initial investment amount in the project. Time value of money also helps in determining the long-term goals as well as capital budgeting measures that require sound policies about future cash flows. Calculate the profitability index by dividing the present value of the expected cash flows from a project by the present value of the capital investments of a project.

Everything You Need To Master Financial Modeling

The Profitability Index is an appraisal technique applied to potential capital outlays. The method divides the projected capital inflow by the projected capital outflow to determine the profitability of a project. As indicated by the aforementioned formula, the profitability index uses the present value of future cash flows and the initial investment to represent the aforementioned variables. When using the profitability index to compare the desirability of projects, it’s essential to consider how the technique disregards project size. Therefore, projects with larger cash inflows may result in lower profitability index calculations because their profit margins are not as high. Discounted cash flow is an evaluation of the future net cash flows generated by a capital project, by discounting them to their present day value.

This specifies the recovery time, by accumulation of the cash inflows year by year until the cash inflows equal to the amount of the original investment. The length of time this process takes gives the ‘payback period’ for the project. In simple terms it can be defined as the number of years required to recover the cost of the investment. MIRR In ExcelMIRR or in excel is an in-build financial function to calculate the MIRR for the cash flows supplied with a period. It takes the initial investment, interest rate and the interest earned from the earned amount and returns the MIRR. We found out all of the above-discounted cash flows by using the same method.

A machine is available for purchase at a cost of Rs.80,000. We expect it to have a life of five years and to have a scrap value of Rs.10,000 at the end of the five year period. It is simple to apply, easy to understand and of particular importance to business which lack the appropriate skills necessary for more sophisticated techniques.

Which of the following are weaknesses of the payback method? Cash flows received after the payback period are ignored. The Concept Of ProfitabilityProfitability refers to a company’s ability to generate revenue and maximize profit above its expenditure and operational costs. It is measured using specific ratios such as gross profit margin, EBITDA, and net profit margin. It aids investors in analyzing the company’s performance.

Since the net present value is profitability index method is also called, investment in the project can be made. In this article, the tables given at the end of the book are used wherever possible. Where a particular year or rate of interest is not given in the tables, students are advised to use the basic discounting formula as given above.

Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. In the denominator, we’ll link to the initial investment cell with a negative sign in front . Now we assume that John Brothers can undertake only one of these two projects. The net present value analysis favors project 1 because its NPV number is bigger than project 2. But the profitability index indicates otherwise and says that project 2 with its higher PI value is a better opportunity than project 1.

It is also known as ‘time adjusted rate of return’ discounted cash flow’ ‘discounted rate of return,’ ‘yield method,’ and ‘trial and error yield method’. The method discounts the net cash flows from the investment by the minimum required rate of return, and deducts the initial investment to give the yield from the funds invested. If it is negative the project in unable to pay for itself and is thus unacceptable. The exercise involved in calculating the present value is known as ‘discounting and the factors by which we have multiplied the cash flows are known as the ‘discount factors’. It is also one of the most commonly used tools for evaluating investments. Profitability index is also called cost-benefit ratio, benefit-cost ratio, or capital rationing.

Profitability Index (PI) and Net Present Value (NPV)

This method lays importance on the time value of money and is in line with the company’s objective to maximize shareholders’ wealth. Generally, the weighted average cost of capital is the discounting factor for future cash flows in the net present value method. The profitability index is a measure of the attractiveness of a project or investment. It is calculated by dividing the present value of future expected cash flows by the initial investment amount in the project. A PI greater than 1.0 is considered to be a good investment, with higher values corresponding to more attractive projects. Under capital constraints and when comparing mutually exclusive projects, only those with the highest PIs should be undertaken.


The same statement holds good for discount rate calculations. In the case of PI, the ratio of the present value of cash inflows to the initial value of cash outflows gives a relative measure of the profitability calculated by PI. Therefore, it is an insufficient measure of profitability. PI can only assume true profitability as it is related to initial cash outflow and not with all outflows that occur in the future.

The expected rate of return on the capital invested is 12% p.a. Calculate the discounted payback period of the project. Majority of the projects produce conventional cash flows, that is initial cash outflows followed by inflows in the subsequent years. If in the later years there are more number of net outflows, multiple IRRs will be produced.

A higher number means a more attractive investment. For example, a project with a profitability index of 1.3 would be a more attractive investment than a project with a profitability index of 1.2. Finally, the profitability index of the project is calculated by dividing the present value of all the future value of cash flow from the project by the initial investment in the project .

Previous Post
Newer Post

Leave A Comment

No products in the cart.