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Finance Formulas / July 19, 2018 / Briana Leonard

Discounted cash flow (DCF) is a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. DCF analyses use future free cash flow projections and discounts them, using a required annual rate, to arrive at present value estimates. A present value estimate is then used to evaluate the potential for investment. If the value arrived at through DCF analysis is higher than the current cost of the investment, the opportunity may be a good one.

Economic profit is not recorded on a company’s financial statements nor is it required to be disclosed to regulators, investors or financial institutions. Meanwhile, accounting profit is a widely used performance measurement to indicate the overall financial success of an organization. Accounting profit measures the actual cash outlays and inflows, while economic profits incorporate a "what if" analysis. For this reason, an entity may report an accounting profit but realize an economic loss because resources could have been utilized better.

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