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Finance Formulas / July 9, 2018 / Chanel Cleveland

For example, an investor starts her own business with $100,000 and earns $120,000 in profits during the first year. Her accounting profit is $20,000. But that same year, she could have earned an income of $45,000 working as an employee for ABC Corporation. The investor’s economic profit for the year is actually a loss of $25,000.

There are many variations when it comes to what you can use for your cash flows and discount rate in a DCF analysis. For example, free cash flows can be calculated as operating profit + depreciation + amortization of goodwill - capital expenditures - cash taxes - change in working capital. Although the calculations are complex, the purpose of DCF analysis is simply to estimate the money you'd receive from an investment and to adjust for the time value of money.

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