# Discounted Cash Flow - DCF

- Discounted Cash Flow - DCF
- A valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis uses future free cash flow projections and discounts them (most often using the weighted average cost of capital) to arrive at a present value, which is 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.

Calculated as:

Also known as the Discounted Cash Flows Model.
There are many variations when it comes to what you can use for your cash flows and discount rate in a DCF analysis. Despite the complexity of the calculations involved, the purpose of DCF analysis is just to estimate the money you'd receive from an investment and to adjust for the time value of money.

Discounted cash flow models are powerful, but they do have shortcomings. DCF is merely a mechanical valuation tool, which makes it subject to the axiom "garbage in, garbage out". Small changes in inputs can result in large changes in the value of a company. Instead of trying to project the cash flows to infinity, terminal value techniques are often used. A simple annuity is used to estimate the terminal value past 10 years, for example. This is done because it is harder to come to a realistic estimate of the cash flows as time goes on.

*Investment dictionary.
Academic.
2012.*

### Look at other dictionaries:

**Discounted cash flow (DCF)** — Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values. The New York Times Financial Glossary … Financial and business terms

**Discounted Cash-Flow** — (DCF) (dt. abgezinster Zahlungsstrom) beschreibt Verfahren zur Wertermittlung, insbesondere zur Unternehmensbewertung und zur Ermittlung des Verkehrswerts von Immobilien. Es baut dabei auf dem finanzmathematischen Konzept der Abzinsung (eng.:… … Deutsch Wikipedia

**discounted cash flow analysis** — DCF analysis An investment appraisal method that assesses the *net present value of future incremental *cash flows that would arise from the implementation of a decision. In acknowledgment of the *time value of money, future cash flows are… … Auditor's dictionary

**Discounted cash flow** — Excel spreadsheet uses Free cash flows to estimate stock s Fair Value and measure the sensibility of WACC and Perpetual growth In finance, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis is a method of valuing a project, company, or asset using the concepts… … Wikipedia

**Discounted Cash Flow** — Die Artikel Kapitalwert und Discounted Cash Flow überschneiden sich thematisch. Hilf mit, die Artikel besser voneinander abzugrenzen oder zu vereinigen. Beteilige dich dazu an der Diskussion über diese Überschneidungen. Bitte entferne diesen… … Deutsch Wikipedia

**discounted cash flow** — A technique or process for valuing a financial instrument by applying a discount rate (or a series of discount rates) to calculate a present value of each future interest and principal cash flow expected from a financial instrument. The sum of… … Financial and business terms

**discounted cash flow** — DCF A method used in capital budgeting, capital expenditure appraisal, and decision appraisal that predicts the stream of cash flows, both inflows and outflows, over time and discounts them, using a cost of capital or hurdle rate, to present… … Accounting dictionary

**discounted cash flow** — DCF A method used in capital budgeting, capital expenditure appraisal, and decision appraisal that predicts the future stream of cash flows, both inflows and outflows, over time and discounts them, using a cost of capital rate or hurdle rate, to… … Big dictionary of business and management

**Discounted After-Tax Cash Flow** — An approach to valuing an investment that looks at the amount of money it generates and takes into account the cost of capital and the investor s marginal tax rate. Discounted after tax cash flow is similar to simple discounted cash flow (DCF),… … Investment dictionary

**discounted cash flow** — /ˌdɪskaυntɪd kæʃ fləυ/ noun the calculation of the forecast return on capital investment by discounting future cash flows from the investment, usually at a rate equivalent to the company’s minimum required rate of return. Abbreviation DCF COMMENT … Dictionary of banking and finance