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Why might a project with a positive NPV still be rejected by a company?

A project with a positive NPV might still be rejected due to factors like risk, opportunity cost, or limited resources.

Net Present Value (NPV) is a financial metric that is widely used in capital budgeting and investment planning. It measures the profitability of a project by comparing the present value of cash inflows with the present value of cash outflows. A positive NPV indicates that the project is expected to generate more cash inflows than outflows, suggesting it would be a profitable investment. However, there are several reasons why a company might still reject such a project.

Firstly, the company might perceive the project as too risky. Even if a project has a positive NPV, it might involve significant uncertainties or potential for loss. For example, the project might depend on volatile market conditions, or it might involve unproven technologies. If the company is risk-averse, it might prefer to invest in safer projects with lower NPVs.

Secondly, the company might have other investment opportunities with higher NPVs. This is known as the opportunity cost of capital. Even if a project has a positive NPV, it might not be the best use of the company's resources if there are other projects that could generate higher returns. In this case, the company would reject the project in favour of the more profitable opportunities.

Thirdly, the company might have limited resources. Even if a project has a positive NPV, the company might not have enough capital, labour, or other resources to undertake it. In this case, the company would have to prioritise its projects based on their NPVs and other factors.

Finally, there might be non-financial factors that influence the company's decision. For example, the project might conflict with the company's strategic objectives, or it might have negative environmental or social impacts. In these cases, the company might reject the project despite its positive NPV.

In conclusion, while NPV is a useful tool for evaluating the financial viability of a project, it is not the only factor that companies consider when making investment decisions. Other factors such as risk, opportunity cost, resource availability, and non-financial considerations can also play a crucial role.

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