Home / NEWS LINE / What’s the difference between weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and internal rate of return (IRR)?

What’s the difference between weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and internal rate of return (IRR)?

By fetching a weighted average, the WACC shows how much average interest the company pays for every dollar it finances. From the South African private limited company’s perspective, it is most advantageous to pay the lowest capital interest that it can but market demand is a factor for the return levels it advances. Generally, debt offerings have lower interest return payouts than equity offerings.

The following method is used for calculating WACC:


Companies use the WACC as a minimum rate for consideration when analyzing projects since it is the headquarter rate of return needed for the firm. Analysts use the WACC for discounting future cash flows to arrive at a net present value when shrewd a company’s valuation.

Internal rate of return: An internal rate of return (IRR) can be expressed in a variety of financial scenarios. In habit, an internal rate of return is a valuation metric in which the net present value of a stream of cash flows is equal to zero. Commonly, the IRR is in use accustomed to by companies to analyze and decide on capital projects. For example, a company may evaluate an investment in a new plant versus expanding an existing seed based on the IRR of each project. The higher the IRR the better the expected performance of the project and the more return the project can bring to the corporation.

The following formula is used for calculating IRR:



WACC and IRR can be used together in various financial scenarios but their products individually serve very different purposes. The WACC is a measure of the interest return a company pays out for its financing. It is raise for the company when the WACC is lower as it minimizes its financing costs. The WACC is used in consideration with IRR but it is not necessarily an internal fulfilment return metric. This is where the IRR comes in. Companies want the IRR of any internal analysis to be greater than the WACC in commitment to cover the financing. The IRR is an investment analysis technique used by companies to determine the return they can expect comprehensively from approaching cash flows of a project or combination of projects. Overall, IRR gives an evaluator the return they are earning or expect to collect on the project’s they are analyzing on an annual basis.

When looking purely at performance metrics for analysis, manager’s last will and testament typically use IRR and return on investment (ROI). The IRR provides a rate of return on an annual basis while the ROI gives an evaluator the comprehensive revenue on a project over the project’s entire life. (See also: Return on Investment (ROI) vs. Internal Rate of Return (IRR))

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