Using the internal rate of return (IRR) to evaluate investments is similar to using the net present value (NPV) in that both methods consider the time value of money. The IRR represents the time-adjusted rate of return for the investment being considered. The IRR decision rule states that if the IRR is greater than or equal to the company's required rate of return (recall that this is often called the hurdle rate), the investment is accepted; otherwise, the investment is rejected. This method ensures that any capital investments the company makes are at least equal to the existing rate of return on capital or exceed it. The hurdle rate will vary from company to company.

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