a. If the two projects have the same investment cost, and if their NPV profiles cross once in the upper-right quadrant at a discount rate of 40%, this suggests that a NPV versus IRR conflict will probably not exist.
b. If the two projects’ NPV profiles cross once, in the upper-left quadrant, at a discount rate of minus 10%, then there will probably not be a NPV versus IRR conflict, irrespective of the relative sizes of the two projects, in any meaningful, practical sense (that is, a conflict which will affect the actual investment decision).
c. If one of the projects has a NPV profile which crosses the X-axis twice, hence the project appears to have two IRRs, your assistant has made a mistake.
d. A conflict between NPV and IRR exists. If the two projects have the same initial cost, then the one with the steeper NPV profile probably has less rapid cash flows. However, if they have identical cash flow patterns, then the one with the steeper profile probably has the lower initial cost.
e. If the two projects both have a single outlay at t = 0, followed by a series of positive cash flows, and if their NPV profiles cross in the lower left-left quadrant, then one of the projects should be accepted, and both would be accepted if they were not mutually exclusive.
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