Introduction Fundamental Analysis

Topics: P/E ratio, Financial ratios, Income statement Pages: 7 (2123 words) Published: July 13, 2013

Fundamental analysis involves examining the economic, financial and other qualitative and quantitative factors related to a security in order to determine its intrinsic value. It attempts to study everything that can affect the security’s value, including macroeconomic factors (like the overall economy and industry conditions) and individually specific factors (like the financial condition and management of companies). Fundamental analysis, which is also known as quantitative analysis, involves delving into a company’s financial statements (such as profit and loss account and balance sheet) in order to study various financial indicators (such as revenues, earnings, liabilities, expenses, and assets). Such analysis is usually carried out by analysts, brokers and savvy investors. Many analysts and investors focus on a single number – net income (or earnings) – to evaluate performance. When investors attempt to forecast the market value of firm, they frequently rely on earnings. Many institutional investors, analysts and regulators believe earnings are not as relevant as they once were. Due to nonrecurring events, disparities in measuring risk and management ability to disguise fundamental earnings problems, other measures beyond net income can assist in predicting future firm earnings. Two approaches of fundamental analysis:

* The top-down investor starts his or her analysis with global economics, including both international and national economic indicators, such as GDP growth rates, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, productivity, and energy prices. He or she narrows his or her search down to regional/industry analysis of total sales, price levels, the effects of competing products, foreign competition, and entry or exit from the industry. Only then does he or she narrow his or her search to the best business in that area. * The bottom-up investor starts with specific businesses, regardless of their industry/region. How does fundamental analysis works ?

The analysis of a business' health starts with financial statement analysis that includes ratios. It looks at dividends paid, operating cash flow, new equity issues and capital financing. The earnings estimates and growth rate projections published widely by Thomson Reuters and others can be considered either 'fundamental' (they are facts) or 'technical' (they are investor sentiment) based on your perception of their validity. The determined growth rates (of income and cash) and risk levels (to determine the discount rate) are used in various valuation models. The foremost is the discounted cash flow model, which calculates the present value of the future * Dividends received by the investor, along with the eventual sale price. (Gordon model) * earnings of the company, or

* Cash flows of the company.
The amount of debt is also a major consideration in determining a company's health. It can be quickly assessed using the debt-to-equity ratio and the current ratio (current assets/current liabilities).The simple model commonly used is the Price/Earnings ratio. Implicit in this model of a perpetual annuity (Time value of money) is that the 'flip' of the P/E is the discount rate appropriate to the risk of the business. The multiple accepted is adjusted for expected growth (that is not built into the model). Growth estimates are incorporated into the PEG ratio, but the math does not hold up to analysis. Its validity depends on the length of time you think the growth will continue. IGAR models can be used to impute expected changes in growth from current P/E and historical growth rates for the stocks relative to a comparison index.Computer modelling of stock prices has now replaced much of the subjective interpretation of fundamental data (along with technical data) in the industry. Since about year 2000, with the power of computers to crunch vast quantities of data, a new career has been invented. At some funds (called...
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