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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Article About Business Analysis and Valuation

Business valuation is a process and a set of procedures used to estimate the economic value of an owner’s interest in a business. valuation is used by financial market participants to determine the price they are willing to pay or receive to consummate a sale of a business. In addition to estimating the selling price of a business, the same valuation tools are often used by business appraisers to resolve disputes related to estate and gift taxation, divorce litigation, allocate business purchase price among business assets, establish a formula for estimating the value of partners' ownership interest for buy-sell agreements, and many other business and legal purposes.

Standard and premise of value

Before the value of a business can be measured, the valuation assignment must specify the reason for and circumstances surrounding the business valuation. These are formally known as the business value standard and premise of value.(1) The standard of value is the hypothetical conditions under which the business will be valued. The premise of value relates to the assumptions, such as assuming that the business will continue forever in its current form (going concern), or that the value of the business lies in the proceeds from the sale of all of its assets minus the related debt (sum of the parts or assemblage of business assets).
Business valuation results can vary considerably depending upon the choice of both the standard and premise of value. In an actual business sale, it would be expected that the buyer and seller, each with an incentive to achieve an optimal outcome, would determine the fair market value of a business asset that would compete in the market for such an acquisition. If the synergies are specific to the company being valued, they may not be considered. Fair value also does not incorporate discounts for lack of control or marketability.
Note, however, that it is possible to achieve the fair market value for a business asset that is being liquidated in its secondary market. This underscores the difference between the standard and premise of value.
These assumptions might not, and probably do not, reflect the actual conditions of the market in which the subject business might be sold. However, these conditions are assumed because they yield a uniform standard of value, after applying generally-accepted valuation techniques, which allows meaningful comparison between businesses which are similarly situated.

Financial analysis

  The financial statement analysis generally involves common size analysis, ratio analysis (liquidity, turnover, profitability, etc.), trend analysis and industry comparative analysis. This permits the valuation analyst to compare the subject company to other businesses in the same or similar industry, and to discover trends affecting the company and/or the industry over time. By comparing a company’s Financial Statements  in different time periods, the valuation expert can view growth or decline in revenues or expenses, changes in capital structure, or other financial trends. How the subject company compares to the industry will help with the risk assessment and ultimately help determine the discount rate and the selection of market multiples.

Normalization of financial Statements

The most common normalization adjustments fall into the following four categories:

Comparability Adjustments. The valuer may adjust the subject company’s  to facilitate a comparison between the subject company and other businesses in the same industry or geographic location. These adjustments are intended to eliminate differences between the way that published industry data is presented and the way that the subject company’s data is presented in its Financial Statements

  • Non-operating Adjustments. It is reasonable to assume that if a business were sold in a hypothetical sales transaction (which is the underlying premise of the fair market value standard), the seller would retain any assets which were not related to the production of earnings or price those non-operating assets separately. For this reason, non-operating assets (such as excess cash) are usually eliminated from the balance sheet.
  • Non-recurring Adjustments. The subject company’s financial statements may be affected by events that are not expected to recur, such as the purchase or sale of assets, a lawsuit, or an unusually large revenue or expense. These non-recurring items are adjusted so that the  Financial Statement  will better reflect the management’s expectations of future performance.
  • Discretionary Adjustments. The owners of private companies may be paid at variance from the market level of compensation that similar executives in the industry might command. In order to determine fair market value, the owner’s compensation, benefits, perquisites and distributions must be adjusted to industry standards. Similarly, the rent paid by the subject business for the use of property owned by the company’s owners individually may be scrutinized.

Income, asset and market approaches

Three different approaches are commonly used in business valuation: the income approach, the asset-based approach, and the market approach[2]. Within each of these approaches, there are various techniques for determining the value of a business using the definition of value appropriate for the appraisal assignment. Generally, the income approaches determine value by calculating the net present value of the benefit stream generated by the business (discounted cash flow); the asset-based approaches determine value by adding the sum of the parts of the business (net asset value); and the market approaches determine value by comparing the subject company to other companies in the same industry, of the same size, and/or within the same region.
A number of business valuation models can be constructed that utilize various methods under the three business valuation approaches. Venture Capitalists and Private Equity professionals have long used the First chicago method which essentially combines the income approach with the market approach.
In determining which of these approaches to use, the valuation professional must exercise discretion. Each technique has advantages and drawbacks, which must be considered when applying those techniques to a particular subject company. Most treatises and court decisions encourage the valuator to consider more than one technique, which must be reconciled with each other to arrive at a value conclusion. A measure of common sense and a good grasp of mathematics is helpful.

Income approaches

The income approaches determine fair market value by multiplying the benefit stream generated by the subject or target company times a discount or capitalization rate. The discount or capitalization rate converts the stream of benefits into present value. There are several different income approaches, including capitalization of earnings or cash flows, discounted future cash flows (“DCF”), and the excess earnings method (which is a hybrid of asset and income apprope of benefit stream to which it is applied. The result of a value calculation under the income approach is generally the fair market value of a controlling, marketable interest in the subject company, since the entire benefit stream of the subject company is most often valued, and the capitalization and discount rates are derived from statistics concerning public companies.


M.Usman said...
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