Fundamental Analysis Part One

Fundamental analysis is one of the most useful tools that investors use when making decisions about which stocks they’re going to buy. It is a process of examining key ratios that show the current worth of a stock and the recent performance of a company.

Fundamental analysis is used to determine the amount of money a company can make and the kind of earnings an investor can expect. Future earnings may be subject to interpretation but good earning histories create confidence among investors. The stock prices may increase and the dividends may pay out.

Stock market analysts determine whether a company is meeting its expected growth by examining the earnings that are reported by the company on a regular basis. If the company doesn’t meet its expected growth, the prices of its stocks usually experience a downturn.

There are a lot of tools that are used to determine the earnings and the value of a company on the stock market. Most of these tools rely on the financial statements released by the company. Details about the value of a company which include competitive advantages and ownership ratios between the management and the outside investors can be revealed through further fundamental analyses.

Financial Statements

Public traded companies are required to publish regular financial statements. These statements are available either in printed forms or in online pages. These statements include an income investment, a balance sheet, an auditor’s report, and a cash flow statement. They also include a description of the planned activities and expected revenues for the coming year.

Auditor’s Report

One of the most important sections found in financial statements is the auditor’s report. The auditor, who is an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is the one who examines the financial activities of the company in order to determine whether the financial statement is an accurate description of the earnings or not. A financial report is considered worthless without an independent auditor’s report because it might contain some misleading or inaccurate information. Although it is not a guarantee of accuracy, an auditor’s report provides credibility to the financial statement.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet, which is another important section in financial statements, serves a “snapshot” of the company’s financial condition at a single point in time. It shows the relationship between the assets such as cash, property, and equipment; the liabilities such as debt; and the equities such as retained earnings and stocks.

Income Statement

The section in financial statements that shows the information regarding the company’s net income, revenue, and earnings per share over a certain period of time is called the income statement. The top line of the income statement shows the amount of income that is generated by sales, underneath which the costs incurred in doing business are deducted. The bottom line shows the company’s net income or loss and the company’s income per share.

Cash Flow

The cash flow statement shares some similarities with the income statement because both sections provide a picture of a company’s performance over time. Unlike the income statement, the cash flow statement doesn’t use accounting procedures like depreciation. It simply indicates how a company handles its income and its expenses. The cash flow statement shows the incoming and outgoing cash from the sales, the investments, and the financing of a company. It is used as a good indicator of how the management runs the company and how the company handles the creditors. It also shows from where a company receives its growth capital.

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