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What Is Valuation?

Valuation is a strategy analysts use to determine the expected or present worth of an asset, stock, or security. It can tell you what the current or prospective cost of a company’s assets are and will be in the future.

Valuation aims to examine a stock and compare its estimated value with its current market value to find attractive investments. It helps investors make wise investment decisions before buying a company’s asset.

To better understand how valuation works and how to use it to your advantage as an investor, keep reading further.

How Does Valuation Work? 

Since valuation determines how much an asset is worth, the valuation of a company is also useful in estimating their economic value. It can also determine the stock or security’s fair value of a company.

A valuation of a company may include aspects like the company’s capital structure, management, and even future earnings of a company’s asset. Overall, all methods of valuation will help signal analysts when to place value on a company’s asset.

What Is the Purpose of Valuation?

Valuations are useful in making effective and informed business decisions. They also help monitor the performance level of your investments, not just in revenue but also in value. 

Valuation allows an investor to take a general look at businesses, to help make a more profitable investment decision. As an investor, it’s essential to compare different stock or security values and weigh your investment options before investing.

This will help you to better understand the dynamics of the business you’re investing into. Also to avoid contingencies of supposedly insignificant decisions.

What Is Present Value?

Present value is also known as the present discounted value. It means that a current amount of money is usually worth more than the same amount in the future.

For instance, if you got $1000, the present value means that this amount of money would depreciate in the future.  

What Is the Purpose of Present Value in Valuation?

The present value of a company tells you what a company is worth at the moment. It’s the value of an anticipated income, that is usually determined at the date a company’s assets are being evaluated. 

Usually, the present value of an asset is often smaller than the future value of an asset, meaning that an asset appreciates with time. This is because money has a characteristic known as the time-value or interest-earning potential. 

You can only counter this during times of zero or negative interest rates when the present value of money is equal to or higher than the future value.

What Is Market Value?

Market value is the price at which a stock is selling for in the public market. It measures the cumulative expectations of investors regarding the future performance of a company.

Market value is often closely monitored by analysts and investors for investment purposes.

What Is Fair Value?

The term “fair value” means several things in the finance world. In accounting, it’s referred to as the approximated worth of several liabilities and assets that ought to be listed in a company’s account book.

But in investing, fair value means the sale price agreed for an asset by a willing buyer and seller if the persons involved are informed and enter the transaction freely. For instance, securities have a fair value that is determined by a market that trades them.

Types of Valuation Methods

There are several methods that can valuate an asset. Some of these valuation methods are:

Liquidation Value

Liquidation value is the amount of net value, of a company’s assets, that’s to be sold at an open market. You could also view liquidation value as the price value of a company’s fixtures, inventory, equipment, and even real estate. 

However, the intangible assets of a company aren’t captured in the liquidation value. Asset liquidation, on the other hand, is when a company or individual turns their assets into cash or equivalents by selling them at the open market.

Book Value

A company’s book value is the net or total difference between its total assets and total liabilities. It also indicates the total amount of value the shareholders of a company’s assets would receive if they decide to liquidate their assets.

Note that the book value of a company’s asset is usually lesser than the asset or company’s market value. This means that when a company decides to sell off its assets, the price at which they’ll sell it off is usually lesser than its current value in the market.

Additionally, you could also view book value as the accounting value of a company’s asset. Although the book value of an investment may remain the same by accounting measurement with time, it can still grow from the accumulation of income obtained while the asset is used.

Times-Revenue Method

This method is often used to determine the range value of a business. When a small business owner decides to sell their company, they must do a financial plan to determine the value of their company before selling it.

It can be a bit difficult to calculate the value of a business, especially if its value is largely determined by potential revenues. However, there are various models used to determine the value of a business to facilitate the business decision.

The time revenue method is usually considered effective in determining a company’s maximum value. It uses several current revenues in determining the maximum value or (ceiling) of a specific business before decisions are made.

Discounted Cash Flow 

This method is used to estimate the amount an investor receives from an investment concerning the time value of money. The time value of money means that the worth of a currency today may not be the same tomorrow. 

Therefore the discount cash flow applies to when an investor pays money for an investment now with the expectations of an increase in the future. Generally, it’s safe to say that this method measures the value of an investment based on its anticipated cash flow.

Capitalization Past Earnings

This method is used to ascertain the value of a business or organization by evaluating the business worth with its expected profits from current earnings and anticipated future performance.

This method is usually expressed as: Net present value of future cash flows / Capitalization rate (cap rate)

However, to effectively apply this formula, you’ll have to understand the business that’s being reviewed fully.

Categories of Valuation 

There are two significant categories of valuation used to determine either the intrinsic or fair value of a company’s asset. We will be discussing what these categories are and how they are used to determine the value of a company.

Absolute Valuation

This valuation method is also referred to as “intrinsic value.” It uses a Discount Cash Flow Model (DCF) to determine the financial worth of a company by evaluating its cash flows.

Usually, investors use this method to determine if a stock is overvalued or undervalued by comparing the company’s stock price with the current stock price. However, while using this valuation method, a few challenges may arise; such as accurately predicting growth rates, evaluating discount rates, and foreseeing cash flows.

Relative Valuation

This valuation model is an alternative to the absolute valuation model. Relative valuation compares the value of one company to another to evaluate the company’s financial worth.

While absolute valuation determines a company’s intrinsic value, relative valuation focuses on a company’s fair value.

Why Is Valuation Important?

As an investor, it’s crucial to determine the valuation of a company before investing, as it’ll help you determine what the fair value of a security is. That is what you, as an investor, are willing to pay the seller for the security.

Usually, when there’s a security trade, buyers and sellers tend to determine the value of a security, stock, or bond.  Likewise, for intrinsic value, valuation is important as it helps investors know what the expected value of a security or bond is based on its future earnings.

It helps them determine if a company’s asset is currently selling for undervalue or overvalue, as this will affect their investment decisions.

Valuation vs Evaluation

Valuation is used to determine the expected or estimated financial value of a company’s asset, stock, or bond. While evaluation, a bit broader than valuation, is used to determine the financial value of an asset, stock, or security, according to some standard or criteria already in place.

Bottom Line

Understanding valuation is vital for every business owner, company, or investor as it helps them make profitable investments. All you’ll need to do is employ the skills of a financial advisor to help you analyze several asset valuation before you invest.

Or, if you’re well informed as to how valuation works as an investor, then you may not be needing a financial advisor!