Business Ratios

Value investing is defined as a systematic process of buying high quality stock at an undervalued market price quantified by intrinsic value and justified via financial analysis; then selling the stock in a timely manner upon market price recovery.

Business RatiosBusiness ratios are used with financial information to compare companies of different sizes within the same industry. The goal is to discover the best investment for return on your stock purchase. Business ratios essentially equalize different size companies within the same industry. A common mistake is to compare two different industries within the same economic sector.

Business ratios are strictly a function of the financial reports audited by Certified Public Accountants. There are five widely accepted categories of financial business ratios. Each category has no less than two different ratios. 



1) Liquidity Ratios – measures the relationship between current assets and the corresponding current liabilities.
2) Activity Ratios – are used to compare balance sheet assets against the volume of sales or an income statement value. 
3) Leverage Ratios – assist with evaluating the use of debt to capitalize a company.
4) Performance Ratios – designed to reveal income statement performance.
5) Valuation Ratios – market driven information customarily tied to the market share price, it is the only set of business ratios not internally generated.

The ratios accepted as outstanding in one industry are not applicable to a different industry even one within the same sector. Utilizing ratios for comparisons is restricted to comparing companies within the same industry.

Value Investing Episode 1 – Introduction and Membership Program

  • Valuation Ratios

    Valuation Ratios
    Valuation ratios are the only group of business ratios that are externally and not internally driven. The market dictates valuation ratios. All three core valuation ratios are determined by the market price of the stock.  All three have the same numerator, the market share price or market capitalization value of the company. 
  • Price to Sales Ratio: A Poor Indicator of Value

    Price to Sales Ratio: A Poor Indicator of Value
    The price to sales ratio is a marginal valuation ratio at best. It is really an offshoot of an antiquated concept of valuing a business. In the past, one of the more common methods to value a business deal was to use a multiplier of sales. The price to sales ratio used with business ratios is ...
  • Performance Ratios

    Performance Ratios
    The most common thought among business owners, consultants, investors and students is the ‘bottom line’.  The proper word is of course ‘PROFIT’.  In business, the single number one reason to operate is to make a profit. 
  • Leverage Ratios

    Leverage Ratios
    Leverage refers to the ability to lift a heavier load using a fulcrum and a lever. The common image is a board on a triangular pivot point with a heavy weight (M1) on one end and a lighter weight (M2) on the other. As the lever shifts towards the lighter load it starts to lift the heavier ...
  • Price to Cash Flow

    Price to Cash Flow
    The price to cash flow ratio is a valuation tool used to assist buyers and sellers of stock in determining timing of purchases or the disposition of shares. Unlike the other valuation ratios, this particular ratio utilizes the cash flows statement in determining the outcome.   The formula is simple: Price to Cash Flow = $Market Price of ...
  • Activity Ratios

    Activity Ratios
    The majority of activity ratios measure the ability of the company to turn assets into earnings. All businesses utilize a simple principle, buy an asset at a low price and sell it at a higher price. Even service based businesses do this. Labor is purchased for a certain value and then sold for a much higher price. Retail ...
  • Liquidity Ratios

    Liquidity Ratios
    Liquidity ratios are a group of ratios used to measure the ability of a business operation to meets its current obligations. Liquidity ratios are similar to the initial medical tests a patient receives at a doctor’s visit. Doctors take blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. The doctor wants assurance that the primary indicators of health are good. Liquidity ratios ...
  • Return on Equity

    Return on Equity
    Another performance ratio used in business is return on equity. It is similar to return on assets except return on equity uses one section of the bottom half of the balance sheet.
  • Operating Cash Ratio – Formula and Understanding

    Operating Cash Ratio - Formula and Understanding
    Far and above the most valuable liquidity ratio is the operating cash ratio. Unlike the other liquidity ratios that are balance sheet derived, the operating cash ratio is more closely connected to activity (income statement based) ratios than the balance sheet.
  • Operating Profit Margin – Formula and Understanding

    Operating Profit Margin - Formula and Understanding
    Operating profit margin refers to the value earned as a percentage of net sales. The operating profit is often referred to as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, (EBITDA). This is a misleading reference as operating profit is actually defined differently by industry sector. EBITDA is used primarily in valuing businesses.

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