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Fundamental Analysis

4031 words - 17 pages

■ Fundamental Analysis:

Fundamental analysis is a technique that attempts to determine a security’s value by focusing on underlying factors that affect a company's actual business and its future prospects. On a broader scope, you can perform fundamental analysis on industries or the economy as a whole. The term simply refers to the analysis of the economic well-being of a financial entity as opposed to only its price movements

Fundamental analysis serves to answer questions, such as:

• Is the company’s revenue growing?
• Is it actually making a profit?
• Is it in a strong-enough position to beat out its competitors in the future?
• Is it able to repay its debts?
• Is management ...view middle of the document...

Nobody knows how long “the long run” really is. It could be days or years

By focusing on a particular business, an investor can estimate the intrinsic value of a firm and thus find opportunities where he or she can buy at a discount. If all goes well, the investment will pay off over time as the market catches up to the fundamentals

Fundamental Analysis involves in three steps:

1. Company Analysis
2. Industry Analysis
3. Economy Analysis

◙ The Company Analysis:

A company's financial statements, we're going to take a look at some of the qualitative aspects of a company.

Fundamental analysis seeks to determine the intrinsic value of a company's stock. But since qualitative factors, by definition, represent aspects of a company's business that are difficult or impossible to quantify, incorporating that kind of information into a pricing evaluation can be quite difficult. On the flip side, as we've demonstrated, we can't ignore the less tangible characteristics of a company

In this section we are going to highlight some of the company-specific qualitative factors that you should be aware of

●Business Model

Even before an investor looks at a company's financial statements or does any research, one of the most important questions that should be asked is: What exactly does the company do? This is referred to as a company's business model – it's how a company makes money.

Sometimes business models are easy to understand. Take McDonalds, for instance, which sells hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, salads and whatever other new special they are promoting at the time. It's a simple model, easy enough for anybody to understand.

Other times, you'd be surprised how complicated it can get. Boston Chicken Inc. is a prime example of this. Back in the early '90s its stock was the darling of Wall Street. At one point the company's CEO bragged that they were the "first new fast-food restaurant to reach $1 billion in sales since 1969". The problem is, they didn't make money by selling chicken. Rather, they made their money from royalty fees and high-interest loans to franchisees. Boston Chicken was really nothing more than a big franchisor. On top of this, management was aggressive with how it recognized its revenue. As soon as it was revealed that all the franchisees were losing money, the house of cards collapsed and the company went bankrupt.

At the very least, we should understand the business model of any company we invest in. The "Oracle of Omaha", Warren Buffett, rarely invests in tech stocks because most of the time he doesn't understand them. This is not to say the technology sector is bad, but it's not Buffett's area of expertise; he doesn't feel comfortable investing in this area. Similarly, unless we understand a company's business model, we don't know what the drivers are for future growth, and we leave ourselves vulnerable to being blindsided like shareholders of Boston Chicken were

● Competitive...

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