A quantitative analyst is a person who specializes in the application of mathematical and statistical methods to financial and risk management problems. The occupation is similar to those in industrial mathematics in other industries. Although the original quantitative analysts were "sell side quants" from market maker firms, concerned with derivatives pricing and risk management, the meaning of the term has expanded over time to include those individuals involved in any application of mathematics in finance, including the buy side. Examples include statistical arbitrage, quantitative investment management, algorithmic trading, electronic market making. Quantitative finance started in 1900 with Louis Bachelier's doctoral thesis Theory of Speculation, which provided a model to price options under a Normal Distribution. Harry Markowitz's 1952 doctoral thesis "Portfolio Selection" and its published version was one of the first efforts in economics journals to formally adapt mathematical concepts to finance.
Markowitz formalized a notion of mean return and covariances for common stocks which allowed him to quantify the concept of "diversification" in a market. He showed how to compute the mean return and variance for a given portfolio and argued that investors should hold only those portfolios whose variance is minimal among all portfolios with a given mean return. Although the language of finance now involves Itō calculus, management of risk in a quantifiable manner underlies much of the modern theory. In 1965 Paul Samuelson introduced stochastic calculus into the study of finance. In 1969 Robert Merton promoted continuous-time processes. Merton was motivated by the desire to understand how prices are set in financial markets, the classical economics question of "equilibrium," and in papers he used the machinery of stochastic calculus to begin investigation of this issue. At the same time as Merton's work and with Merton's assistance, Fischer Black and Myron Scholes developed the Black–Scholes model, awarded the 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
It provided a solution for a practical problem, that of finding a fair price for a European call option, i.e. the right to buy one share of a given stock at a specified price and time. Such options are purchased by investors as a risk-hedging device. In 1981, Harrison and Pliska used the general theory of continuous-time stochastic processes to put the Black–Scholes model on a solid theoretical basis, showed how to price numerous other derivative securities. Emanuel Derman's 2004 book My Life as a Quant helped to both make the role of a quantitative analyst better known outside of finance, to popularize the abbreviation "quant" for a quantitative analyst. Quantitative analysts come from applied mathematics, physics or engineering backgrounds rather than economics-related fields, quantitative analysis is a major source of employment for people with mathematics and physics PhD degrees, or with financial mathematics masters degrees. A quantitative analyst will need extensive skills in computer programming, most C, C++, Java, R, MATLAB, Python.
This demand for quantitative analysts has led to a resurgence in demand for actuarial qualifications as well as creation of specialized Masters and PhD courses in financial engineering, mathematical finance, computational finance, and/or financial reinsurance. In particular, Master's degrees in mathematical finance, financial engineering, operations research, computational statistics, machine learning, financial analysis are becoming more popular with students and with employers. See Master of Quantitative Finance. Data science and machine learning analysis and modelling methods are being employed in portfolio performance and portfolio risk modelling, as such data science and machine learning Master's graduates are in demand as quantitative analysts. In sales & trading, quantitative analysts work to determine prices, manage risk, identify profitable opportunities; this was a distinct activity from trading but the boundary between a desk quantitative analyst and a quantitative trader is blurred, it is now difficult to enter trading as a profession without at least some quantitative analysis education.
In the field of algorithmic trading it has reached the point where there is little meaningful difference. Front office work favours a higher speed to quality ratio, with a greater emphasis on solutions to specific problems than detailed modeling. FOQs are better paid than those in back office and model validation. Although skilled analysts, FOQs lack software engineering experience or formal training, bound by time constraints and business pressures, tactical solutions are adopted. Quantitative analysis is used extensively by asset managers. Some, such as FQ, AQR or Barclays, rely exclusively on quantitative strategies while others, such as Pimco, Blackrock or Citadel use a mix of quantitative and fundamental methods. Major firms invest large sums in an attempt to produce standard methods of evaluating prices and risk; these differ from front office tools in that Excel is rare, with most development being in C++, though Java and C# are sometimes used in non-performance critical tasks. LQs spend more time modeling ensuring the analytics are both efficient and correct, though there is tension between LQs and FOQs on the validity of their results.
LQs are required to understand techniques such as Monte Carlo methods and finite difference methods, as well as the nature of
The stock of a corporation is all of the shares into which ownership of the corporation is divided. In American English, the shares are known as "stocks." A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets, or voting power dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders. Stock can be bought and sold or on stock exchanges, such transactions are heavily regulated by governments to prevent fraud, protect investors, benefit the larger economy; as new shares are issued by a company, the ownership and rights of existing shareholders are diluted in return for cash to sustain or grow the business.
Companies can buy back stock, which lets investors recoup the initial investment plus capital gains from subsequent rises in stock price. Stock options, issued by many companies as part of employee compensation, do not represent ownership, but represent the right to buy ownership at a future time at a specified price; this would represent a windfall to the employees if the option is exercised when the market price is higher than the promised price, since if they sold the stock they would keep the difference. A person who owns a specific percentage of the share has the ownership of the corporation proportional to his share; the shares together form stock. The stock of a corporation is partitioned into shares, the total of which are stated at the time of business formation. Additional shares may subsequently be authorized by the existing shareholders and issued by the company. In some jurisdictions, each share of stock has a certain declared par value, a nominal accounting value used to represent the equity on the balance sheet of the corporation.
In other jurisdictions, shares of stock may be issued without associated par value. Shares represent a fraction of ownership in a business. A business may declare different types of shares, each having distinctive ownership rules, privileges, or share values. Ownership of shares may be documented by issuance of a stock certificate. A stock certificate is a legal document that specifies the number of shares owned by the shareholder, other specifics of the shares, such as the par value, if any, or the class of the shares. In the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia, stock can refer to different financial instruments such as government bonds or, less to all kinds of marketable securities. Stock takes the form of shares of either common stock or preferred stock; as a unit of ownership, common stock carries voting rights that can be exercised in corporate decisions. Preferred stock differs from common stock in that it does not carry voting rights but is entitled to receive a certain level of dividend payments before any dividends can be issued to other shareholders.
Convertible preferred stock is preferred stock that includes an option for the holder to convert the preferred shares into a fixed number of common shares any time after a predetermined date. Shares of such stock are called "convertible preferred shares". New equity issue may have specific legal clauses attached that differentiate them from previous issues of the issuer; some shares of common stock may be issued without the typical voting rights, for instance, or some shares may have special rights unique to them and issued only to certain parties. New issues that have not been registered with a securities governing body may be restricted from resale for certain periods of time. Preferred stock may be hybrid by having the qualities of bonds of fixed returns and common stock voting rights, they have preference in the payment of dividends over common stock and have been given preference at the time of liquidation over common stock. They have other features of accumulation in dividend. In addition, preferred stock comes with a letter designation at the end of the security.
B, whereas Class "A" shares of ORION DHC, Inc will sell under ticker OODHA until the company drops the "A" creating ticker OODH for its "Common" shares only designation. This extra letter does not mean that any exclusive rights exist for the shareholders but it does let investors know that the shares are considered for such, these rights or privileges may change based on the decisions made by the underlying company. "Rule 144 Stock" is an American term given to shares of stock subject to SEC Rule 144: Selling Restricted and Control Securities. Under Rule 144, restricted and controlled securities are acquired in unregistered form. Investors either purchase or take ownership of these securities through private sales from the issuing company or from an affiliate of the issuer. Investors wishing to sell these securities are subject to different rules than those selling traditional common or preferred stock; these individuals will only be allowed to liquidate their securities after meeting the specific conditions set forth by SEC Rule 144.
In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include corporate bonds; the bond is a debt security, under which the issuer owes the holders a debt and is obliged to pay them interest or to repay the principal at a date, termed the maturity date. Interest is payable at fixed intervals; the bond is negotiable, that is, the ownership of the instrument can be transferred in the secondary market. This means that once the transfer agents at the bank medallion stamp the bond, it is liquid on the secondary market, thus a bond is a form of loan or IOU: the holder of the bond is the lender, the issuer of the bond is the borrower, the coupon is the interest. Bonds provide the borrower with external funds to finance long-term investments, or, in the case of government bonds, to finance current expenditure. Certificates of deposit or short-term commercial paper are considered to be money market instruments and not bonds: the main difference is the length of the term of the instrument.
Bonds and stocks are both securities, but the major difference between the two is that stockholders have an equity stake in a company, whereas bondholders have a creditor stake in the company. Being a creditor, bondholders have priority over stockholders; this means they will be repaid in advance of stockholders, but will rank behind secured creditors, in the event of bankruptcy. Another difference is that bonds have a defined term, or maturity, after which the bond is redeemed, whereas stocks remain outstanding indefinitely. An exception is an irredeemable bond, such as a consol, a perpetuity, that is, a bond with no maturity. In English, the word "bond" relates to the etymology of "bind". In the sense "instrument binding one to pay a sum to another", use of the word "bond" dates from at least the 1590s. Bonds are issued by public authorities, credit institutions and supranational institutions in the primary markets; the most common process for issuing bonds is through underwriting. When a bond issue is underwritten, one or more securities firms or banks, forming a syndicate, buy the entire issue of bonds from the issuer and re-sell them to investors.
The security firm takes the risk of being unable to sell on the issue to end investors. Primary issuance is arranged by bookrunners who arrange the bond issue, have direct contact with investors and act as advisers to the bond issuer in terms of timing and price of the bond issue; the bookrunner is listed first among all underwriters participating in the issuance in the tombstone ads used to announce bonds to the public. The bookrunners' willingness to underwrite must be discussed prior to any decision on the terms of the bond issue as there may be limited demand for the bonds. In contrast, government bonds are issued in an auction. In some cases, both members of the public and banks may bid for bonds. In other cases, only market makers may bid for bonds; the overall rate of return on the bond depends on the price paid. The terms of the bond, such as the coupon, are fixed in advance and the price is determined by the market. In the case of an underwritten bond, the underwriters will charge a fee for underwriting.
An alternative process for bond issuance, used for smaller issues and avoids this cost, is the private placement bond. Bonds sold directly to buyers may not be tradeable in the bond market. An alternative practice of issuance was for the borrowing government authority to issue bonds over a period of time at a fixed price, with volumes sold on a particular day dependent on market conditions; this was called a tap bond tap. Nominal, par, or face amount is the amount on which the issuer pays interest, which, most has to be repaid at the end of the term; some structured bonds can have a redemption amount, different from the face amount and can be linked to the performance of particular assets. The issuer has to repay the nominal amount on the maturity date; as long as all due payments have been made, the issuer has no further obligations to the bond holders after the maturity date. The length of time until the maturity date is referred to as the term or tenor or maturity of a bond; the maturity can be any length of time, although debt securities with a term of less than one year are designated money market instruments rather than bonds.
Most bonds have a term of up to 30 years. Some bonds have been issued with terms of 50 years or more, there have been some issues with no maturity date. In the market for United States Treasury securities, there are three categories of bond maturities: short term: maturities between one and five years; the coupon is the interest rate. This rate is fixed throughout the life of the bond, it can vary with a money market index, such as LIBOR, or it can be more exotic. The name "coupon" arose because in the past, paper bond certificates were issued which had coupons attached to them, one for each interest payment. On the due dates the bondholder would hand in the coupon to a bank in exchange for the interest payment. Interest can be paid at different frequencies: semi-annual, i.e. every 6 months, or annual. The yield is the rate of return received from investing in the bond, it refers either to The current yield, or running yield
A stock exchange, securities exchange or bourse, is a facility where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as shares of stock and bonds and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may provide for facilities the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include stock issued by listed companies, unit trusts, pooled investment products and bonds. Stock exchanges function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions via open outcry at a central location such as the floor of the exchange or by using an electronic trading platform. To be able to trade a security on a certain stock exchange, the security must be listed there. There is a central location at least for record keeping, but trade is less linked to a physical place, as modern markets use electronic communication networks, which give them advantages of increased speed and reduced cost of transactions.
Trade on an exchange is restricted to brokers. In recent years, various other trading venues, such as electronic communication networks, alternative trading systems and "dark pools" have taken much of the trading activity away from traditional stock exchanges. Initial public offerings of stocks and bonds to investors is done in the primary market and subsequent trading is done in the secondary market. A stock exchange is the most important component of a stock market. Supply and demand in stock markets are driven by various factors that, as in all free markets, affect the price of stocks. There is no obligation for stock to be issued through the stock exchange itself, nor must stock be subsequently traded on an exchange; such trading may be off over-the-counter. This is the usual way that bonds are traded. Stock exchanges are part of a global securities market. Stock exchanges serve an economic function in providing liquidity to shareholders in providing an efficient means of disposing of shares.
The idea of debt dates back to the ancient world, as evidenced for example by ancient Mesopotamian city clay tablets recording interest-bearing loans. There is little consensus among scholars as to; some see the key event as the Dutch East India Company's founding in 1602, while others point to earlier developments. Economist Ulrike Malmendier of the University of California at Berkeley argues that a share market existed as far back as ancient Rome. One of Europe's oldest stock exchanges is the Frankfurt Stock Exchange established in 1585 in Frankfurt am Main. In the Roman Republic, which existed for centuries before the Empire was founded, there were societates publicanorum, organizations of contractors or leaseholders who performed temple-building and other services for the government. One such service was the feeding of geese on the Capitoline Hill as a reward to the birds after their honking warned of a Gallic invasion in 390 B. C. Participants in such organizations had partes or shares, a concept mentioned various times by the statesman and orator Cicero.
In one speech, Cicero mentions "shares that had a high price at the time". Such evidence, in Malmendier's view, suggests the instruments were tradable, with fluctuating values based on an organization's success; the societas declined into obscurity in the time of the emperors, as most of their services were taken over by direct agents of the state. Tradable bonds as a used type of security were a more recent innovation, spearheaded by the Italian city-states of the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully-fledged capital market: the stock market in its modern sense. In the early 1600s the Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed."
The VOC, formed to build up the spice trade, operated as a colonial ruler in what is now Indonesia and beyond, a purview that included conducting military operations against the wishes of the exploited natives and of competing colonial powers. Control of the company was held by its directors, with ordinary shareholders not having much influence on management or access to the company's accounting statements. However, shareholders were rewarded well for their investment; the company paid an average dividend of over 16% per year from 1602 to 1650. Financial innovation in Amsterdam took many forms. In 1609, investors led by Isaac Le Maire formed history's first bear market syndicate, but their coordinated trading had only a modest impact in driving down share prices, which tended to remain robust throughout the 17th century. By the 1620s, the company was expanding its securities issuance with the first use of corporate bonds. Joseph de la Vega known as Joseph Penso de la Vega and by other variations of his name, was an Amsterdam trader from a Spanish Jewish family and a prolific writer as well as a successful businessman in 17th-century Amsterdam.
His 1688 book Confusion of Confusions explained the workings of the city's stock market. It was the earliest book about stock trading and inner workings of a stock market, taking the form of a dialogue between a merchant, a shareholder and a philosopher, the book described a market, sophisticated but prone to excesses, de la Vega of
A capital market is a financial market in which long-term debt or equity-backed securities are bought and sold. Capital markets channel the wealth of savers to those who can put it to long-term productive use, such as companies or governments making long-term investments. Financial regulators like the Bank of England and the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission oversee capital markets to protect investors against fraud, among other duties. Modern capital markets are invariably hosted on computer-based electronic trading platforms; as an example, in the United States, any American citizen with an internet connection can create an account with TreasuryDirect and use it to buy bonds in the primary market, though sales to individuals form only a tiny fraction of the total volume of bonds sold. Various private companies provide browser-based platforms that allow individuals to buy shares and sometimes bonds in the secondary markets. There are many thousands of such systems, most serving only small parts of the overall capital markets.
Entities hosting the systems include stock exchanges, investment banks, government departments. Physically, the systems are hosted all over the world, though they tend to be concentrated in financial centres like London, New York, Hong Kong. A capital market can be either a secondary market. In primary market, new stock or bond issues are sold to investors via a mechanism known as underwriting; the main entities seeking to raise long-term funds on the primary capital markets are governments and business enterprises. Governments issue only bonds, whereas companies issue both equity and bonds; the main entities purchasing the bonds or stock include pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, less wealthy individuals and investment banks trading on their own behalf. In the secondary market, existing securities are sold and bought among investors or traders on an exchange, over-the-counter, or elsewhere; the existence of secondary markets increases the willingness of investors in primary markets, as they know they are to be able to swiftly cash out their investments if the need arises.
A second important division falls between the bond markets. The money markets are used for the raising of short-term finance, sometimes for loans that are expected to be paid back as early as overnight. In contrast, the "capital markets" are used for the raising of long-term finance, such as the purchase of shares/equities, or for loans that are not expected to be paid back for at least a year. Funds borrowed from money markets are used for general operating expenses, to provide liquid assets for brief periods. For example, a company may have inbound payments from customers that have not yet cleared, but need immediate cash to pay its employees; when a company borrows from the primary capital markets the purpose is to invest in additional physical capital goods, which will be used to help increase its income. It can take many months or years before the investment generates sufficient return to pay back its cost, hence the finance is long term. Together, money markets and capital markets form the financial markets, as the term is narrowly understood.
The capital market is concerned with long-term finance. In the widest sense, it consists of a series of channels through which the savings of the community are made available for industrial and commercial enterprises and public authorities. Regular bank lending is not classed as a capital market transaction when loans are extended for a period longer than a year. First, regular bank loans are not securitized. Second, lending from banks is more regulated than capital market lending. Third, bank depositors tend to be more risk-averse than capital market investors; these three differences all act to limit institutional lending as a source of finance. Two additional differences, this time favoring lending by banks, are that banks are more accessible for small and medium-sized companies, that they have the ability to create money as they lend. In the 20th century, most company finance apart from share issues was raised by bank loans, but since about 1980 there has been an ongoing trend for disintermediation, where large and creditworthy companies have found they have to pay out less interest if they borrow directly from capital markets rather than from banks.
The tendency for companies to borrow from capital markets instead of banks has been strong in the United States. According to the Financial Times, capital markets overtook bank lending as the leading source of long-term finance in 2009, which reflects the risk aversion and bank regulation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Compared to in the United States, companies in the European Union have a greater reliance on bank lending for funding. Efforts to enable companies to raise more funding through capital markets are being coordinated through the EU's Capital Markets Union initiative; when a government wants to raise long-term finance it will sell bonds in the capital markets. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, many governments would use investment banks to organize the sale of their bonds; the leading bank would underwrite the bonds, would head up a syndicate of brokers, some of whom might
Art valuation, an art-specific subset of financial valuation, is the process of estimating either the market value of works of art. As such, it is more of a financial rather than an aesthetic concern, subjective views of cultural value play a part as well. Art valuation involves comparing data from multiple sources such as art auction houses and corporate collectors, art dealer activities, experienced consultants, specialized market analysts to arrive at a value. Art valuation is accomplished not only for collection, investment and financing purposes, but as part of estate valuations, for charitable contributions, for tax planning and loan collateral purposes; this article deals with the valuation of works of fine art contemporary art, at the top end of the international market, but similar principles apply to the valuation of less expensive art and antiques. The source of a work's artistic charisma has long been debated between artists who create and patrons who enable, but the charismatic power of artworks on those who would possess them is the initial driver of value.
In the 1960s that charismatic power started edging over to accommodate commercialized culture and a new industry of art, when aesthetic value fell from prominence to parity with Pop art and Andy Warhol's idea of business art, a recognition that art has become a business and making money in business is an art. One of many artists to follow Warhol is Jeff Koons, a stockbroker turned artist who borrowed imagery from popular culture and made millions. For collectors, the emotional connection felt toward a work or collection creates subjective personal value; the weight assigned by such a collector to that subjective measure as a portion of a work's overall financial value may be greater than that by an art speculator not sharing the collector's emotional investment, non-economic value measures such as "Do I like it?" or "Does it speak to me?" still have economic effect because such measures can be deciding factors in a purchase. In contrast, the Art Dealer's Association of America suggests that the key issues are authenticity, rarity, condition and value.
Art valuation activity concerns itself with estimating market demand, estimating liquidity capability of lots and artists, the condition and provenance of works, with valuation trends such as average sale price and mean estimates. As with other markets, the art market uses its own industry-specific terms of art or vocabulary, for example, "bought-in", describing the disadvantageous situation occurring when a work or lot at auction is returned to its owner having been passed over, withdrawn or otherwise unsold. Valuing art is necessary when a piece is to be used as collateral; the art-lending market has expanded to an estimated $15 billion to $19 billion of loans outstanding in the USA. The shift in Asia towards investment in western art is a factor that has allowed art lending companies to launch offices in Asia as western works are easier to use as collateral; as in the housing market, "comparables" are used to determine what level of demand similar items have in a current market. The freshness of the comparables is important because the art market is fluid and stale comparables will yield estimates that may have little relation to a work's current value.
Subject matter and the medium of a work affect market demand, as does rarity. Liquidity in the art market means having artworks in high demand and being able to sell those works without impediment. Art sales slow in downturns resulting in the market becoming more illiquid. There is a greater degree of liquidity risk facing the art investor than with other financial assets because there is a limited pool of potential buyers, with artworks not reaching their reserve prices and not being sold, this has an effect on the auction prices. In a divorce action between a couple who sought to divide a $102 million collection between them, the couple decided a sale would prove problematic because selling the entire collection and dividing the profit would saturate the market and drive down prices; the newspaper reported that one of the two litigants had a more sentimental view of the value of the works, while the other had a more businesslike view, wanting balance and diversification. The newspaper attempted to calculate the value of the many artworks at issue in the case by determining a per-square-inch price based on each piece's value divided by its dimension, to end up with a per-square-inch price to apply to the amount of wall space the businesslike litigant wanted to cover with the available art.
The Times concluded that using this formula as between the litigants, John Singer Sargent's Dans les Oliviers à Capri was valued at $26,666.67 per square inch, that the sentimental litigant received $3,082 of appraised value per square inch while the businesslike litigant received $1,942 per square inch, but could cover more wall space. Trends for values from the world's top auction houses are compared for study of market direction and how that direction affects given artists and works. Valuations for art sold at the market's top houses carry more weight than valuations from less established houses, as most of the top houses have hundreds of years of experience. Long term economic trends can have a great impact on the valuation of certain types of work. In recent decades the values of historic Russian and Chinese art have benefited from increased wealth in those countries creating new and rich collectors, as the values of Orientalist and Islamic art had ea
In financial markets, stock valuation is the method of calculating theoretical values of companies and their stocks. The main use of these methods is to predict future market prices, or more potential market prices, thus to profit from price movement – stocks that are judged undervalued are bought, while stocks that are judged overvalued are sold, in the expectation that undervalued stocks will overall rise in value, while overvalued stocks will decrease in value. In the view of fundamental analysis, stock valuation based on fundamentals aims to give an estimate of the intrinsic value of a stock, based on predictions of the future cash flows and profitability of the business. Fundamental analysis may be replaced or augmented by market criteria – what the market will pay for the stock, disregarding intrinsic value; these can be combined as "predictions of future cash flows/profits", together with "what will the market pay for these profits?" These can be seen as "supply and demand" sides – what underlies the supply, what drives the demand for stock?
In the view of John Maynard Keynes, stock valuation is not a prediction but a convention, which serves to facilitate investment and ensure that stocks are liquid, despite being underpinned by an illiquid business and its illiquid investments, such as factories. The most theoretically sound stock valuation method, called income valuation or the discounted cash flow method, involves discounting of the profits the stock will bring to the stockholder in the foreseeable future, a final value on disposal. In July 2010, a Delaware court ruled on appropriate inputs to use in discounted cash flow analysis in a dispute between shareholders and a company over the proper fair value of the stock. In this case the shareholders' model provided value of $139 per share and the company's model provided $89 per share. Contested inputs included the terminal growth rate, the equity risk premium, beta; the fundamental valuation is the valuation. The most common example of this type of valuation methodology is P/E ratio, which stands for Price to Earnings Ratio.
This form of valuation is based on historic ratios and statistics and aims to assign value to a stock based on measurable attributes. This form of valuation is what drives long-term stock prices; the other way stocks are valued is based on demand. The more people that want to buy the stock, the higher its price will be, and conversely, the more people that want to sell the stock, the lower the price will be. This form of valuation is hard to understand or predict, it drives the short-term stock market trends. There are many different ways to value stocks; the key is to take each approach into account while formulating an overall opinion of the stock. If the valuation of a company is lower or higher than other similar stocks the next step would be to determine the reasons. EPS is the Net income available to common shareholders of the company divided by the number of shares outstanding. There will be two types of EPS listed: a GAAP EPS and a Pro Forma EPS, which means that the income has been adjusted to exclude any one time items as well as some non-cash items like amortization of goodwill or stock option expenses.
The most important thing to look for in the EPS figure is the overall quality of earnings. Make sure the company is not trying to manipulate their EPS numbers to make it look like they are more profitable. Look at the growth in EPS over the past several quarters / years to understand how volatile their EPS is, to see if they are an underachiever or an overachiever. In other words, have they beaten expectations or are they restating and lowering their forecasts? The EPS number that most analysts use is the pro forma EPS. To compute this number, use the net income that excludes any one-time gains or losses and excludes any non-cash expenses like amortization of goodwill. Never exclude non-cash compensation expense as that does impact earnings per share. Divide this number by the number of diluted shares outstanding. Historical EPS figures and forecasts for the next 1–2 years can be found by visiting free financial sites such as Yahoo Finance. Now that the analyst has several EPS figures, the analyst will be able to look at the most common valuation technique used, the price to earnings ratio, or P/E.
To compute this figure, one divides the stock price by the annual EPS figure. For example, if the stock is trading at $10 and the EPS is $0.50, the P/E is 20 times. A complete analysis of the P/E multiple includes a look at the forward ratios. Historical P/Es are computed by taking the current price divided by the sum of the EPS for the last four quarters, or for the previous year. Historical trends of the P/E should be considered by viewing a chart of its historical P/E over the last several years. Consider what range the P/E has traded in so as to determine whether the current P/E is high or low versus its historical average. Forward P/Es reflect the future growth of the company into the future. Forward P/Es are computed by taking the current stock price divided by the sum of the EPS estimates for the next four quarters, or for the EPS estimate for next calendar or fiscal year or two. P/Es change constantly. If there is a large price change in a stock, or if the earnings estimates change, the ratio is recomputed.
Valuations rely heavily on the expected growth rate of a company. One must look at t