The level of value used in a business valuation may affect an expert’s analyses and techniques. This article explains how experts determine the appropriate level of value and why it’s critical to make this determination before work begins.
Owners of privately held businesses may draw large salaries because of tax advantages or take little or no salary to enhance the company’s reported earnings. In these cases, the valuation expert needs to “normalize” owners’ compensation and adjust it to a reasonable level. This article identifies factors that valuators consider in determining reasonable owners’ compensation.
Struggling businesses face different financial challenges than healthy ones do. This article discusses how business valuation experts factor these differences into their estimations when valuing troubled companies.
Most business valuation professional standards recognize two types of engagements: calculations and valuations. This article explains the critical distinction between these types of assignments — and the reason a full valuation report is necessary in most litigation contexts.
In recent years, Delaware’s Supreme Court has shown its preference, under the right circumstances, for market-based indicators of value in statutory appraisal cases. This article summarizes a recent dissenting shareholders case in which the court concluded that the best evidence of fair value was the target company’s unaffected stock price. Conversely, a sidebar highlights another case in which the court relied on an expert’s discounted cash flow analysis in the absence of reliable market-based indicators of value.
Courts tend to prefer the market approach in business valuation, because it’s based on real-world “comparable” transactions. This article identifies different pricing multiples that may be used in the market approach and explains when each one tends to work best. Statistical tools can help business valuation experts evaluate which multiples are most relevant based on market evidence.
A recent survey reported an active merger and acquisition (M&A) market for small businesses in 2017 — and that momentum has continued in 2018. This article explains how business valuation professionals can help owners prepare for sale and increase the chances of receiving a premium selling price.
Under the market approach, a business’s value is derived by comparing it to real-life transactions involving similar private or public companies. This article outlines common pricing multiples, such as price-to-earnings and price-to-discretionary-income, and discusses some pros and cons.
Valuing a business using projected earnings is a complex undertaking. This article identifies common pitfalls that novice or untrained valuators tend to make when using the income approach. A sidebar compares and contrasts two methods that fall under the income approach: the capitalization of earnings and discounted cash flow methods.
One way business valuation experts gauge company-specific risk is to benchmark financial performance over time and against competitors. This article explains critical benchmarks that experts monitor: profitability, liquidity, asset management and leverage. A sidebar discusses the importance of understanding differences in accounting methods when analyzing financial results.