Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Investopedia: What is "Book Value'?

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Book Value

What is 'Book Value'

Book value of an asset is the value at which the asset is carried on a balance sheet and calculated by taking the cost of an asset minus the accumulated depreciation. Book value is also the net asset value of a company, calculated as total assets minus intangible assets (patents, goodwill) and liabilities. For the initial outlay of an investment, book value may be net or gross of expenses such as trading costs, sales taxes, service charges and so on.

BREAKING DOWN 'Book Value'
Book value is also known as "net book value (NBV)" and, in the U.K., "net asset value."

As the accounting value of a firm, book value has two main uses:

1. It serves as the total value of the company's assets that shareholders would theoretically receive if a company were liquidated.

2. When compared to the company's market value, book value can indicate whether a stock is under- or overpriced.

In personal finance, the book value of an investment is the price paid for a security or debt investment. When a stock is sold, the selling price less the book value is the capital gain (or loss) from the investment.

For more information, check out Digging Into Book Value
Historical Cost

The term book value derives from the accounting practice of recording asset value at the original historical cost in the books. While the book value of an asset may stay the same over time by accounting measurements, the book value of a company collectively can grow from the accumulation of earnings, generated through asset use. Since a company's book value represents the shareholding worth, comparing book value with market value of the shares can serve as an effective valuation technique when trying to decide whether shares are fairly priced.
Mark-to-Market Valuation

There are limitations to how accurately book value can be a proxy to the shares' market worth when mark-to-market valuation is not applied to assets that may experience increases or decreases of their market values over time. For example, real estate owned by a company may gain in market value at times, while its old machinery can lose value in the market because of technological advancements. In these instances, book value at the historical cost would distort an asset or a company's true value, given what is actually priced in the market.
Price-to-Book Ratio

Price-to-book (P/B) ratio as a valuation multiple is useful for value comparison between similar companies within the same industry when they follow a uniform accounting method for asset valuation. The ratio may not serve as a valid valuation basis when comparing companies from different sectors and industries whereby some companies may record their assets at historical costs and others mark their assets to market. As a result, a high P/B ratio would not be necessarily a premium valuation, and conversely, a low P/B ratio would not be automatically be a discount valuation.
Liquidation Value


Liquidation value is the total worth of a company's physical assets when it goes out of business or if it were to go out of business. Liquidation value is determined by assets such as real estate, fixtures, equipment and inventory. Intangible assets are not included in a company's liquidation value.
BREAKING DOWN 'Liquidation Value'
There are generally four levels of valuation for business assets: market value, book value, liquidation value and salvage value. Each level of value provides a way for accountants and analysts to classify the aggregate value of assets. Liquidation value is especially important for those that work with bankruptcies and workouts.

Market Vs. Book Vs. Liquidation Vs. Salvage

Market value is generally the highest value of assets, though it could be lower than book value if the value of the assets has gone down in value due to market demand rather than business use. The book value is the value of the asset as listed on the balance sheet. The balance sheet lists assets at the historical cost, so the value of assets may be higher or lower than market prices. In an economic environment with rising prices, the book value of assets is lower than the market value. The liquidation value is the expected value of the asset once it has been liquidated or sold, presumably at a loss to historical cost. Finally, the salvage value is the value given to an asset at the end of its useful life; in other words, this is the scrap value.
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