'Valuation' is explained in detail and with examples in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.
Valuation refers to the method for ascertaining the present worth of any companies or assets. A range of techniques exist to decide this value. When analysts assign values to a firm, they consider the corporation’s capital structure, the firm’s management, and the potential of future earnings as well as the various assets’ market values.
Securities’ market values will ultimately be decided by the amount that buyers will voluntarily pay to sellers. This assumes that the two sides willingly choose to engage in the transaction. As securities become traded on exchanges, the sellers and buyers together set the true market value for the bonds or stocks in question. There is also the idea of intrinsic value. It means that the believed value for securities centers on either future earnings or another characteristic of the company that is not dependent on the going market price of the relevant security.
It is critical to understand the value of an asset in order to begin to make smart decisions for the organizations or the investors. They can not determine how much to pay or accept in takeover bids or investments, decide on which investments to include in a portfolio, determine how much and how to finance operations, or decide on dividends as part of running their operations without this foreknowledge.
The central concept behind valuation proves to be that investors, accountants, and analysts are able to engage in reasonable and realistic estimates in value on the majority of assets. This allows them to place values on financial and physical assets. It will always be the case that some kinds of assets are simpler to value than are other ones. Valuation details are not the same with every asset either. Uncertainties concerning the estimates of value will also be different with various assets. Yet in the end, what remains constant are the central principles for valuing assets.
There are basically three separate approaches for valuing any asset. The first method is using discounted cash flow valuation. Following this method of assigning value means that the asset’s value must be correlated to the current value of the anticipated future cash flow for the asset in question.
The second means is relative valuation. In this method of determining asset value, The given asset value may be estimated by considering the relative pricing of like assets which have characteristics in common. Important characteristics in this consideration are cash flows, earnings, sales, and book values.
The third method analysts call claim valuation. This method works with pricing models of options in order to determine a value for the assets which have characteristics in common with such options. Each of these three attempts to provide values will often provide varying value estimates on the assets. This is why valuing models always provide their explanation for why they valued an asset in a given way at a different value from the rival other two models for valuing. It makes it easier for economists, investors, accountants, and analysts to choose the best model for valuing a particular asset.
Discounted cash flows prove to be a very popular method for assigning value to many financial or company held assets. Analysts and investors will work primarily with the outflows and inflows which the asset in question generates with this method. They must discount the cash flows with an appropriate discount rate to effectively value the assets based on future anticipated cash flows.
This discount rate adjusts for the future interest rates, inflation time value on money, and investor-required returns. When a corporation purchases a new machine, they will first contemplate the purchase price cash outflow and measure the anticipated cash inflows of the new asset. Whether they are inflows or outflows, they must all be discounted down to a current value so that the firm can come up with an NPV Net Present Value. When the NPV turns out to be positive, it makes sense for the corporation to go ahead with the investment into buying the given asset.