8. Company Analysis- Financial Analysis

Table of Contents

Introduction to financial statement analysis 

Financial statement analysis is a process that helps individuals and organizations understand a company’s financial performance and health. This analysis involves examining a company’s balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement to identify trends and assess how the company is performing financially. It is a useful tool for investors, creditors, and management to make informed decisions about the company’s financial position and potential for growth. By comparing a company’s financial performance to its peers and the industry as a whole, financial statement analysis can provide valuable insights into a company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Standalone financial statement and consolidated financial statement analysis

Financial statement analysis can be conducted on either a standalone or a consolidated basis. A standalone analysis examines the financial statements of a single entity, while a consolidated analysis examines the financial statements of multiple entities that are combined in a group.

In stand-alone analysis, the financial statements of the company being analyzed are examined independently. This type of analysis is typically used to assess the financial performance of a single company and identify potential areas of improvement.

In consolidated analysis, the financial statements of multiple entities are combined, and the financial performance of the entire group is analyzed. This type of analysis is used to assess the financial performance of a group of entities and identify areas of improvement across the entire group.

Balance Sheet Analysis

Balance sheet analysis is an important tool for evaluating a company’s financial position and performance. The balance sheet presents a snapshot of a company’s financial position at a specific point in time, and is divided into three main sections: assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity.

Assets represent the resources that a company owns and controls, which can be used to generate future economic benefits. Common balance sheet line items for assets include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, investments, fixed assets, and intangible assets.

Liabilities represent the company’s obligations to third parties, such as lenders and suppliers. Common balance sheet line items for liabilities include accounts payable, accrued liabilities, bank loans, and long-term debt.

Shareholder’s equity represents the residual interest in the assets of the company after deducting liabilities. It consists of two main components: capital stock (common and preferred stock) and retained earnings. Retained earnings represent the cumulative earnings of the company that have not been paid out as dividends.

Balance sheet analysis involves examining the relationship between the various line items on the balance sheet to identify potential areas of improvement in the company’s financial position. For example, a high level of accounts receivable relative to sales may indicate that the company is having difficulty collecting payments from customers. Similarly, a high level of long-term debt relative to shareholder’s equity may indicate that the company is heavily leveraged and may be at risk of defaulting on its debt obligations.

In addition to the prescribed format under Schedule 3 of the Companies Act 2013, companies are also required to report changes in shareholder’s equity under IndAS 1. This provides additional information on the movements in shareholder’s equity, including changes in capital stock, retained earnings, and other comprehensive income.

Basics of Profit and Loss Account (P/L)

A Profit and Loss Account, also known as an income statement, is a financial statement that summarizes the revenues, expenses, and net income of a company during a specific period of time. The Profit and Loss Account is used to assess a company’s financial performance and health. It typically includes line items such as sales, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and net income.

The Profit and Loss Account follows the accrual accounting method, which means that revenues and expenses are recognized when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when the cash is actually received or paid. This allows for a more accurate reflection of a company’s financial performance during a given period of time. Additionally, the P/L statement can be used to compare a company’s performance over different periods, helping investors and stakeholders to identify trends and make informed decisions.

Common Profit and Loss Account Line Items:

Revenues: Sales, Interest, Dividends Expenses: Cost of Goods Sold, Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses, Interest Expense, Taxes Net Income: Revenues minus Expenses

Key Metrics from Profit and Loss Account:

Gross Profit: Revenues minus Cost of Goods Sold Operating Profit: Gross Profit minus Operating Expenses Net Profit: Operating Profit minus Interest Expenses and Taxes

Basics of Cash Flows

Cash flow is the movement of cash into and out of a business. The cash flow statement is a financial statement that summarizes the inflows and outflows of cash during a specific period of time. It is used to assess a company’s ability to generate cash and identify potential areas of improvement.

The Cash Flow Statement follows the cash accounting method, which means that it only records the actual cash inflows and outflows during the period, regardless of when the corresponding revenues and expenses were recognized. This provides a more accurate reflection of a company’s cash position and ability to meet its financial obligations.

Common Cash Flow Statement Line Items:

Cash from Operating Activities: Cash from sales, Cash from collections of accounts receivable, Cash paid for expenses, Cash paid for taxes

Cash from Investing Activities: Cash investments in property, plant, and equipment, Cash investments in other companies, Cash received from sale of investments

Cash from Financing Activities: Cash from issuing stock or bonds, Cash from taking out loans, Cash paid for dividends

Net Cash Flow: Cash from Operating Activities plus Cash from Investing Activities plus Cash from Financing Activities

Financial statement analysis using ratios

Financial statement analysis using ratios is a method of reviewing and analyzing a company‘s financial statements in order to gain insight into its financial performance. Ratios are calculated from current year numbers and are then compared to previous years, other companies, the industry average, or other benchmarks. This comparison provides information about trends and helps in predicting future performance. Ratios are used to measure liquidity, profitability, efficiency, solvency, and shareholder return. Each ratio provides a different view of the company‘s financial performance and can be used to identify areas of strength and weakness.

Commonly used ratios include:

Ratio Name Description Formula Ideal Ratio
Liquidity Ratios Measure the company's ability to meet its short-term obligations such as paying bills and meeting payroll Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities
Quick Ratio = (Current Assets - Inventories) / Current Liabilities
Current Ratio: 2:1
Quick Ratio: 1:1
Profitability Ratios Measure the company's ability to generate income and profits from operations Gross Profit Margin = Gross Profit / Net Sales
Operating Profit Margin = Operating Profit / Net Sales
Return on Assets = Net Income / Total Assets
Gross Profit Margin: 40%
Operating Profit Margin: 15%
Return on Assets: 10%
Efficiency Ratios Measure the company's ability to use its assets and resources efficiently Inventory Turnover = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory
Accounts Receivable Turnover = Net Sales / Average Accounts Receivable
Asset Turnover = Net Sales / Total Assets
Inventory Turnover: 6 times per year
Accounts Receivable Turnover: 8 times per year
Asset Turnover: 2 times per year
Solvency Ratios Measure the company's ability to meet its long-term obligations such as debt payments and other liabilities Debt to Equity Ratio = Total Liabilities / Total Equity
Interest Coverage Ratio = Earnings Before Interest & Taxes / Interest Expense
Debt to Equity Ratio: 1:1
Interest Coverage Ratio: 5:1
Shareholder Return Ratios Measure the company's ability to generate returns for its shareholders Return on Equity = Net Income / Shareholder Equity
Dividend Yield = Dividends per Share / Share Price
Return on Equity: 15%
Dividend Yield: 3%

Dupont analysis

Dupont analysis is a financial analysis tool used to analyze the return on equity of a company. It provides insight into the firms financial performance by breaking it down into three parts: (1) profit margin (2) asset turnover, and (3) financial leverage. By breaking down the return on equity into its components, investors can get a better understanding of the firms performance and can identify potential areas of improvement.

The formula for Dupont analysis is:

Return on Equity (ROE) = Profit Margin x Asset Turnover x Financial Leverage

Profit Margin: The profit margin ratio measures how much of each dollar of sales is converted into profits. It is calculated by dividing net income by net sales.

Asset Turnover: The asset turnover ratio measures how efficiently the firm is using its assets to generate sales. It is calculated by dividing net sales by total assets.

Financial Leverage: The financial leverage ratio measures how the firm is using debt to finance its operations. It is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total equity. By understanding how each of these components affects the firms return on equity, investors can gain insight into the firm

Forecasting Using Ratio Analysis

To forecast a company’s future performance using ratio analysis, historical financial data is used to identify trends in the company’s financial ratios. The trend analysis can be used to estimate the future values of these ratios, and the estimated ratios can then be used to forecast future financial performance.

For example, if a company’s current ratio has been increasing over the past few years, it can be assumed that the company will continue to have sufficient liquidity to pay its debts in the future. Similarly, if a company’s debt-to-equity ratio has been decreasing, it can be assumed that the company is reducing its reliance on debt financing and is moving towards a more sustainable financial structure.

However, it is important to note that forecasting using ratio analysis is not foolproof, as external factors such as changes in the economy, industry trends, and unexpected events can impact a company’s financial performance. Therefore, it is important to use ratio analysis in conjunction with other forecasting methods and to continuously monitor and adjust the forecasts as new information becomes available.

Peer Comparison

Peer comparison is a valuable technique for evaluating a company’s performance and assessing its position relative to its peers in the industry. By comparing financial ratios, such as profitability ratios, liquidity ratios, and efficiency ratios, among others, investors and managers can determine how well a company is performing compared to others in the same industry. This analysis can also identify areas where the company may be lagging behind its competitors or where it may have a competitive advantage. This information can be used to inform decisions about the company’s future strategy, investments, and operations.

Other aspects to study from financial reports

Aspect Description
History of Equity Expansion/Reduction Analyzing the history of equity expansion/reduction, such as through issuing stock, can provide valuable insight into the company’s financial health. This can be used to forecast the potential for future expansion or contraction.
Dividend and Earnings History Examining the dividend and earnings history can provide insight into how the company has managed its profits and cash flow. This can be used to forecast the potential for future dividend payments and profits.
History of Corporate Actions Examining the history of corporate actions, such as mergers and acquisitions, can provide important insight into the company’s strategic direction. This can be used to forecast the potential for future corporate actions.
Ownership and Insiders’ Sales and Purchase of Stocks in The Past Analyzing the ownership and insiders’ sales and purchase of stocks in the past can provide insight into how the company is managed and what the company’s goals may be. This can be used to forecast the potential for future changes in ownership and insider trading.
Industry Trends Studying industry trends can provide insight into the overall health of the industry and how it may impact the company’s performance. This can include analyzing market size, market growth, and the competitive landscape.
Macroeconomic Conditions Analyzing macroeconomic conditions such as interest rates, inflation, and unemployment rates can provide insight into how the broader economy may impact the company’s performance.
Risk Factors Understanding the risks that a company faces, such as market risk, credit risk, and operational risk, can provide insight into the potential for future financial performance.
Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) Examining the company’s MD&A section can provide valuable information on the company’s performance, strategy, and future plans.
Corporate Governance Understanding the company’s corporate governance structure and policies can provide insight into how the company is managed and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest or unethical practices.
Non-Financial Metrics In addition to financial metrics, non-financial metrics such as customer satisfaction, employee turnover, and environmental impact can also provide insight into the company’s performance and future potential.


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1. What does the profit and loss statement (P/L) provide?

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2. Which framework decomposes the return on equity (ROE) into multiple components to understand the company's drivers?

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3. Which section in the Cash Flow statement will provide the information about the amount of funds that a company borrowed during the preceding year?

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4. What is the difference between stand-alone financial statements and consolidated financial statements?

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5. What does the term "OCI" stand for in the context of financial statements?

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6. What does the insiders' sales and purchase of stocks indicate?

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7. What does the term "other expenses" in the profit and loss account typically include?

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8. What does peer comparison in financial analysis help to understand?

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9. What is the purpose of recognizing goodwill in the balance sheet?

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10. What does a clean report from auditors indicate?

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11. Which of the following is NOT a component of the financial statements that listed companies need to publish?

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12. Why are consolidated financial statements generally preferred over stand-alone financials for equity analysis?

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13. What is one of the challenges in using historical data for financial forecasting?

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14. Why is ratio analysis useful in financial statement analysis?

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15. Which of the following statements is true about the format of the balance sheet?

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16. Which of the following items are found in an income statement?

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17. What is the importance of reading the auditors' qualifications in the notes to accounts?

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18. How is working capital calculated?

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19. Which of the following is NOT a component of non-current assets?

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20. What does EPS stand for in the context of the profit and loss account?

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21. Which ratio measures a company's liquidity by comparing its current assets to its current liabilities?

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22. How is core working capital calculated for Bharti Airtel?

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23. What does Return on Equity (ROE) measure in terms of capital allocation and return generation?

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24. What is the characteristic of non-current liabilities?

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25. Which ratio helps determine the profitability of a company based on its operations and direct costs?

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26. Which ratio assesses the extent of leverage used by a business and its ability to meet obligations arising from debt?

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27. What is the purpose of presenting comparative financials for a prior period in financial statements?

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28. According to Warren Buffett, why does he have no use for projections or forecasts?

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29. What is core working capital?

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30. Which ratio indicates how much of the business generated by a company actually comes to shareholders?

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31. What does a qualified report from auditors indicate?

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32. Which line item in the profit and loss account represents the amount earned by a company from selling goods and services?

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33. What factors contribute to auditors' inability to vouch for the accuracy of all transactions in a company?

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34. What is the purpose of auditors' opinions in an audit report?

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35. Which of the following measures the ability of the company to satisfy its short-term obligations as and when they come due?

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36. A good analyst must keep a track of disclosures, commitments, and deliveries of an organization periodically to adjudge a company. State whether True or False.

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37. In financial statement analysis, why is ratio analysis useful?

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38. How is the total debt calculated in the balance sheet metrics?

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39. How are investments in joint ventures/associates reported in the balance sheet?

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40. Which ratio calculates the returns generated by a company for every rupee of capital employed, including both equity and debt?

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41. Which ratio compares a company's earnings with its interest expense to determine its ability to meet interest obligations?

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42. Which ratio indicates how efficiently a company converts its sales into cash and measures the portion of revenues in the form of credit?

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43. Which ratio determines the number of times a company's inventory is converted into sales?

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44. Which ratio is a more stringent measure of liquidity as it excludes inventories from current assets?

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45. Why is it important to study a company's history of equity expansion?

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46. Which ratio measures how many times a company's assets are utilized to generate revenues?

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47. How is depreciation different from amortization?

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48. Which of the following can affect the comparability of financial statements from different years?