Why Price/Cash Flow is Important?
When you study the financial indicators of a company you should not miss the examination of its cash/price flow. It represents another measurement of the company's earnings power, or how much it can generate for its shareholders. However, price/cash flow has its disadvantages. One of them is that it is not easy to calculate it and it is also difficult to define what a cash flow is.
The thorough understanding of this ratio requires the knowledge of earnings and expenses recording.
The Income Statement is the financial document which includes information on the profits or losses of a company. Every company is required to keep such a statement. At the top you can find information on the revenues of the company, whereas expenses are found farther down. They are subtracted from revenues in order to get whether the company has made a profit or a loss.
Expenses can be of several types. One of them is the expense incurred around the production of the company's goods and services. Other expenses don't involve the direct spending of money. An example of such an expense is accumulated depreciation on equipment or buildings. Aside from the operating expenses, there are administrative expenses, such as taxes and other financial costs.
Company's accountants may greatly influence the numbers that appear the farther you go down the income statement. This is often done in order to distort the net income in the company's advantage.
However, cash flow is the indicator that represents the real cost of doing business. It is the number that most financial analysts look for.
The way you calculate cash flow is different and it is up to the accountant and the industry in which the company operates to choose from the many ways of estimating it. The differences mainly come from the different expenses that are subtracted from the revenues. Additionally, there are industries that require the incurring of higher debt. So the accountants of companies that operate within such industries should include estimations of the cost of the higher debt. This is done in order to make a better view of the money earned from the facilities that have led to the incurred higher debt.
Finally, you should look at the financial costs a company incurs in order to see whether it is worth considering it for investment. You should also compare it to the other companies operating within the same industry.
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