Above Water


DEFINITION of 'Above Water'

1. Refers to the condition of a company's asset when its actual value is higher than the book value used in its financials.

2. Financially referring to a person staying out of economic trouble or a company remaining financially viable.


1. Generally, the book value of an asset listed in a company's balance sheet cannot be adjusted according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Should the asset appreciate, its market value would be "above water". A company with above water assets tends to attract value investors. This is because of the hidden value that most investors won't discover if they don't look beyond the financials. For example, if a company purchased a piece of land for $100,000 and the company later discovered an oil reserve on the property, the market value of the land would increase and be above water, because the book value would remain at $100,000.

2. Used in the context of "keeping their head above water" symbolizing the ability to stay alive. For example, company XYZ kept its head above water with an increase in profit even though its revenue dropped.

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    A company's bottom line is its net income, or the "bottom" figure on a company's income statement. More specifically, the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does it mean to be "above water"?

    The term "above water" is used to describe any situation in which the ending or current value of a subject is higher than ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I read and analyze an income statement?

    The income statement, also known as the profit and loss (P&L) statement, is the financial statement that depicts the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do dividends affect working capital?

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  5. Do prepayments provide working capital?

    Prepayments, or prepaid expenses, are typically included in the current assets on a company's balance sheet, as they represent ... Read Full Answer >>
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