Above Water

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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.

BREAKING DOWN 'Above Water'

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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RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. What's the difference between bottom-line and top-line growth?

    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 >>
  3. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Who actually declares a dividend?

    It is a company's board of directors who actually declares a dividend. The declaration date is the first of four important ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>
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    The only account recorded on the balance sheet, when dividends are declared and before they are paid out to a company's shareholders, ... Read Full Answer >>

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