Financial Analysis

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Financial Analysis'

The process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets and other finance-related entities to determine their suitability for investment. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to be invested in. When looking at a specific company, the financial analyst will often focus on the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. In addition, one key area of financial analysis involves extrapolating the company's past performance into an estimate of the company's future performance.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Financial Analysis'

One of the most common ways of analyzing financial data is to calculate ratios from the data to compare against those of other companies or against the company's own historical performance. For example, return on assets is a common ratio used to determine how efficient a company is at using its assets and as a measure of profitability. This ratio could be calculated for several similar companies and compared as part of a larger analysis.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  2. Cash Flow Statement

    One of the quarterly financial reports any publicly traded company ...
  3. Return On Assets - ROA

    An indicator of how profitable a company is relative to its total ...
  4. Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA

    A professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly ...
  5. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance ...
  6. Risk

    The chance that an investment's actual return will be different ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Reading The Balance Sheet

    Learn about the components of the statement of financial position and how they relate to each other.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Evaluating A Company's Capital Structure

    Learn to use the composition of debt and equity to evaluate balance sheet strength.
  3. Investing

    Off-Balance-Sheet Entities: An Introduction

    The theory and practice of these entities varies greatly. Investors need to learn what they're getting into.
  4. Markets

    What Is A Cash Flow Statement?

    Learn how the CFS relates to the balance sheet and income statement as a part of a company's financial reports.
  5. Investing

    What Happened To Obama’s Amnesty Bill?

    The sweeping Republican majorities were supposed to trigger change, but now they are preparing to embrace the Obama immigration policy.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    What's a Prospectus?

    The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that any company raising money from potential investors through the sale of securities must file a prospectus with the SEC and then provide ...
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    What's a Tangible Asset?

    Tangible assets are property owned by a business that can be touched -- they physically exist. Examples include furniture and fixtures, computer hardware, delivery equipment, leasehold improvements ...
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Cash Flow From Operating Activities

    Cash flow from operating activities is a section of the Statement of Cash Flows that is included in a company’s financial statements after the balance sheet and income statements.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    What's Net Debt?

    Net debt is one of the many metrics used to measure a company’s ability to pay its debts. There are other metrics such as net liquidity ratio, cash conversion cycle and the debt to equity ratio, ...
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    What are the components of shareholders' equity?

    Understanding company valuation figures, such as shareholders' equity, can be a powerful tool in assessing the financial strength of a business.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  2. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  3. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  4. Break-Even Analysis

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even ...
  5. Key Performance Indicators - KPI

    A set of quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting their ...
  6. Bank Guarantee

    A guarantee from a lending institution ensuring that the liabilities of a debtor will be met. In other words, if the debtor ...
Trading Center