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.

VIDEO

Loading the player...
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 FAQS
  1. What is the average price-to-book ratio for companies in the telecommunications sector?

    The telecommunications sector consists of various subsectors, including wireless communication and fixed-line voice and data. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What types of companies hire a chartered financial analyst (CFA)?

    The Chartered Financial Analyst, or CFA, program is a professional certification awarded by the CFA Institute. CFA candidates ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I find net margin by looking a company's financial statements?

    In finance and accounting, financial statements represent the fundamental means of analyzing a company's financial position, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What can working capital turnover ratios tell a trader?

    A company's working capital turnover ratio is traditionally positively correlated with business performance. A high, or better ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How is the marginal cost of production used to find an optimum production level?

    The marginal cost of production can be tracked to show the optimal production level where per-unit production cost is lowest ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a negative write-off?

    A negative write-off is a write-off conducted by a company or accountant after deciding not to pay back an individual or ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Explaining Financial Analysis

    Financial analysis is a general term that refers to using financial data to make business and investment decisions.
  2. Investing Basics

    Reading The Balance Sheet

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

    Evaluating A Company's Capital Structure

    Learn to use the composition of debt and equity to evaluate balance sheet strength.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Apple’s Key Weaknesses

    While it seems that Apple is at the top of its game, several weaknesses have emerged that the company needs to address if it is going to stay on top.
  7. Investing News

    7 Companies That Pose a Threat to Apple

    Samsung, Dell, Google and many others are chewing away at markets that Apple helped define.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Consolidated Financial Statements

    Consolidated financial statements are the combined financial statements of a parent company and its subsidiaries.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining the Common Size Income Statement

    A common size income statement expresses each account as a percentage of net sales.
  10. Professionals

    What Does an Auditor Do?

    An auditor ensures that organizations maintain accurate and honest financial records.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Unfair Claims Practice

    The improper avoidance of a claim by an insurer or an attempt to reduce the size of the claim. By engaging in unfair claims ...
  2. Killer Bees

    An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover attempt. A killer bee uses defensive strategies to keep an ...
  3. Sin Tax

    A state-sponsored tax that is added to products or services that are seen as vices, such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling. ...
  4. Grandfathered Activities

    Nonbank activities, some of which would normally not be permissible for bank holding companies and foreign banks in the United ...
  5. Touchline

    The highest price that a buyer of a particular security is willing to pay and the lowest price at which a seller is willing ...
  6. Himalayan Option

    An exotic equity option belonging to a class known as mountain range options. Himalayan options are based on a basket of ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!