What is the 'Net Asset Value Per Share - NAVPS'

The net asset value per share (NAVPS), also referred to as the book value per share, is an expression for net asset value that represents the value per share of a mutual fund, exchange-traded fund (ETF) or a closed-end fund. It is calculated by dividing the total net asset value of the fund or company by the number of shares outstanding.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Net Asset Value Per Share - NAVPS'

For a mutual fund, this is the price at which shares are bought and sold at the end of each trading day. ETFs and closed-end funds are different in that they traded as stocks throughout the trading day. Because these types of funds are subject to market forces, their NAVPS at any given time may diverge from their actual buying and selling prices. The NAVPS for ETFs and closed-end funds are calculated at the end of the trading day for reporting purposes but are updated many times per minute in real time throughout the trading day.

In the context of corporate financial statements of publicly traded companies, the NAVPS, more commonly referred to as book value per share, is usually below the market price per share. The historical cost accounting principle, which tends to understate certain asset values, and the supply and demand forces of the marketplace generally push stock prices above book value per share valuations.

Example Net Asset Value Per Share Calculation

The formula for the NAVPS is simply:

NAVPS = (assets - liabilities) / number of outstanding shares

Here, assets include the total market value of the fund's investments, cash and cash equivalents, receivables and accrued income. Liabilities equal total short-term and long-term liabilities, plus all accrued expenses, such as staff salaries, utilities and other operational expenses. The total number of expenses many be large as management expenses, distribution and marketing expenses, transfer agent fees, custodian and audit fees may all be included.

For example, a mutual fund with 7.5 million shares outstanding has $500 million in investments, $15 million in cash, $1.5 million in receivables and accrued income of $250,000. As for liabilities, the fund has $20 million in short-term liabilities and $5 million in long-term liabilities. The fund has $35,000 of accrued operational expenses and $15,000 of other accrued expenses. The assets, liabilities and NAVPS are calculated as:

Assets = ($500,000,000 + $15,000,000 + $1,500,000 + $250,000) = $516,750,000

Liabilities = ($20,000,000 + $5,000,000 + $35,000 + $15,000) = $25,050,000

NAVPS = ($516,750,000 - $25,050,000) / 7,500,000 = $65.56

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