Fundamental analysis has a very broad scope. One aspect looks at the general (qualitative) factors of a company. The other side considers tangible and measurable factors (quantitative). This means crunching and analyzing numbers from the financial statements. If used in conjunction with other methods, quantitative analysis can produce excellent results.

Ratio analysis isn't just comparing different numbers from the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. It's comparing the number against previous years, other companies, the industry or even the economy in general. Ratios look at the relationships between individual values and relate them to how a company has performed in the past, and how it might perform in the future.

For example, current assets alone don't tell us a whole lot, but when we divide them by current liabilities we are able to determine whether the company has enough money to cover short-term debts.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to use ratio analysis to analyze financial reports. Comparing these ratios against numbers from previous years, other companies, industry averages and the economy in general can tell you a lot about where a company might be headed. Valuing a company is no easy task. This tutorial will shed some light on how it can be done and, ultimately, help you to make more informed choices as an investor.

Next: Ratio Analysis: Finding The Data »

Table of Contents
  1. Ratio Analysis: Introduction
  2. Ratio Analysis: Finding The Data
  3. Ratio Analysis: Using Financial Ratios
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