Financial Ratio Tutorial

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By Richard Loth

(Contact | Biography)
 

When it comes to investing, analyzing financial statement information (also known as quantitative analysis), is one of, if not the most important element in the fundamental analysis process. At the same time, the massive amount of numbers in a company's financial statements can be bewildering and intimidating to many investors. However, through financial ratio analysis, you will be able to work with these numbers in an organized fashion.

The objective of this tutorial is to provide you with a guide to sources of financial statement data, to highlight and define the most relevant ratios, to show you how to compute them and to explain their meaning as investment evaluators.

In this regard, we draw your attention to the complete set of financials for Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (ZMH), a publicly listed company on the NYSE that designs, manufactures and markets orthopedic and related surgical products, and fracture-management devices worldwide. We've provided these statements in order to be able to make specific reference to the account captions and numbers in Zimmer's financials in order to illustrate how to compute all the ratios.

Among the dozens of financial ratios available, we've chosen 30 measurements that are the most relevant to the investing process and organized them into six main categories as per the following list:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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