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Fundamentals of Corporate Financial Analysis

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • Jan 07, 2022
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Financial analysis is very important for any company as it analyzes the company’s performance from the economic point of view and gives suggestions to the organization on how it can improve the business. 


There are different types of financial analysis, out of which, corporate financial analysis mainly deals with analyzing the capital structure of corporations, including the source of funding, the market value of shareholders, and other financial resources. 


Corporate finance, as previously said, is a subfield of finance that deals with how businesses deal with funding sources, capital structuring, accounting, and investment decisions. 


It is frequently focused on maximizing shareholder value through long- and short-term financial planning and strategy implementation. Corporate financial operations include anything from capital investment to tax planning. In this article, we are going to learn ways to analyze the finance of a corporate structure.


Fundamentals of Corporate finance:


Corporate finance departments are responsible for managing and monitoring the financial activity and capital investment choices of their companies. These decisions include whether to pursue a planned investment and whether to fund it with stock, debt, or a combination of the two. 


They also include whether or not dividends should be paid to shareholders, and if so, at what rate. The financial department is also in charge of managing current assets, current liabilities, and inventory control. 


It's critical to start at the beginning while learning about corporate finance. Here are some key corporate finance principles to help you understand how management prioritizes increasing the company's worth.


  1. The importance of the investment concept is to ensure that restricted financial resources are used to make the most effective judgments possible. 


A business must spend its resources wisely, taking into account possible opportunities. The investment must be made to assure a steady supply of economic possibilities while also conserving cash for future use. 


Corporate finance deals with everything from evaluating the return on a planned investment to allocating credit days to consumers. It also deals with selecting investment-worthy areas and firms to buy.


  1. Any mature firm will eventually reach the point where produced cash flow surpasses current investments and the hurdle rate as a result of constant engagement in investment possibilities. Companies must now choose the best methods for rewarding investors and repaying debts.


It has the option of using the extra income to pay down debt or to expand its operations. The choice must be made with the business's greatest worth in mind. Dividend choices are handled differently by private and public businesses.


  1. A company structure needs capital, which is often a mix of loan and stock. This corporate finance principle is concerned with achieving an appropriate combination of a variety of financial instruments while keeping future consequences in mind. 


This principle is used by corporate financiers to assist businesses in making stable financial decisions, resulting in a lower acceptable hurdle rate. 


While making steady decisions, the value of this optimal capital structure mix is also kept in mind. The principles assist in the long or short-term implementation of the capital structure after deciding on the appropriate financing mix.


(Also read: What are Investment Funds and Their Types?)


Types of Corporate Finance:


The numerous means of generating capital for a firm are categorized as types of corporate finance. These are categorized broadly to ensure that the company finds the best match. 


The two sections that include numerous operations related to obtaining capital for the firm are short-term and long-term. Let us learn about these two terms along with their sub-activities, as sourced from upgrad:


  1. Short-term corporate finance:


Short-term corporate finance is a sort of financing that provides services to a firm for a limited time. Short-term corporate funding is only available for a few months or a year at the most. Other sub-activities are included in short-term corporate, like financial lease, trade credit, and accrual accounts.


  • The term "financial lease" refers to a sort of corporate finance arrangement in which the finance company owns the asset until the lease is paid off. By the time a payment structure that is constructed on time is exhausted, corporations may hold the operating control over the assets.

  • A trade credit arrangement allows customers to acquire any supplied items while paying the seller at a later date. A key component of the B2B framework.

  • The accrual method of accounting, which enters the sale at the time of invoice production rather than when cash is received, is referred to as this way of corporate finance. This strategy is used by the majority of businesses.


  1. Long-term corporate finance:


Corporate financial supports that are spread out over a year or more are referred to as long-term corporate finance. With minimal interest rates that can be repaid as monthly interest payments, the period tends to become longer. Long-term corporate finance encompasses a wide range of operations, including:


  • A debenture, also known as a sort of bond, is a financial instrument used by large organizations and governments to borrow money at a fixed rate of interest. Because there is no collateral backing, the only way to get the principal and interest is to rely on the issuing entity's reputation.

  • The most prevalent funding method is a bank loan, which practically every other firm uses to plan its development. Medium- to long-term funding solutions are available to businesses.

  • The process of turning a private company into a public company by offering shares to the general public. This method of business financing guarantees that money is obtained from outside sources rather than relying on revenues and new initiatives to grow the company.


(Related reading: Corporate governance)



Types of Corporate financial analysis:


Financial statement analysis may be divided into two types: horizontal and vertical. Other techniques are variations on these. 


  1. Horizontal Financial Data Analysis:


Horizontal financial data analysis is concerned with the financial data as it varies from one reporting period to the next. This entails comparing multiple years of financial data to one another to calculate a growth rate. This will assist an analyst in determining if a firm is expanding or shrinking, as well as identifying key patterns. The business leader can quantify progress by comparing line items on the financial statement such as cost of goods sold or net income from one quarter to the next. 


In horizontal financial analysis, the most important thing a business leader looks for is if a certain line item has changed dramatically. 


Something is costing the firm extra money if the cost of products sold increased by 20% but revenues did not match the rise in sales. Similarly, if gross profit increases but net profit decreases, the business leader must decide if cost-cutting measures are required.


  1. Vertical Financial Data Analysis:


Vertical financial data analysis examines the financial statement in a time-independent manner. This implies that the statement is examined independently of other months or quarters. 


Vertical analysis is used to determine the relationships between distinct financial statement line items. The flow of income and costs should be as efficient as possible for business executives.


All data is analyzed as a ratio, with one line in the vertical compared to another. This method is also known as a common-sized income statement because it allows an analyst to evaluate firms of various sizes by comparing their margins rather than their dollar amounts.


  1. Leverage Analysis:


One of the most prominent tools analysts uses to analyze corporate performance is leverage ratios. A single financial indicator, such as total debt, may not be very illuminating on its own, therefore comparing it to a company's total equity may assist provide a more complete view of the capital structure. The debt-to-equity ratio is the end consequence.


  1. Profitability Analysis:


Profitability is a sort of income statement analysis in which an analyst evaluates how appealing a company's economics are. Gross margin, EBITDA margin, EBIT margin, and net profit margin are all examples of profitability measurements.


  1. Liquidity Analysis:


This is a sort of financial research that concentrates on a company's balance sheet, specifically its capacity to satisfy short-term obligations (those due in less than a year).


  1. Efficiency Analysis:


Efficiency ratios are an important component of any thorough financial study. These ratios assess how successfully a corporation manages and utilizes its assets to create revenue and cash flow. 


(Must read: Elements of Financial Analysis)


As concluded, corporate finance is in charge of capital raising, project financing, mergers and acquisitions, financial monitoring, and a variety of other complex responsibilities. Corporate financial analysis is a must-do for any business. In this post, we've mostly discussed the different forms of company finances and the methods for analyzing them.

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