What Does Financial Analysis Entail?

Cynthia Bassett Hartwig
2 min readMay 3, 2023

Financial analysis is a method for assessing a company’s financial health and performance. In addition, it assists investors in determining whether a company is worth investing in.

Financial analysis is conducted using a variety of techniques. Financial statement analysis, financial ratio analysis, and economic forecasting are a few of these techniques.

Financial analysis is the process of analyzing the financial statements of a company to determine its health and performance. It can assist businesses in selecting their budgets, investments, and future plans.

A key objective of financial analysis is to identify trends and patterns in a company’s finances, which can assist business owners in determining where they are performing well and where they may require enhancement. It also helps them formulate new strategies to account for any market-wide hazards and gives them a sense of how they stack up against their competitors.

There are several distinct methods for conducting financial analysis. There are horizontal and vertical analyses, ratio analyses, trend analyses, and cost-volume-profit analyses.

Financial ratio analysis is a method for evaluating a company’s performance. Investors can use it to determine a company’s health, and administrators can use it to monitor their own business and investment strategies.

The financial ratios used in this analysis are derived from data collected from various line items on a company’s financial statements. They provide insight into a company’s profitability, liquidity, leverage, and asset utilization and are helpful in comparing a company’s performance to others in its industry.

Standardized tools for comparing companies and industries, ratios provide a clearer picture of a company’s strengths and weaknesses than the raw figures on its financial statements. By monitoring them over time, they can also be used to identify opportunities for improvement.

Financial forecasting is an indispensable component of business planning and financial management. It predicts the company’s future performance by analyzing its past performance and market trends.

In addition, it determines where to allocate resources, enabling you to position the business for growth. It can be used to construct quarterly or annual budgets and projections, depending on the numbers being tracked.

Quantitative and qualitative forecasting methods are the two most prevalent varieties. The quantitative method relies on historical data to make a prediction, whereas the qualitative approach relies on assumptions based on experience and knowledge of causal relationships.

Analysis of valuation is the process of determining the correct theoretical value of a business, investment, or asset. It serves a variety of functions, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, capital financing, and investment in securities.

Numerous techniques and ratios are utilized to conduct valuation analysis. These include balance sheet calculations, an analysis of discounted cash flow, and an examination of comparable companies.

The most prevalent method is the discount cash flow (DCF) analysis, which estimates the unlevered free cash flow of a business and discounts it back to its present value using its weighted average cost of capital. However, this approach can be challenging because it relies on terminal value, which can vary based on future growth and discount rate assumptions.

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Cynthia Bassett Hartwig

Cynthia Bassett Hartwig is a strategic thought leader and the CFO of a biomedical research company.