Valuation Methods

Article byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Equity Valuation Methods

Valuation methods are the methods to value a business/company which is the primary task of every financial analyst. There are five methods for valuing company: Discounted cash flow which is present value of future cash flows. Comparable company analysis, comparable transaction comps, asset valuation, the fair value of assets and sum of parts where different parts of entities are added.

List of Top 5 Equity Valuation Methods

  1. Discounted Cash Flow Method
  2. Comparable Company Analysis
  3. Comparable Transaction Comp
  4. Asset-based Valuation Method
  5. Sum of the Parts Valuation Method
Valuation Methods

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Let’s discuss each of them in detail.

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#1 – Discounted Cash Flow

The below table summarizes Alibaba’s Discounted Cash Flow Valuation Discounted Cash Flow Valuation Discounted cash flow analysis is a method of analyzing the present value of a company, investment, or cash flow by adjusting future cash flows to the time value of money. This analysis assesses the present fair value of assets, projects, or companies by taking into account many factors such as inflation, risk, and cost of capital, as well as analyzing the company's future moremodel.

Alibaba DCF Valuation Summary

#2 – Comparable Company Analysis

Below is the comparable company analysis of the Box IPO Equity Valuation Model

Box IPO - SAAS Comparable Valuation Table
  • This equity valuation method involves comparing public companies’ operating metrics and valuation models with those of target companies.
  • Using equity valuation multiple is the quickest way of valuing a company. It is also useful in comparing companies that do comparable company analysis. The focus is to capture the firm’s operating & financial characteristics, such as future expected growth in a single number. This number is then multiplied by a financial metric to yield enterprise valueEnterprise ValueEnterprise value (EV) is the corporate valuation of a company, determined by using market capitalization and total more.
  • This equity valuation method is used for a target business with an identifiable stream of revenue or earnings, which the business can maintain. For businesses still at the development stage, projected revenue or earnings are used as the basis of valuation models.

#3 – Comparable Transaction Comp

Below is the Comparable Transaction Comp of Box IPOBox IPOThe analysis of the Box IPO valuation can be done using various methodologies which are Relative Valuation – SaaS Comparable Comps, Comparable Acquisition Analysis, Using Stock-Based Rewards, Valuation cues from Private Equity Funding, Valuation cues from Dropbox Private Equity Funding, and Discounted Cash Flow Approach for Box IPO more Valuation

SaaS M&A Transaction Comps

#4 – Asset-Based

It can be easily understood by the following simple Illustrative example:-

The Directors of a company, ABC Ltd, are considering the acquisition of the entire share capitalEntire Share CapitalShare capital refers to the funds raised by an organization by issuing the company's initial public offerings, common shares or preference stocks to the public. It appears as the owner's or shareholders' equity on the corporate balance sheet's liability more of XYZ Ltd.

The following is the balance sheet of the company XYZ ltd.:

Share Capital50000Fixed AssetFixed AssetFixed assets are assets that are held for the long term and are not expected to be converted into cash in a short period of time. Plant and machinery, land and buildings, furniture, computers, copyright, and vehicles are all more735000
Reserve and SurplusReserve And SurplusReserves and Surplus is the amount kept aside from the profits that are to be used either for the business or for the shareholders to pay out dividends. Reserves and surplus is reflected under shareholders funds in the balance more400000Stock                                                      500000
Sundry Creditor                                      700000Sundry Debtors                                     700000
Bank OverdraftBank OverdraftOverdraft is a banking facility that offers short-term credit to the account holders by allowing them to withdraw money from their savings or current account even if their account balance is or below zero. Its authorized limit differs from customer to more800000Cash in hand15000
Total: 1950000Total:1950000

Valuation by using Asset-Based Approach: 

Fixed Asset735000
Sundry Debtors700000
Cash in hand15000
Total Assets1950000
Sundry Creditor700000
Bank Overdraft800000
Total Liabilities1500000
Total assets-Total Liabilities450000
Value of the company450000

#5 – Sum of Parts Valuation Method

A conglomerate with diversified business interests may require a different valuation model. Here we value each business separately and add up the equity valuations. This approach is called a sum of parts valuation method.

Let us understand the Sum of the Parts valuationSum Of The Parts ValuationSum of the Parts Valuation is a valuation method wherein each of the subsidiary or segment of a Company is separately valued & then all of them are added together to estimate the business’s total value. read more using an example of a Hypothetical company Mojo Corp.

Sum of Parts Example - MOJO Company

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To value a conglomerateConglomerateA conglomerate in business terminology is a company that owns a group of subsidiaries conducting business separately, often in distinct industries. It reflects diversification of operations, product line and market to allow business more like MOJO, one can use an equity valuation model to value each segment.

  1. Automobile Segment Valuation – Automobile Segment could be best valued using EV/EBITDA or PE ratiosPE RatiosThe price to earnings (PE) ratio measures the relative value of the corporate stocks, i.e., whether it is undervalued or overvalued. It is calculated as the proportion of the current price per share to the earnings per share. read more.
  2. Oil and Gas Segment Valuation – For Oil and Gas companies, the best approach is to use EV/EBITDA or P/CF or EV/boe (EV/barrels of oil equivalent)
  3. Software Segment Valuation – We use PE or EV/EBIT multiple to value Software Segment
  4. Bank Segment Valuation – We generally use P/BV or Residual Income MethodResidual Income MethodResidual income refers to the net earnings an organization possess after paying off the cost of capital. It is acquired by deducting the equity charges from the company's net profit or more to value Banking Sector
  5. E-commerce Segment – We use EV/Sales to value the E-commerce segment (if the segment is not profitable) or EV/Subscriber or PE multiple.

Mojo Corp Total Valuation = (1) Automobile Segment Valuation + (2) Oil and Gas Segment Valuation + (3) Software Segment Valuation + (4) Bank Segment Valuation + (5) E-commerce Segment.

This article is a guide to Valuation Methods. Here we discuss the top 5 equity Valuation Methods – Discounted Cash Flow Method, Comparable Company Analysis, etc. You can learn more about accounting from the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. Madhav Maloo says

    Sir,you are great !
    Really accessible and easy-to-understand explanations.

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