FIN449Valuation Michael Dimond
Financial Forecasting • Why might the simplest approach not work? • How detailed should be the analysis? • Does history tell the future? • How long of a trend should be observed? • Are the line items independent? • Is growth in a line item really growth in the firm? • Have earnings been manipulated in the past? • Are the cash flows sustainable – can the operation continue this way?
General Guidelines for Good Forecasting • The steps are interdependent. Make adjustments in an order that makes sense for the business model. • For example, revenue forecasts may first require forecasts of new stores • The financial statements must interconnect • For example, the change in depreciation on the BS should equal the depreciation expense for the year. • Simple errors can be avoided if the spreadsheet is dynamic. • Allow for the firm’s need for capital in at least one account with a “TBD” balance • For example, Extra Funds Needed (EFN) may come from debt or somewhere else. What has been the firm’s history? What is likely to be its future? • GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out • All assumptions must make sense historically, economically and strategically. The forecast is only as good as the assumptions • Sensitivity Analysis will test key assumptions • Those inputs which make the biggest difference when they change are those which require the most thought care and monitoring.
High-level Forecasting • Projected Sales & Income Approach • Projected Total Assets Approach • Problems with these approaches?
Maybe Something More Sophisticated? • Remember our friends at DuPont? • What’s the Implied Growth Rate of Average Assets?
Detailed Forecasting • Project Operating Revenues • Project Operating Expenses • Project Operating Assets & Liabilities • Project Financial Need & Capital Structure • Build Pro Forma Balance Sheet • Project Other IS Items • Build Pro Forma Income Statement • Project Dividends & Change in Retained Earnings • Build Pro Forma Statement of Retained Earnings • Project Cash Flows from Operations, Investing & Financing Activities • Build Statement of Cash Flows Adjusting as needed Adapted from Stickney et al, Financial Reporting and Statement Analysis
Operating Revenues • Projecting Sales • Segments • Volume • Price • Projecting Other Revenue • Watch for unusual gains, such as from the sale of assets (ask, “is this a sustainable cash flow?”) • Forecasting errors • Some assumptions will be incorrect, but the significance of each needs to be understood. • For example, high DOL means more potential for forecasting error. A small error in sales projections can lever up into larger errors in projected cash flows.
Operating Expenses Percent of Sales: • Cost of Goods Sold • Selling, General & Administrative Expenses • Other Operating Expenses • Watch for “one time” expenditures. These may be legitimately unique or be an indication of manipulation.
Assets • Cash & Marketable Securities • Accounts Receivable • Inventories • Other Current Assets • Investments in Unconsolidated Affiliates • Property, Plant & Equipment • Other Assets • What assets vary as a function of Total Assets?
Assets • Cash & Marketable Securities (Days Sales) • Accounts Receivable (Days Sales) • Inventories (COGS x Inventory Turnover) • Other Current Assets (% of Total Assets?) • Investments in Unconsolidated Affiliates (TBD) • Property, Plant & Equipment (explicit model) • Other Assets (TBD) • Few assets vary as a % of Total Assets