“How Well Am I Doing?”
Financial Statement Analysis
Solutions to Questions
16-1 Horizontal analysis examines how a particular item on a financial statement such as sales or cost of goods sold behaves over time. Vertical analysis involves analysis of items on an income statement or balance sheet for a single period. In vertical analysis of the income statement, all items are typically stated as a percentage of sales. In vertical analysis of the balance sheet, all items are typically stated as a percentage of total assets.
16-2 By looking at trends, an analyst hopes to get some idea of whether a situation is improving, remaining the same, or deteriorating. Such analyses can provide insight into what is likely to happen in the future. Rather than looking at trends, an analyst may compare one company to another or to industry averages using common-size financial statements.
16-3 Price-earnings ratios reflect investors’ expectations concerning future earnings. The higher the price-earnings ratio, the greater the growth in earnings investors expect. For this reason, two companies might have the same current earnings and yet have quite different price-earnings ratios. By definition, a stock with current earnings of $4 and a price-earnings ratio of 20 would be selling for $80 per share.
16-4 A rapidly growing tech company would probably have many opportunities to make investments at a rate of return higher than stockholders could earn in other investments. It would be better for the company to invest in such opportunities than to pay out dividends and thus one would expect the company to have a low dividend payout ratio.
16-5 The dividend yield is the dividend per share divided by the market price per share. The other source of return on an investment in stock is increases in market value.
16-6 Financial leverage results from borrowing funds at an interest rate that differs from the rate of return on assets acquired using those funds. If the rate of