Chapter

Cash-Flow Analysis

Valuation, Financial Modeling, and Qualitative Tools

5. Mathematical Tools and Techniques for Financial Modeling and Analysis

Basic Tools and Analysis

  1. Pamela P. Drake J. Gray Ferguson Professor PhD, CFA1,
  2. Frank J. Fabozzi Professor PhD, CFA, CPA2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470404324.hof003053

Handbook of Finance

Handbook of Finance

How to Cite

Drake, P. P. and Fabozzi, F. J. 2008. Cash-Flow Analysis. Handbook of Finance. III:5:53.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Finance and Department Head of Finance and Business Law, James Madison University

  2. 2

    Practice of Finance, Yale School of Management

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2008

Abstract

An objective of financial analysis is to assess a company's operating performance and financial condition. The information that is available for analysis includes economic, market, and financial information. But some of the most important financial data are provided by the company in its annual and quarterly financial statements. These choices make it quite difficult to compare financial performance and condition across companies, and also provide an opportunity for the management of financial numbers through judicious choice of accounting methods. Cash flows provide a way of transforming net income based on an accrual system to a more comparable basis. Additionally, cash flows are essential ingredients in valuation: The value of a company today is the present value of its expected future cash flows. Therefore, understanding past and current cash flows may help in forecasting future cash flows and, hence, determine the value of the company. Moreover, understanding cash flow allows the assessment of the ability of a firm to maintain current dividends and its current capital expenditure policy without relying on external financing.

Keywords:

  • cash-flow analysis;
  • working capital concept;
  • cash concept;
  • direct method;
  • indirect method;
  • free cash flow;
  • net free cash flow (NFCF);
  • cash-flow interest coverage ratio;
  • cash flow-to-capital expenditures ratio;
  • capital expenditures coverage ratio;
  • cash flow-to-debt ratio