What Is Valuation?

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on June 08, 2023

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What Is Valuation?

Valuation is a process by which analysts determine the present or expected worth of a stock, company, or asset.

The purpose of valuation is to appraise a security and compare the calculated value to the current market price in order to find attractive investment candidates.

While the current market price is said to reflect all variables (including irrational behavior), valuation models will only factor in a few variables—this is why there are so many different methods of valuation.

Valuation Principle

Outside of the essential valuation meaning, it is related to fundamental analysis which attempts to analyze the "fundamental drivers" of a business.

To arrive at a valuation, fundamental analysis looks at a broad spectrum of driving factors such as internal financial metrics like earnings and future obligations, as well as the external environment such as the federal interest rate.

This stands in contrast with technical analysis, which analyzes statistical trends of trading activity displayed on charts, such as changes in price and volume.

What is Valuation of a Company

Among the many methods, three of the most common models for determining the value of a company or asset are the following:

1.) Dividend Discount Model (DDM)

2.) Discounted Cash Flow Model (DCF)

3.) Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

There are two categories of valuation:

1.) Absolute valuation considers company fundamentals like dividends and cash flow to establish the intrinsic value of a company.

DDM, DCF, and CAPM are all models that strive to calculate absolute valuation.

2.) Relative valuation compares a company with other similar companies to determine a relative value.

Analysts compare metrics, like the P/E multiple, to determine whether a company is potentially more attractive than its competitors.

This method of valuation is usually easier than absolute valuation, so analysts and investors often start with relative valuation first.

Valuation FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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