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This is an excellent book. It serves as both a course in valuation as well as a useful reference tool.
The book is heavily weighted to discounted cash flow analysis, though it also discusses relative valuation (like P/E multipliers) and contingent claims.
Clearly written the book presents in detail simple to complex DCF based models (dividend discount model, free cashflow to equity and free cashflow to the firm). This range of models deal with the complex valuation problem of variable growth. After presenting a model, its limitations and best uses are explained.
He then shows how these models can be used to derive P/E, P/S, and P/BV ratios from fundamentals.
Abundant examples are used to make the material clear.
The book also discusses special situations, e.g., cyclical firms, and distressed firms to mention just a few.
At first glance this book might be mistaken for a "cook book". Lots of formulas and detailed examples of how to work them.
But there is more. And this is where the real "meat" of the book is - underpinning the seeming forest of details and examples - is a valuation logic and philosophy.
If you read this book carefully, you will develop an appreciation for the impact certain fundamentals have on valuation and how they interact with one another. This is much more important than memorizing the formulae in the book.
Also there is some very useful and frank discussion of shortcomings in some of the tools used, including the CAPM and a warning about being seduced into believing that the DCF approach results in certainty.
Valuation involves estimates and formulas (or multiples) are simplifications of very complex real world dynamics. In the businss world, valuation is typically a process of estimating ranges of values for each of several methods chosen (e.g., DCF, market comparables, precedent transacions, replacement value, etc). The resulting matrix of values is then compared (in effect cross checked) to come up with a range of possible values. And here the differences between buyer and seller affect the outcome - different assumptions re the DCF or the cashflow and synergies that can be achieved - come into play to create two different matrices of values - from which the two parties then negotiate the actual price.
The book and its author are well regarded. This particular volume is used in AIMR's CFA study program - which is a measure of its worth.
Professor Damodaran wrote the most comprehensive introductory books on Valuation I ever read. He covers discounted cash flow, relative valuation and the -still- less accepted contingent claim valuation. In addition, he presents simple solutions to complicated problems. Having in mind its introductory and (almost) self-teaching nature, the book is hard to criticize. Nevertheless, a couple of things should be mentioned to warned the potential reader. First, several issues that Damodaran presents as (almost) unquestionable are actually a matter of dispute among financial analytst. Second, multifactorial models -APT like- deserve much more analyisis. Third, the lack of emphasis on international investments is striking. Fourth, it lacks an analysis on preparing/estimating proforma financial statements. It might seem as a lot of objections but they are not... The book is a must.
This book provides a good introduction for those who want to learn valuation. Explained in simple English, the book describes many tools on how to do the valuation, particularly for stock valuation (DCF, P/E ratio, etc.). I particularly like the explanation of various models of DCF. The author clearly explains the strengths and weaknesses of each models, possible problems and the solutions to the problems. However, I found that this book lacks more in-depth analysis of the topics covered. Furthermore, I found that the CAPM model, to some extent, does not truly exist in the real corporate world. I have read many valuation reports from big names in investment banking, many of them do not adopt CAPM (for various reasons that make CAPM unapplicable, which are also inherent weaknesses of CAPM, they just put x% as the discount rate). Only few who still stick to CAPM. There should be a bridge between academic and real world applications. A more detailed discussion on CAPM by the author would resolve this issue.
The book is mainly aimed at valuation practitioners and MBA sudents. The book deals with 3 valuation techniques- DCF, relative valuation (based on PE, P/BV, PS multiples) and contingent claims (options). Great insights into determining key variables (PE, PS, P/BV) based on business fundamentals and pro and cons of using each approach. However, the book does not go into enough depth in CAPM and APT. The author assumes that the reader would have a fair idea about financial ratios, fundamentals etc. The best part of the book deals with valuation of special cases like cyclical firms, brands etc. and how corporate restructuring affects value. It also provides great insights into valuation for takeovers and mergers. The author provides a usable framework for valuing intangibles in an acquisition target- what the different sources of synergy are and how to value each in a lucid framework. Overall, a good book to gain a firm footing in investment valuation techniques.
As everyone will agree, this is a good book in valuation tools. With different version of the DCF models, this book is one of the ideal desk reference of security analysis. However, if you also look at the book "Investment Valuation" by Professor Damodaran, you will agree that this one is only a short version of "Investment Valuation". Almost every topic is covered (or copied) from "Investment Valuation". I gave "Investment Valuation" a 5-star rating. So, for its short version, I give 4-star.
This is a great book. It has a lot of helpful valuation techniques and I find them really useful. I particularly like the part on relative valuation method and the way to solve the problem of evaluating P/E multiple of different countries. Very useful indeed. But there is a missing piece about P/S multiple. It is entirely based on DDM. What about company which is not expected to pay out dividend for the coming 20 years. This is a great book and the basic valuation methods are very well covered and explained.
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 1998
I never dreamed of a book that will combine the theory and practice of business valuation to that extent. The examples in the book are all 90s' real examples for many of the multinational, and not only U.S., companies. WIth this extensive coverage of concepts and techniques, I don't feel I am in need for any other security analysis book. By the way, I have been looking for such a book for 6 years now.