This is “Financial Statements and Ratio Analysis”, chapter 4 from the book Finance for Managers (v. 0.1). For details on it (including licensing), click here.

For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (2 MB) or just this chapter (186 KB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).

Has this book helped you? Consider passing it on:
Creative Commons supports free culture from music to education. Their licenses helped make this book available to you. helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators.

Chapter 4 Financial Statements and Ratio Analysis

Financial Statements

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

Firms with publicly-traded securities must submit certain financial statements to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Companies must submit a 10-K, which is a summary of the firm’s financial performance using specific data following detailed rules. The 10-K includes the balance sheet, the statement of cash flows, and the income statement. Firms also must submit an annual report to their shareholders, which is a slightly different version of the firm’s performance, as mangers have a bit more flexibilty in conveying the information. Financial statements are typically constructed by internal employees and then audited by an outside body. A quick review of the construction of financial statements will be helpful before we analyze and interpret these statements.

For those who like to cook, financial statements share some attributes with recipes. A lasagna recipe might list the ingredients and detail the steps involved, but it might not explain how to know exactly when the noodles were done (but not overdone) and how to know when the cheese has melted to perfection, opting instead for “cook for about 35 minutes.” In order to better understand what makes a delicious lasagna, we need to know not only the ingredients and steps, but how to interpret the recipe and a basic understanding of cooking in general. In finance, a fundamental analysis of financial statements would be to review them and then perform some type of analysis of them. A fundamental analysis combines economics and accounting. The accounting provides the data on the financial statements; the economics provides the tools to analyze these statements. A successful analysis includes both the quantitative data (the financial statements) and analysis of this data (using, for example, ratio analysis). In this chapter we review the basic financial statements provided to us by the accountants and use economic analysis to analyze these statements.