Fundamental Analysis i Introduction - Security Analysis and Investment Management

Fundamental Analysis in Investment Management

Fundamental analysis of a business involves analyzing its financial statements and health, its management and competitive advantages, and its competitors and markets. When applied to futures and forex, it focuses on the overall state of the economy, interest rates, production, earnings, and management. When analyzing a stock, futures contract, or currency using fundamental analysis there are two basic approaches one can use; bottom up analysis and top down analysis. The term is used to distinguish such analysis from other types of investment analysis, such as quantitative analysis and technical analysis.

Fundamental analysis is performed on historical and present data, but with the goal of making financial forecasts. There are several possible objectives:

  1. to conduct a company stock valuation and predict its probable price evolution,
  2. to make a projection on its business performance,
  3. to evaluate its management and make internal business decisions,
  4. To calculate its credit risk.

Objectives of Fundamental Analysis

When the objective of the analysis is to determine what stock to buy and at what price, there are two basic methodologies

  1. Fundamental analysis maintains that markets may misprice a security in the short run but that the "correct" price will eventually be reached. Profits can be made by trading the mispriced security and then waiting for the market to recognize its "mistake" and reprice the security.
  2. Technical analysis maintains that all information is reflected already in the stock price. Trends 'are your friend' and sentiment changes predate and predict trend changes. Investors' emotional responses to price movements lead to recognizable price chart patterns. Technical analysis does not care what the 'value' of a stock is. Their price predictions are only extrapolations from historical price patterns.

Investors can use any or all of these different but somewhat complementary methods for stock picking. For example many fundamental investors use technical’s for deciding entry and exit points. Many technical investors use fundamentals to limit their universe of possible stock to 'good' companies.

The choice of stock analysis is determined by the investor's belief in the different paradigms for "how the stock market works". Fundamental analysis includes:

  1. Economic analysis
  2. Industry analysis
  3. Company analysis

On the basis of these three analyses the intrinsic value of the shares are determined. This is considered as the true value of the share. If the intrinsic value is higher than the market price it is recommended to buy the share. If it is equal to market price hold the share and if it is less than the market price sell the shares.


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