Book Value per Share: Meaning, Formula & Basics

In those cases, the market sees no reason to value a company differently from its assets. Hence, its market capitalisation is Rs.6.2 lakh (62 x 10000) and its shareholder’s equity or net value of assets is Rs.6 lakh (1500,000 – 900,000). A company’s balance sheet may not accurately represent what would happen if it sold all of its assets, which should be taken into account. Comparing the book value per share of a company with its market value per share helps investors measure its true value. When the book value per share is higher than its market value, the stock is undervalued; the stock is overvalued when the book value per share is lesser than its market value. Book value per share differs from the market value per share in that it displays the actual share value of a company, instead of the one on stock market indices.

If the company has been depreciating its assets, investors might need several years of financial statements to understand its impact. Additionally, depreciation-linked rules and accounting practices can create other issues. For instance, a company may have to report an overly high value for some of its equipment.

  1. When calculating the book value per share of a company, we base the calculation on the common stockholders’ equity, and the preferred stock should be excluded from the value of equity.
  2. If it’s obvious that a company is trading for less than its book value, you have to ask yourself why other investors haven’t noticed and pushed the price back to book value or even higher.
  3. The Book Value Per Share (BVPS) is the per-share value of equity on an accrual accounting basis that belongs to the common shareholders of a company.
  4. Creditors who provide the necessary capital to the business are more interested in the company’s asset value.

Usually, links between assets and debts are clear, but this information can sometimes be played down or hidden in the footnotes. Like a person securing a car loan by using their house as collateral, a company might use valuable assets to secure loans when it is struggling financially. Manufacturing companies offer a good example of how depreciation can affect book value.

Understanding Book Value Per Share

Evidently, the book value of any organisation plays a vital role in the determination of its worth. It comes forward as a critical agency for investors to base their investment decisions. However, investors should note that finding BVPS in isolation cannot produce promising analysis. It can be used in conjunction with other metrics like Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and Price-to-earnings ratio (PE) to reach a somewhat concrete view of an organisation’s potential. The book value of an organisation is computed after netting the aggregate book value of all the assets against its intangible counterparts and liabilities. In fact, the two terms may sound similar – there are, however, certain differences between them.

Understanding Book Value Per Share (BVPS)

Total liabilities include items like debt obligations, accounts payable, and deferred taxes. Book value per share (BVPS) is calculated as the equity accessible to common shareholders divided by the total number of outstanding shares. This number calculates a company’s book value per share and serves as the minimal measure of its equity. The company’s balance sheet also incorporates depreciation in the book value of assets.

Example of BVPS

For example, if ABC Limited generates $1 million in earnings during the year and uses $300,000 to purchase more assets for the company, it will increase the common equity, and hence, raise the BVPS. That said, looking deeper into book value will give you a better understanding of the company. In some cases, a company will use excess earnings to update equipment rather than pay out dividends or expand operations.

Book value per share tells you the true status of the shares of a company with respect to their price on the market. So, one must consider other related factors before deciding about the acquisition. In return, the accumulation of earnings could be used to reduce liabilities, which leads to higher book value of grant scam and fraud alerts equity (and BVPS). The difference between book value per share and market share price is as follows. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

Critics of book value are quick to point out that finding genuine book value plays has become difficult in the heavily-analyzed U.S. stock market. Oddly enough, this has been a constant refrain heard since the 1950s, yet value investors continue to find book value plays. Failing bankruptcy, other investors would ideally see that the book value was worth more than the stock and also buy in, pushing the price up to match the book value. Market value is the worth of a company based on the perceived worth by the market. Therefore, investors remain in the dark about the book value of an organisation in the in-between periods.

It also accounts for all of the company’s liabilities, such as debt or tax burdens. To get the book value, you must subtract all those liabilities from the company’s total assets. However, as the assets would be sold at market prices, and book value uses the historical costs of assets, market value is considered a better floor price than book value for a company. The book value of a company is based on the amount of money that shareholders would get if liabilities were paid off and assets were liquidated. The market value of a company is based on the current stock market price and how many shares are outstanding. All other things being equal, a higher book value is better, but it is essential to consider several other factors.

The increased importance of intangibles and difficulty assigning values for them raises questions about book value. As technology advances, factors like intellectual property play larger parts in determining profitability. Ultimately, accountants must come up with a way of consistently valuing intangibles to keep book value up to date. According to conventional accounting approaches, most assets’ values are represented as per their historical figures.

It attempts to match the book value with  the real or actual value of the company. Book value is typically shown per share, determined by dividing all shareholder equity by the number of common stock shares that are outstanding. For example, consider a company with a $100 million book value, mostly in stable real-estate, trading at a P/B of 0.95. Value investors see a $5 million undervaluation relative to book value that they believe will be corrected for over time. Investors often look at book value per share as a beginning estimate for what a company’s shares may be worth if the company was completely liquidated. A key shortcoming of book value is that it ignores that the market value of many assets changes over time.

MVPS is forward-looking with the investment community’s perception of the value of the claims, while BVPS is more on the accounting side. In other words, the BVPS is essentially how much would remain if the shareholders sold the company’s assets and paid its debts. By multiplying the diluted share count of 1.4bn by the corresponding share price for the year, we can calculate the market capitalization for each year. We’ll assume the trading price in Year 0 was $20.00, and in Year 2, the market share price increases to $26.00, which is a 30.0% year-over-year increase. A company that has assets of $700 million and liabilities of $500 million, would have a book value, or shareholders’ equity, of $200 million.

Companies with lots of machinery, like railroads, or lots of financial instruments, like banks, tend to have large book values. In contrast, video game companies, fashion designers, or trading firms may have little or no book value because they are only as good as the people who work there. Book value is not very useful in the latter case, but for companies with solid assets, it’s often the No.1 figure for investors. Now, let’s say that XYZ Company has total equity of $500,000 and 2,000,000 shares outstanding. In this case, each share of stock would be worth $0.50 if the company got liquidated. Creditors who provide the necessary capital to the business are more interested in the company’s asset value.


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