Saturday, July 16, 2016

How to value a stock? The complex game of mind and accounting

There is too much focus to today. As in there is great interest to what is happening now as opposed to how things are going to shape tomorrow. Infosys results is the case in point. Why so much of interest in going into this one bad result?  Are we missing out the bigger picture and log terms prospects of the business?  While I am not specifically sure about the particular stock or the business, one thing is sure as a pattern, stocks go down a lot but they will go up a lot more – if the future prospects of the business is positive. Is the company in a high growth business? Is the total income increasing continuously? Is the EPS growing aggressively? Is the Profit after Tax growing? What is the ROE?  How much intangible value is acceptable? Often a stock sell off is never because of investors who have answered these questions.

How to value a stock? Accurate valuation is difficult. One can look at the above factors, dividend track record, its place in the industry as size matters, governance, institutional holding.
Is it a good time? One can achieve this methodically by stock diversification and time diversification.
Entry price and exit price band can be evaluated by finding the intrinsic value of the stock or a discounted cash flow analysis.

Then of course one has to understand the economics of the business. There is a very huge sector of trades, hotel, restaurants, transports which are non-corporate. There is a huge opportunity to corporatize these sectors in the next decade or two. Investing in these sectors can lead to huge wealth creation. Any business will have a life-cycle of growth and after that it can stall and fall apart. The stock market generally moves up because the old and aging businesses are replaced by faster, newer and innovative companies. The innovators and disruptors have growth ahead of them and we must be invested in them. The needs of people are few but wants are many. The successful companies cater to the wants of people through their brands and marketing.

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