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75 common and uncommon errors in company valuation


  • Fernandez, Pablo

    () (IESE Business School)


This paper contains a collection and a classification of 75 errors seen in company valuations performed by financial analysts, investment banks and financial consultants. The author had access to most of the valuations that are referred to in this paper when consulting in purchases, sales and mergers of companies, and in arbitrage processes. Some valuations are from public reports by financial analysts. The errors are classified in six main categories: 1) errors in the discount rate calculation and about the riskiness of the company; 2) errors when calculating or forecasting the expected cash flows; 3) errors in the calculation of the residual value; 4) inconsistencies and conceptual errors; 5) errors when interpreting the valuation, and 6) organizational errors.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernandez, Pablo, 2003. "75 common and uncommon errors in company valuation," IESE Research Papers Db/515, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:db-0515

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Graciela Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2002. "Emerging Market Instability: Do Sovereign Ratings Affect Country Risk and Stock Returns?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 171-195, August.
    3. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
    4. Richard S Ruback, 2002. "Capital Cash Flows: A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Cash Flows," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 31(2), Summer.
    5. Erik Durbin & David Tat-Chee Ng, 1999. "Uncovering country risk in emerging market bond prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 639, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12648 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fernandez, Pablo, 2003. "How to value a seasonal company by discounting cash flows," IESE Research Papers D/511, IESE Business School.
    8. Jacques Hamon & Bertrand Jacquillat, 1999. "Is there Value‐Added Information in Liquidity and Risk Premiums?," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 5(3), pages 369-394.
    9. Knez, Peter J & Ready, Mark J, 1997. " On the Robustness of Size and Book-to-Market in Cross-Sectional Regressions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1355-1382, September.
    10. Rajnish Mehra, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Why is it a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 9512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Wang, Xiaozu, 2000. "Size effect, book-to-market effect, and survival," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 257-273, December.
    12. Donald R. Lessard, 1996. "Incorporating Country Risk In The Valuation Of Offshore Projects," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(3), pages 52-63.
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    Cited by:

    1. Collan, Mikael & Sell, Anna & Anckar, Bill & Harkke, Ville, 2005. "Approaches to Using e- and m-Business Components in Business," MPRA Paper 4332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Collan, Mikael, 2004. "Giga-Investments: Modelling the Valuation of Very Large Industrial Real Investments," MPRA Paper 4328, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. el Alaoui, AbdelKader Ouatik & Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath & Masih, Mansur & Asutay, Mehmet, 2016. "Shari’ah screening, market risk and contagion: A multi-country analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(S), pages 93-112.

    More about this item


    valuation; company valuation; valuation errors;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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