Company Valuation Methods

18 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2001 Last revised: 10 May 2023

Date Written: May 5, 2023


La versión española de este artículo se puede encontrar en:

In this paper, I describe the four main groups comprising the most widely used company valuation methods: balance sheet-based methods, income statement-based methods, mixed methods, and cash flow discounting-based methods. The methods that are conceptually correct are those based on cash flow discounting. I briefly comment on other methods since - even though they are conceptually incorrect - they continue to be used frequently.

I also present a real-life example to illustrate the valuation of a company as the sum of the value of different businesses, which is usually called the break-up value.

I finish the paper showing the most common errors in valuations: a list that contains the most common errors that the author has detected in the more than one thousand valuations he has had access to in his capacity as business consultant or teacher.

Keywords: Value, Price, Free cash flow, Equity cash flow, Capital cash flow, Book value, Market value, PER, Goodwill, Required return to equity, Working capital requirements

JEL Classification: G12, G31, M21

Suggested Citation

Fernandez, Pablo, Company Valuation Methods (May 5, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Pablo Fernandez (Contact Author)

IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
+34 91 357 0809 (Phone)
+34 91 357 2913 (Fax)


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