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Financial Statement Analysis: A Practitioner's Guide Unbound – Import, June, 2002


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Product Details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (June 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0471264601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471264606
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Entire format of the book is very strange.
Carl Natalizia
Finally, the book contains a useful glossary that provides definitions and examples for many economic, financial, and accounting terms and concepts.
"ano202"
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn how to analyze financial statements.
Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By "ano202" on September 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
According to the author's introduction, the goal of "Financial Statement Analysis" is to "acquaint readers who have already acquired basic accounting skills with the complications that arise in applying textbook-derived knowledge to the real world of extending credit and investing in securities." It succeeds admirably in this purpose. By using case studies drawn from real world situations that illustrate how even a basic analysis can reveal problems before it's too late, the book is a cogent, topical, and valuable reference for any user of financial statements.
Part 1 sets the stage by positing the adversarial nature of financial accounting. Unlike the textbook approach, in which rational companies disclose audited statements in order to convey impartial data about their financial condition, "Financial Statement Analysis" begins with the proposition that the producers of financial statements have motives other than those suggested by traditional texts. Although you would find few people who would argue against this proposition today, it is still valuable to be reminded of the potential agency issues facing corporate officers and auditors.
Part 2 provides an intoduction to the financial statements, devoting a chapter to each. The main emphasis here is on helping the analyst develop judgement. For example, the balance sheet chapter provides insights into problems that arise from the difficulty of assigning a value to an asset, while the income statement chapter details the many pitfalls of pro-forma earnings. Throughout, the authors note critical issues to consider that go beyond the numbers.
Part 3 discusses the thorny problem of profits.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Denise on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
in all likelihood, average investors will not get much out of this book, as average investors don't pore over 10-ks, annual reports and conduct industry analysis prior to investing (which they should!). but for those above average investors who do (read: intelligent investors, per ben graham), this book is an excellent read.
2/3 of the book deals w/ alterting the investor to some of the areas where company mgmt can play games w/ the #s in order to goose the stock price. the examples were helpful, but the insights were not exactly earth shattering for experienced investors.
however, the last 1/3 of the book, on forecasts & security analysis, is worth the price of the book. in 100pgs, you get an MBA-level text on security / credit / financial statement analysis, complete w/ ratio definitions, caveats(!), and applicability. excellent stuff for the beginning or experienced analyst, and i will doubtless refer to the last 1/3 time and again.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this environment, on the heels of the dot-com meltdown, and the implosions of Enron, Worldcom, and their ilk, a fresh look at financial statement analysis and what that can mean to an investor, is timely. The book is extremely well written and highly readable, unlike most texts I have seen on the subject. The detailed exercises are relegated to a separate workbook, making it an easier read for those who want to simply glean some new insights.
It is, in fact, a fast read, and the fresh, real-world case examples add new dimensions to the topic. There are, of course, detailed reviews of the basic financial statements, but also detailed discussions about these statements in light of M&A and other notable events in the life of a firm. One of the most interesting chapters included a detailed discussion of the EBITDA, which the PR machines have tried to paint as a true indicator of profitability.
This is a valuable resource to anyone who needs to analyze financial statements for professional reasons, but is straightforward enough to engage the reader who may only wish to better understand the companies in which he or she is considering investing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Alvarez and Mr. Fridson's book is a MUST READ not only for every finance professional...but for the average investor as well. By the use of real-life examples and fascinating stories, the authors present a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the world of corporate finance, and how financial statements can often deceive. In today's post-Enron world, this book is a must-have for anyone who dabbles in the market, even on a part-time basis.
What I enjoyed most about Financial Statement Analysis-a Practioner's Guide is the tone of the book...rather than your standard dry academic tome, the authors inform us through interesting stories, and speak WITH us rather than AT us. I find their approach extremely effective, given that this is the first finance related book I've ever read that didn't put me to sleep (I actually had a hard time putting it down).
As a financial professional, instructor and investor, I've applied many of the lessons taught in this book, and have begun recommending it to all of my classes, clients and colleagues. As such, I highly recommend it to anyone that is read for an eye-opening look at the world of corporate finance.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Simple Guy on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a financial analyst but I'm interested in analysing companies for my own investments. I found the book easy to read. It's a big eye-opener for someone who was not aware of all the accounting gimmicks that aggressive companies can play. I'm certainly a better investor now.

That being said, please note that this book won't tell you much about what you need to do to value a company and invest in it. It will help you spot troublesome companies and accounting tricks that don't look right, but after that you're on your own. You need more than this book to be a good investor, but this book is a pretty important part of being a good investor.
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