Book Value Per Share BVPS: Definition, Formula, How to Calculate, and Example

Value investors actively seek out companies with their market values below their book valuations. They see it as a sign of undervaluation and hope market perceptions turn out to be incorrect. In this scenario, the market is giving investors an opportunity to buy a company for less than its stated net worth.


Deceptive Depreciation and Book Value

  1. 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.
  2. If relevant, the value of preferred equity claims should also be subtracted from the numerator, the book value of equity.
  3. Therefore, market value changes nearly always occur because of per-share price changes.
  4. Value investors prefer using the BVPS as a gauge of a stock’s potential value when future growth and earnings projections are less stable.

Market values for many companies actually fell below their book valuations following the stock market crash of 1929 and during the inflation of the 1970s. Relying solely on market value may not be the best method to assess a stock’s potential. The book value literally means the value of a business according to its books or accounts, as reflected on its financial statements. Theoretically, it is what investors would get if they sold all the company’s assets and paid all its debts and obligations. Therefore, book value is roughly equal to the amount stockholders would receive if they decided to liquidate the company. Book value per share (BVPS) is calculated as the equity accessible to common shareholders divided by the total number of outstanding shares.

Market Value Formula

In other words, the market doesn’t believe that the company is worth the value on its books. Mismanagement or economic conditions might put the firm’s future profits and cash flows in question. The examples given above should make it clear that book and market values are very different. There are three different scenarios possible when comparing the book valuation to the market value of a company.

Market Value Per Share vs. Book Value Per Share

If the book value of a company is higher than its market value, it indicates that the stock market is less confident in the organisation’s earning capability, albeit its book value might. If the market value of an organisation is higher than its book value, it implies that the stock market is assigning more significance to its stocks. It might be due to its enhanced earnings, well-founded and sound management, or any other factor that buoys its market worth. Companies or industries that extensively rely on their human capital will have an inappropriate reflection of their worth in their financial statements. Comparing BVPS to the market price of a stock is known as the market-to-book ratio, or the price-to-book ratio.

How Does BVPS Differ from Market Value Per Share?

An equity investor can deepen an investment thesis by adding the book value approach to his or her analytical toolbox. Measuring the Value of a ClaimA good measure of the value of a stockholder’s residual claim at any given point in time is the book value of equity per share (BVPS). Book value is the accounting value of the company’s assets less all claims senior to common equity (such as the company’s liabilities). Breaking down the book value on a per-share may help investors decide whether they think the stock’s market value is overpriced or underpriced. So, if a company had $21 million in shareholders’ equity and two million outstanding common shares, its book value per share would be $10.50.

However, if advertising efforts enhance the image of a company’s products, the company can charge premium prices and create brand value. Market demand may increase the stock price, which results in a large divergence between the market and book values per share. Book value per share is a way to measure the net asset value that investors get when they buy a share of stock. Investors can calculate book value per share by dividing the company’s book value by its number of shares outstanding. Creditors who provide the necessary capital to the business are more interested in the company’s asset value. Therefore, creditors use book value to determine how much capital to lend to the company since assets make good collateral.

Value investors prefer using the BVPS as a gauge of a stock’s potential value when future growth and earnings projections are less stable. Long-term investors also need to be wary of the occasional manias and panics that impact market values. Market values shot high above book valuations and common sense during the 1920s and the dotcom bubble.

An asset’s book value is calculated by subtracting depreciation from the purchase value of an asset. Depreciation is generally an estimate, and there are various methods for calculating depreciation. Discover the finance term Book Value Per Share (BVPS) and learn its definition, formula, calculation process, and get an example to understand its practical application.

It’s also possible that a given company has liens applied against its assets, or is facing lawsuits that, if lost, could inflict losses that erode a large amount of its balance sheet value. In sum, there’s no foolproof guarantee of investment returns, or investment safety, at a certain P/B level. A low P/B ratio usually suggests that a company, or its industry, or both, are out of favour. They are not the same, as they focus on equity/assets and net income, respectively. Nevertheless, investors should look at both and understand what the figures mean before taking a risk and choosing a stock. Using the average number of shares in the formula is essential since the number at the end of the period may factor in a recent buyback or stock issuance, distorting the figure.

The book value of a company is the difference between that company’s total assets and total liabilities, and not its share price in the market. The value of a common stock, therefore, is related to the monetary value of the common shareholders’ residual claim on the corporation – the net asset value or common equity of the corporation. Since public companies are owned by shareholders, this is also known as the total shareholders’ equity. The book value includes all of the equipment and property owned by the company, as well as any cash holdings or inventory on hand. It also accounts for all of the company’s liabilities, such as debt or tax burdens.

If you observe the formula for book value per share, you will notice that the denominator governs the value of the resultant. The higher the shares outstanding, the lower your book value per share will be. Market value per share is a metric that captures the future status of a company’s stock, while the book value per share is calculated on historical data. Say, for example, that a company invests money in an aggressive marketing campaign, which ends up increasing costs. It’s important to use the average number of outstanding shares in this calculation. A short-term event, such as a stock buy-back, can skew period-ending values, and this would influence results and diminish their reliability.

It is quite common to see the book value and market value differ significantly. The difference is due to several factors, including the company’s operating model, its sector of the market, and the company’s specific attributes. Mathematically, book value is the difference between a company’s total assets and total liabilities. The price of a single publicly traded stock divided by the number of shares outstanding gives us the market price per share.

Applying logic, dividing the total pay-out with the total number of shareholders invested in the company gives the value of each share. On the balance sheet, you see “Total Stockholders’ Equity” with a value of $138.2 billion. This figure is calculated by adding the values of preferred stock, common stock, Treasuries, paid-in capital, additional comprehensive income, and retained earnings. The book value per share (BVPS) ratio compares the equity held by common stockholders to the total number of outstanding shares. To put it simply, this calculates a company’s per-share total assets less total liabilities.

The company then hires a famous turnaround manager which excites investors, who bid the shares higher. The market cap of this company increases, although the book value of the company hasn’t changed. Price-to-book (P/B) ratio as a valuation multiple is useful for comparing value between similar companies within the same industry when they follow a uniform accounting method for asset valuation. The ratio may not serve as a valid valuation basis when comparing companies from different sectors and industries because companies record their assets differently. It depends on a number of factors, such as the company’s financial statements, competitive landscape, and management team.

MVPS is forward-looking with the investment community’s perception of the value of the claims, while BVPS is more on the accounting side. For example, if a company has a total asset balance of $40mm and liabilities of $25mm, then the book value of equity (BVE) is $15mm. 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.

Besides stock repurchases, a company can also increase BVPS by taking steps to increase the asset balance and reduce liabilities. If XYZ can generate higher profits and use those profits to buy more assets or reduce liabilities, the firm’s common equity increases. If, for example, the company generates $500,000 in earnings in between stimulus payments retail sales decline and uses $200,000 of the profits to buy assets, common equity increases along with BVPS. On the other hand, if XYZ uses $300,000 of the earnings to reduce liabilities, common equity also increases. All other things being equal, a higher book value is better, but it is essential to consider several other factors.

This means that, in the worst-case scenario of bankruptcy, the company’s assets will be sold off and the investor will still make a profit. Earnings, debt, and assets are the building blocks of any public company’s financial statements. For the purpose of disclosure, companies break these three elements into more refined figures for investors to examine. Investors can calculate valuation ratios from these to make it easier to compare companies. Among these, the book value and the price-to-book ratio (P/B ratio) are staples for value investors.

For example, if a company has total common equity of $1,000,000 and 1,000,000 shares outstanding, then its book value per share would be $1. Similarly, if the company uses $200,000 of the generated revenues to pay up debts and reduce liabilities, it will also increase the equity available to common stockholders. If XYZ uses $300,000 of its earnings to reduce liabilities, common equity also increases. Shareholders’ equity is the owners’ residual claim in the company after debts have been paid. It is equal to a firm’s total assets minus its total liabilities, which is the net asset value or book value of the company as a whole.

Keep in mind that book value and BVPS do not consider the future prospects of the firm – they are only snapshots of the common equity claim at any given point in time. 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.

With common stock factored into the denominator, the ratio reflects the amount a common shareholder would acquire if or when the particular company is liquidated. 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. The book value of equity (BVE) is the value of a company’s assets, as if all its assets were hypothetically liquidated to pay off its liabilities. The answer could be that the market is unfairly battering the company, but it’s equally probable that the stated book value does not represent the real value of the assets. Companies account for their assets in different ways in different industries, and sometimes even within the same industry.

Keep in mind this calculation doesn’t include any of the other line items that might be in the shareholders’ equity section, only common shares outstanding. Book value per share is just one of the methods for comparison in valuing of a company. Enterprise value, or firm value, market value, market capitalization, and other methods may be used in different circumstances or compared to one another for contrast. For example, enterprise value would look at the market value of the company’s equity plus its debt, whereas book value per share only looks at the equity on the balance sheet. Conceptually, book value per share is similar to net worth, meaning it is assets minus debt, and may be looked at as though what would occur if operations were to cease. One must consider that the balance sheet may not reflect with certain accuracy, what would actually occur if a company did sell all of their assets.

Another way to increase BVPS is to repurchase common stock from shareholders and many companies use earnings to buy back shares. The market value represents the value of a company according to the stock market. It is a dollar amount computed based on the current market price of the company’s shares. Deriving the book value of a company becomes easier when you know where to look. Companies report their total assets and total liabilities on their balance sheets on a quarterly and annual basis. Additionally, it is also available as shareholders’ equity on the balance sheet.

A metric that investors use with regard to book value is BVPS or Book Value of Equity per Share. It takes the net value of a listed company’s assets, also known as shareholder’s equity, and divides it by the total number of outstanding shares of that organisation. The higher the liabilities, the lower the common equity, and thus, the lower the book value per share. In order to improve the book value per share of your company, put away a portion of your profits into either acquiring more assets or into squaring away liabilities quickly.

If a business is presently trading at $20 but has a book value of $10, it is being sold for double its equity. Moreover, book value per share or BVPS at any point of time elucidates the shareholders concerning the book value of share they are holding regardless of its market price. Based on that, they can gauge whether stock prices will go down or up in the future.

The book value per share is significant for investors as it helps them determine the intrinsic value of a given company’s shares. Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Opportunity costs are calculated for the initial purchase costs and for the recurring costs.

To calculate the book value per share, you must first calculate the book value, then divide by the number of common shares. Also, since you’re working with common shares, you must subtract the preferred shareholder equity from the total equity. Book Value Per Share (BVPS) is a fundamental financial metric that represents the equity attributable to each outstanding common share of a company. In simple terms, it is the value each share would be worth if the company were to liquidate its assets and settle all outstanding liabilities. Understanding a financial metric known as Book Value Per Share (BVPS) can give you valuable insights into a company’s financial health. The Book Value of a company is equal to their shareholders (or stockholders’) equity, and reflects the difference between the balance sheet assets and the balance sheet liabilities.



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