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Why Capital Structure Matters: Cost of Capital, Debt/Equity Balance are Key to Successful Appraisal. —TimesFreePress

Relative Levels of Equity and Debt Affect Risk and Cash Flow.   This Has Substantial Impact on Amount Investors Will Pay.     Matt Stelzman notes in the Chattanooga News TimesFreePress that the question that often arises in connection with a business valuation is whether the valuator should use the company's actual capital structure or its anticipated future capital structure. A valuator might also use a pr ...

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Appraisers are Gatekeepers to Gift Tax Deadline —Reuters

Today Individual Federal Gift Law Exemption is $5.12M.  In Months it May Drop to $1M.  Result: Surging Demand for Appraisals.    Lou Carlozo at Reuters reports that faced with the possibility of the lifetime gift tax exemption dropping precipitously next year and the estate tax rate rising, wealthy individuals are rushing to transfer their assets to family members. More: ...

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Mercer: Understanding The Income Approach to Marketability Discounts—Valuation Speak

Enterprise Value is a Perpetuity Concept, but Shareholder Level Values Depend on Expected Holding Periods.  Here’s Why the Difference Matters.  The conceptual logic regarding the income approach is difficult to refute, writes Chris Mercer on the Valuation Speak blog.  What can cause expected cash flows to minority shareholders to be less than the expected cash flows of the enterprise? What can cause the exp ...

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How to Set up Buy-Sell Agreements

Recommended Valuation Process for Buy-Sell Agreements: Single Appraiser Chris Mercer tells how to set up a Buy-Sell Agreement for closely held and family businesses. He identifies three key procedures: Owners should select an appraiser for their business when they create the Buy-Sell, that appraiser should offer an initial baseline valuation for the Buy-Sell, and the named appraiser should continue to value ...

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Valuing David Einhorn’s Portfolio—The Discounted Cash Flow Model —NASDAQ Community Site

GuruFocus Adds New Valuation Tab to Site; New Feature Automatically Calculates DCF Valuation.  What are Top 10 The Nasdaq Community site notes the appearance of a new Valuation tab at its GuruFocus web site.  Learn about how DCF analysis works, why it's considered a reliable method of analysis, and view some top current stock picks of an investor who uses the method:    ...

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In an Unusual Tax Year, the Wealthy Turn to Partnerships —NY Times

Wealth Managers: Proceed with Caution When Setting Up an FLP Once an esoteric way for families to centralize management of assets, the Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is becoming extremely popular this year, writes the New York Times.  Why?  Because of the scheduled expiration of the $5.12 million gift tax exemption at the end of this year.   Still, setting up an FLP doesn’t make sense for all companies.  ...

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Palmerino v. Palmerino & Giaimo v. Vitale

In Palmerino v. Palmerino, the Massachusetts Court of Appealsconsidered whether a trial court erred in valuing the husband’s grocery store. The trial court’s approach had not included discounts—and went further to state that the income approach is preferable for valuation.  Find out what the court decides!  In Giaimo v. Vitale, the Supreme Court of New York considers the dissolution of a company called EGA ...

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Capitalized Earnings: When are the Earnings Stabilized?

Capitalized Earnings: When are the Earnings Stabilized? When you're doing a business valuation, should you use a Capitalization of Earnings/Cash Flows? Or should you use a Discounted Earnings/Cash Flow method? Here's a rule of thumb: If the benefit stream will be constant over time, choose the Capitalized Earnings/Cash Flows. Richard Claywell explains. ...

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Case Law—State: Case Law—State: American Ethanol, Inc. v. Cordillera Fund, LP

Case Law—State: American Ethanol, Inc. v. Cordillera Fund, LP In American Ethanol, Inc. v. Cordillera Fund, LP, the Supreme Court of Nevada is required to weigh in on fair market value. A lower court had judged that stockholders were fairly paid some $1.75M (about $3 per share) for American Ethanol at the time of the merger. American Ethanol appealed, claiming it was worth more. Part of its argument was tha ...

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‘If Facebook’s Profit Model Stays the Same, This Valuation Doesn’t Make Any Sense’ –Espen Roback, Pluris, in The Atlantic

The most highly anticipated IPO in history didn't put on much of a show. Facebook closed today within decimal points of its opening price of $38. Even so, the company's market cap is higher than McDonald's or Pepsico. Espen Robak is the president of Pluris Valuation Advisors, where he studies and values private companies trading on the secondary market. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic talked to him this morn ...

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CFA Institute Speaker: The “Value at Risk” Model is of Limited Use in Assessing Risk

One of the problems with how financial institutions assess risk is that they rely on imprecise models.  Financial News'  Shanny Basar reports that in fact, just a few days before JP Morgan announced its multi-billion dollar trading loss, James Montier,a member of the asset allocation team at fund manager GMO, gave a speech on The Flaws of Finance. In the speech, delivered on May 6 at the 65th Annual CFA Ins ...

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Wall Street’s Sexiest Model: Black-Scholes

Blame Disaster on Bad Inputs. Black-Scholes Works. The last few years have given us plenty of reasons to hate financial models. Models that promised to increase efficiency and manage risk became substitutes for common sense and justifications for greed. The real estate bubble was of course justified by them. Yet people at hedge funds and trading firms, using models to mint money, remain passionate believers ...

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SEC Queries Private Equity Valuations

Increased Scrutiny for Private Equity Valuations The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has started an informal inquiry of private equity firms, asking for a broad range of documents on how the funds value assets and who invests in them, reports Bloomberg's BusinessWeek.   The agency’s Los Angeles office last year sent letters to several firms asking for details on fund investments and the valuation of ...

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Family Law: Income Streams, Valuation, and Divorce

How Divorce Can Affect Business Valuation Stanley Morganstern at the Ohio Family Law Observer reports that recent case in Ohio illustrates the difficulty of valuing business assets in a divorce. Courts should avoid "double dipping," or counting a business' income toward valuation and spousal support. Instead, judges are to separate current and future income from the business' material assets before making t ...

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Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup AccountingToday's Danielle Lee writes that "A growing roster of professional designations fosters credential-mania," among CPAs, and devotes an article to surveying some of the most popular credentials today, including those from NACVA: The CVA. The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts' CVA credential does require a CPA license, along with coursework and an exam. Establishe ...

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Why Most Investors Don’t Measure Returns Correctly

Why Most Investors Don't Measure Returns Correctly At the NY Times Bucks: Making the Most of Your Money blog, Carl Richards opines: There’s an old saying that you should take a look at your checkbook and your calendar to see what you really value as opposed to what you say you value, because the calendar and the checkbook never lie. Dollars and cents are easy to count in the checkbook. Happiness, on the oth ...

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Tips for Valuators & Stub Years

More Feedback: Editor: I read the May 2011 Ambassador’s Quick Read – “Tips for Valuators” concerning stub years. I have run into this issue several times and I have seen it misapplied many times and I am glad you wrote about the topic. I noticed two points in the article that I believe need further clarification. The first thing that I noticed in the article is that the PV factors need to be modified as wel ...

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