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Book Value vs Market Value: What’s the Difference?

By deducting a company’s liabilities from its assets, investors can get the value that is their right. It also describes the value that investors will receive if a company liquidates. However, this definition represents the book value of equity or its accounting value. It does not necessarily mean investors will only get the residual amount.

Equity is a simple statement of a company’s assets minus its liabilities; it could also be seen as the net profit that would remain if the company was sold or liquidated at fair value. Unlike market capitalization, equity does not fluctuate day to day based on the stock price. The actual market value of equity formula is calculated by simply multiplying the company’s stock price currently (FMV) by all of its outstanding shares.

When book value equals market value, the market sees no compelling reason to believe the company’s assets are better or worse than what is stated on the balance sheet. Some of the largest equity markets, or stock markets, in the world are the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange, and Euronext Europe. This metric brings clarity and transparency to both buyers and sellers, but fluctuates with time, depending on factors like industry and economic conditions. Market value calculations offer both sides of the equation a fair and transparent assessment of worth.

In the context of companies, market value is equal to market capitalization. It is a dollar amount computed based on the current market price of the company’s shares. In finance, equity is the market value of the assets owned by shareholders after all debts have been paid off.

According to these rules, hard assets (like buildings and equipment) listed on a company’s balance sheet can only be stated according to book value. This sometimes creates problems for companies with assets that have greatly appreciated; these assets cannot be re-priced and added to the overall value of the company. In other words, the book value is literally the value of the company according to its books (balance sheet) once all liabilities are subtracted from assets.

  • Investors who hold stock in a company, for example, are usually interested in their personal equity in the company, represented by their shares.
  • Many investors and traders use both book and market values to make decisions.
  • In theory, if Bank of America liquidated all of its assets and paid down its liabilities, the bank would have roughly $270 billion left over to pay shareholders.
  • Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization of a publicly traded company, and is calculated by multiplying the number of its outstanding shares by the current share price.
  • Relying solely on market value may not be the best method to assess a stock’s potential.

Equity value, commonly referred to as the market value of equity or market capitalization, can be defined as the total value of the company that is attributable to equity investors. It is calculated by multiplying a company’s share price by its number of shares outstanding. An equity market is a market in which shares of companies are issued and traded, either through exchanges or over-the-counter markets. Also known as the stock market, it is one of the most vital areas of a market economy. It gives companies access to capital to grow their business, and investors a piece of ownership in a company with the potential to realize gains in their investment based on the company’s future performance.

Terms Similar to the Market Value of Equity

They may also think the company’s value is higher than what the current book valuation calculation shows. When the market value is greater than the book value, the stock market is assigning a higher value to the company due to the earnings power of the company’s assets. Consistently profitable companies typically have market values greater than their book values because investors have confidence in the companies’ abilities to generate revenue growth and earnings growth. After compiling the current stock price and diluted shares outstanding of each company from their most recent filings, we can multiply the two figures to determine their respective equity values. 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.

  • Total liabilities include items like debt obligations, accounts payable, and deferred taxes.
  • In order to assess how large the gap is between the market value and book value of a company’s equity, analysts will often use the Price-to-Book (P/B) ratio.
  • It is quite common to see the book value and market value differ significantly.
  • The book value of equity refers to the residual amount after deducting a company’s liabilities from its assets.
  • Sometimes, a future share price valuation is also used, which is again based on projecting a company’s share price based on P/E multiples of comparable companies and then discounting it back to present value.

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.

Therefore, the equity value refers to the market value of equity and does not refer to the book value of equity. In fact, the variance between the two metrics is substantial for practically all companies, barring unusual circumstances. The first is the accounting approach, which determines the book value, and the second is the finance approach, which estimates the market value. Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to our extensive collection of plug-and-play Templates designed to power your performance—as well as CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs. The next step involves calculating the terminal value based on P/BV multiple in the final year and discounting it back to its NPV. Finally, sum the present values of dividends and the present value of the terminal value to calculate the company’s net present value per share.

Market Value

That leads to a book valuation of $118 billion ($301 billion – $183 billion). $118 billion is the same figure reported as total shareholders’ equity. Market analysts commonly use this figure to designate a company’s size, as many stock market indexes are weighted by market capitalization. Because market capitalization is dependent on share price, it can fluctuate greatly from month to month, or even from day-to-day. Market capitalization is the total dollar value of all outstanding shares of a company.

In accounting, equity refers to the book value of stockholders’ equity on the balance sheet, which is equal to assets minus liabilities. The term, “equity”, in finance and accounting comes with the concept of fair and equal treatment to all shareholders of a business on a pro-rata basis. Investors can calculate a company’s market value of equity by the definition of the term. As mentioned, it is the product of a company’s outstanding number of shares and its share’s market price.

Book Value Per Share (BVPS) vs. Market Value Per Share

For larger companies, the total outstanding number of shares remains stable. The first is its common stock, which is the value of the total number of its outstanding shares. Similarly, it may not be equal to the actual finance that companies receive from their shareholders.

Market Value of Equity: Definition and How to Calculate

It is only after the reporting that an investor would know how it has changed over the months. Investors can find a company’s financial information in quarterly and annual reports on its investor relations page. However, it is often easier to get the information by going to a ticker, such as AAPL, and scrolling down to the fundamental data section.

Some of these adjustments, such as depreciation, may not be easy to understand and assess. If the company has been depreciating its assets, investors might need several years of financial statements to understand its impact. Additionally, depreciation-linked rules and accounting practices can create other issues.


The market value of equity can shift significantly throughout a trading day, particularly if there are significant news items like earnings. Large companies tend to be more stable in terms of market value of equity owing to the number and diversity of investors they have. Small, thinly-traded companies can easily see double digit shifts in the market value of equity because of a relatively small number of transactions pushing the stock up or down. This is also why small companies can be targets for market manipulation. In regard to stocks, understanding market value is essential for knowing when an investor should buy or sell shares.

The fair value of an asset reflects its market price; the price agreed upon between a buyer and seller. Most large companies have stocks that are listed on multiple stock exchanges throughout the world. However, companies with stocks in the equity market range from large-scale to small, and traders range from big companies to individual investors. Companies list their stocks on an exchange as a way to obtain capital to grow their business.

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