From December 15, 2019 until now, it has been just over two years. I’ve been walking with intentionality these past two years. Miles, 4,552. Steps, 9.6 million. Health, as far as I know, is better. Attitude, much better. This post recaps the experience of the last two years and offers a few thoughts that I hope you find either interesting, helpful or both.
The thought came to my mind on my walk this morning. It was undoubtedly prompted by meetings over the years with younger analysts who, because they wanted to find “perfect” answers to valuation problems, were (temporarily) unable to find any answer at all.
Excellence is attainable for many, if not most, at least in some areas of life. Perfection is unattainable. The pursuit of excellence is the roadway to success. The pursuit of perfection is a downward slide to failure.
Business valuation is all about expectations for the future. However, those expectations, as reflected in forecasts prepared for business appraisals, must be realistic. This short post mentions the hockey-stick projections often seen in business appraisals and ask for realistic projections, whether they be explicit forecasts of future years’ performance, or implied forecasts in single-period income capitalization methods.
This post puts benchmarking analysis using averages of restricted stock studies to determine marketability discounts to the test and the test is failed. If cannot work for even a simple, single asset holding company interest. Read the post and you will not employ simple benchmark analysis again. The post is necessarily long. Print it off or bookmark it when you have time to read it and think about its implications.
A question was posed in a recent issue of Business Valuation Update from BV Resources. Paraphrasing, if all shareholders are minority, should there be a discount for lack of control (from the marketable minority level)? The broader question is, whether all shareholders are minority or there is a controlling shareholder, should there be a discount for lack of control (from the marketable minority level)? The answer is the same as we conclude in this post.
BV Resources recently published a DLOM Survey. It had 10 questions and 202 responders. This post looks at several of the questions to infer the current state of the art in valuation regarding DLOMs. The post is longer than most but is worth your investment of time to read it and hopefully comment since the issue is key in all valuations of illiquid minority interests of companies.
Now is an excellent time for closely held and family business boards to consider engaging in leveraged transactions to enhance shareholder liquidity and accelerate shareholder returns. The Biden Administration has not yet increased corporate or personal tax rates and interest rates are still low. Banks are seeking quality loans and your leveraged transaction might fit their bill. And perhaps your shareholders desire some liquidity from their ownership, even if you are not ready to don’t desire to sell your company.
In this post, two corporate finance tools available to owners of closely held and family businesses are discussed at length: Leveraged Dividend Recapitalizations and Leveraged Share Repurchases. These tools can be used to create liquidity outside the ownership of private businesses or interests in them.
Dividend Policy. Every company has one. The question is, is it a good one in terms of meeting the needs of your company’s owners? This post explains the concept of Net Operating Cash Flow (NOCF) (after-tax), which is the source for debt repayment, for working capital for growth, for replacement capex, and for growth capex. It is also the source for economic distributions to owners. Whatever your board decides about the uses of NOCF, your dividend policy is either consciously made or it is residual in nature.