Analyze and interpret reported and common-size cash flow statement

Major source and use of cash

  • Cash flow analysis begins with evaluation of the firms’ sources and uses of cash from
    • Operating
    • Investing
    • Financing

Operating cash flow (1)

  • Positive operating cash flow can be generated by
    • Firm’s earnings-related activities
    • Decreasing non-cash working capital
      • Liquidating inventory, receivables
      • Increasing payables
  • Check quality of firm’s earnings
    • Stable relationship of operating cash flow and net income → quality earnings
    • Earnings that significantly exceed operating cash flow → aggressive accounting choices
      • Recognizing revenues too soon
      • Recognize expense too late
  • Variability of net income and operating cash flow

Investing cash flow (2)

  • Increasing capital expenditure is indication of growth 
  • Reduce capital expenditure or sell capital assets to save or generate cash 
  • Operating cash flow should exceed capital expenditures 

Financing cash flow (3)

  • Issuing debt or equity to generate cash or not 
  • Using cash to repay debt, reacquire stock or pay dividends

Common size Cash Flow Statement

  • Expressing each line item as a percentage of revenue
  • Inflow/outflow of cash as a percentage of total cash inflow, outflows
  • Useful in identifying trends and forecasting future cash flow