Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The issue of Goodwill

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The issue of Goodwill

Goodwill is the difference between an acquisition price and the acquired firm’s net worth. Massive write-off among European companies for goodwill they paid for acquisitions a few years ago did affect European share markets. A particularly case was Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile-phone company. Anticipated goodwill write-downs are expected to shift per-share earnings by cents and into the red for both 2001 and 2002, according to a consensus of analyst forecasts compiled by IBES. George Hodgson, a European equity strategist pointed out that non-performing asset was the main reason for write-off goodwill. In addition, he suggested a further consideration of those holding non-performing asset for growth. There are always arguments about writing-off goodwill. Some investors counter that the write-downs are merely an accounting measure, with no cash-flow implication and therefore safe to ignore. Others figure investors had anticipated those write-downs. Some strategists stated that the problem will not affect the market much. However, it probably is the time to make investors jittery. After Enron’s case, lots of US companies are restating their earnings because of accounting issues continue to grow. An example will be Nvidia, a supplier of chips for Microsoft’s Xbox video-game system, became the latest company to disclose that its accounting practices are under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is struggling for professional money managers to make money for investors whose gain may wipe out with one terrible profit warning. It seems that the earning season has hardly been upbeat, since European companies are evenly split between those that have exceeded analysts’ expectations and those that have fallen short. A survey of fund managers suggested that Europe is gaining favour in investor’s minds not with their wallets. While U.S. investors show a preference for European equities, European investors still prefer U.S. stocks. One of the firm’s European equity strategists stated that European equities are now 1% below fair value and most investors are waiting for clearer buy signal. An optimistic opinion illustrates that the string of downgrades to European corporate earnings come to an end. However, there are still doubts about how extraordinary the factors are. Overall, it is easy to present assets being overpaid, but it is always a question that what exactly amount the assets being overpaid.



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