# Fight Finance

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The DuPont formula is:

$$\dfrac{\text{Net Profit}}{\text{Sales}} \times \dfrac{\text{Sales}}{\text{Total Assets}} \times \dfrac{\text{Total Assets}}{\text{Owners' Equity}}$$

Which of the following statements about the DuPont formula is NOT correct?

A company manager is thinking about the firm's book assets-to-equity ratio, also called the 'equity multiplier' in the DuPont formula:

$$\text{Equity multiplier} = \dfrac{\text{Total Assets}}{\text{Owners' Equity}}$$

What's the name of the decision that the manager is thinking about? In other words, the assets-to-equity ratio is the main subject of what decision?

Note: DuPont formula for analysing book return on equity:

\begin{aligned} \text{ROE} &= \dfrac{\text{Net Profit}}{\text{Sales}} \times \dfrac{\text{Sales}}{\text{Total Assets}} \times \dfrac{\text{Total Assets}}{\text{Owners' Equity}} \\ &= \text{Net profit margin} \times \text{Total asset turnover} \times \text{Equity multiplier} \\ \end{aligned}

Question 1069  Multiples valuation, venture capital, elasticity, DuPont formula, multi stage growth model

Read the below excerpt of AFR journalist Vesna Poljak's article 'What’s a start-up really worth' from 24 November 2020:

If Charlie Munger is right that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are “bullshit earnings”, and presenting adjusted EBITDA is “basic intellectual dishonesty”, someone should ask the 96-year-old Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman what he thinks of revenue multiples.

It’s a necessary evil of this bull market that so many companies are now valued on multiples of their sales, as opposed to profits, typically because they don’t have any of the latter. It’s also impossible to ignore that real money investors are backing businesses at “multi-unicorn” valuations, meaning that capital is being allocated on an assumption lying somewhere between a considered ability to correctly recognise future growth, and magical thinking.

The idea is that, eventually, these businesses will arrive at a point where their constant reinvestment in sales and marketing, customer acquisition, and systems and process (all items that appear below the revenue line) will no longer be necessary, thereby allowing profits to suddenly crystallise.

Our baby unicorn is now a cloud-based workhorse with stunning margins, low operational costs, a market-dominant position and loyal customers totally insensitive to price increases.

Forecasts and evangelical founders are the natural enemies of a sound mind. “These businesses are very different compared to the typical mature business,” says PwC partner Richard Stewart. “They’re very heavily intangible-asset focused so traditional accounting doesn’t describe the performance of the business well.

“They’re also very risk intensive: it’s a bit like they’re climbing Everest, they’ve got halfway and there’s still a long way to the summit. The start-up sees how far they’ve come from base camp, the investor sees how far they have to go.”

EY partner Michael Fenech said that once upon a time, revenue multiples were used to value companies in very limited circumstances. “Now, revenue multiples have emerged as one of the primary valuation methodologies that people are using, which concerns people like myself.”

A robust valuation should be underpinned, wherever possible, by cash-flow forecasts, Fenech says. “So if we see companies relying on revenue multiples, our level of scepticism is often heightened and we start asking other questions.”

Which of the below statements is NOT correct?

Adam Schwab wrote an article titled 'Why Atlassian is one of the world’s most overvalued businesses' on 15 August 2022. He stated that:

Atlassian is one of the world’s most overvalued businesses by almost any metric. Even though it loses money, Atlassian trades on a multiple of price to sales of a comical 25 times. Stern did a comparison of price-sales multiples in January 2022, noting that the multiple for the entire market was 2.88 and for software (this was before the bubble popped) was 16 times (Schwab, 2022)

Which of the following explanations is NOT correct? Atlassian's stock may be fairly priced if investors beleive that its expected future: