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Altman Z-Score for private companies

Altman Z-Score (for private companies)

Description

Altman Z-Score (for private companies) is a mathematic (quantitative balance-sheet method) model used to evaluate the company’s probability of bankruptcy within the next two years. This model was created by combining five different financial ratios, calculated by using the accounting data of those companies that had already gone bankrupt in the past. This model does not calculate the exact probability of a company’s bankruptcy. It is more of a statistics – based model, developed in 1968, but is still one of the most widely used ones. Later this model was adapted to calculate score for private companies by changing one element of this model to another. Market value of equity was replaced by the book value of equity, as shares of private companies is not an object of stock market. Data needed to calculate this ratio is collected from the balance sheet, income statement and stock market bulletin and cash flow statement.

Norms and limitations

The value of Z-score, calculated for private companies, usually has the following intervals:

Value, higher than 2.9, means that the possibility of a company’s bankruptcy is very low, so the company is considered safe. This interval is known as the “safe zone”.

A value between 1.23 and 2.9 indicates the possibility of the company going bankrupt within the next two years. This interval is known as the “grey zone”.

If the value is below 1.23, it means that the possibility of a company’s bankruptcy is high, so the company is considered unstable and dangerous. This interval is known as the “distress zone”.

In general if the value of Altman Z-Score goes down to 2.9 or below, it would be smart to consider paying serious attention to that company’s condition.

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