There are many companies going bankrupt worldwide. Here’s a post on using Altman Z-Score or bankruptcy score to predict bankruptcy.

Stock picking is a skill and such skills come through experience—Good and bad

There are literally hundreds of parameters to check before you invest in a company.

Is this method of checking all the parameters for a company a fool proof method?

NO.

It still requires your judgment to decide whether to invest in the company or not.

Now, let’s check one such parameter in company analysis. It’s called Altman Z-Score.

**The origin of Altman Z Bankruptcy score**

**Altman Z-Score Definition**

The formula called ” Z-Score formula”, used for predicting bankruptcy, was developed and published by **Edward Altman** in 1968.

Initially, the Altman Z-Score was found to be 72% accurate in predicting bankruptcy 2 years prior to the bankruptcy.

Isn’t it interesting?

**Recent results**

Morgan Stanley strategy analyst, Graham Secker, used the Z-score in 2009 to rank a group of European companies.

He found that the companies with weaker balance sheets underperformed the market more than two thirds of the time.

**Application of Altman Z-Score/Bankruptcy Score formula**

The formula is used to predict corporate defaults or bankruptcy or in academic language, financial distress position of companies.

The formula is based on discriminant analysis technique in statistical analysis.

The formula uses multiple variables from income statement and balance sheet of companies.

**What’s the formula?**

**Formula =**

Altman Z-Score = 1.2*T1 + 1.4*T2 + 3.3*T3 + 0.6*T4 + 1.0*T5

**Here are the key definitions from the above formula:**

**T1 = Working Capital / Total Assets**

This ratio measures liquid assets. The companies in trouble will usually experience shrinking liquidity.

**T2 = Retained Earnings / Total Assets**

This ratio calculates the overall profitability of the company. Dwindling profitability is a warning sign.

**T3 = Earnings before Interest and Taxes / Total Assets**

This ratio shows how productive a company is in generating earnings, relative to its size.

**T4 = Market Capitalization / Total Liabilities**

This ratio suggests how far the company’s assets can decline before it becomes technically insolvent (i.e., its liabilities become higher than its assets).

**T5 = Sales / Total Assets**

This is the asset turnover ratio and is a measure of how effectively the firm uses its assets to generate sales.

**Is this ratio applicable to all companies?**

No. This ratio is applicable to only publicly listed and manufacturing companies.

Here’s the modification part in the above ratio.

**For Private companies**

Formula

Z1 = .717*T1 + .847*T2 + 3.107*T3 + .42*T4A + .998*T5

In the above formula, T4 = Book Value of Equity / Total Liabilities

2. **For non-manufacturing companies**

Formula

Z2 = 6.56*T1 + 3.26*T2 + 6.72*T3 + 1.05*T4A

3. This ratio is **not **applicable to companies that operate with high debt such as **banks & finance **companies and **power and energy utility** companies.

**Altman z score interpretation of Bankruptcy Score **

If the Z-Score is higher than 3.0, the company is a ‘safe’ company.

If this score is less than 3.0, there is a high probability of the company going bankrupt.

**Example of Altman Z Score/ Bankruptcy Score**

I have taken Colgate’s example to check the Altman Z-Score.

According to the above formula, Colgate’s Z-Score is **20**, which is well above **3.0** (safe number).

**Altman Z score calculator**

You can download this Z-Score calculation in Excel.

**Are You Ready To Rock?**

There you have it: a complete formula to predict bankruptcy…

Apply this Altman Z Bankruptcy score on your companies and share your results with me.

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