In Finance, it is the process of estimating what something is worth. Items that are usually valued are a financial asset or liability. Valuations can be done on assets (for example, investments in marketable securities such as stocks, options, business enterprises, or intangible assets such as patents and trademarks) or on liabilities (e.g., bonds issued by a company). Valuations are needed for many reasons such as investment analysis, capital budgeting, merger and acquisition transactions, financial reporting, taxable events to determine the proper tax liability, and in litigation.
Valuation of financial assets is done using one or more of these types of models:
1. Absolute value models that determine the present value of an asset's expected future cash flows. These kinds of models take two general forms: multi-period models such as discounted cash flow models or single-period models such as the Gordon model. These models rely on mathematics rather than price observation.
2. Relative value models determine value based on the observation of market prices of similar assets.