Business Article Summary
Document: FINANCIAL RATIOS, DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS AND THE PREDICTION OF CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY
Author: Edward I. Altman
Published: September 1968
Course: Principles of Accounting 201
Professor: Clyde Herring
April 12, 2016
The article Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis and the Prediction of Corporate Bankruptcy was written in 1968 by Edward I. Altman. The purpose of the article is to address the quality of ratio analysis as an analytical technique. At the time some academicians were moving away from ratio analysis and moving toward statistical analysis. The article attempted to determine if ratio analysis should be continued, eliminated and replaced by statistical analysis or serve together with statistical analysis as cofactors in financial analysis. The example case used by the article was the prediction of corporate bankruptcy.
Ratios traditionally measure the most important factors such as liquidity, solvency and profitability, as well as other measures of solvency. Different studies have found various ratios to be the most efficient indicators of solvency. Studies of ratio analysis began in the 1930’s, with several studies of the concluding that firms with the potential to file bankruptcy all exhibited different ratios than those companies that were financially sound.
Among the study’s findings were that the deciding factor of the predictor of bankruptcy should not be only a few ratios, as the measure of a company’s financial solvency may differ as the firm’s situations differ. The important question is to which ratios are to be used and of those ratios chosen, which ratios are given priority weight. After discussions, a multiple discriminant analysis (MDA), a statistical technique, was chosen. MDA was used primarily to classify and make prediction in...