Course 406: Using Morningstar's Rating for Stocks
A Different Valuation Approach&
In this course
1 Introduction
2 What Is Fair Value?
3 How Do We Assign Stars?
4 What Causes a Star Rating to Change?
5 A Different Valuation Approach&
6 The Bottom Line

Morningstar's fair value estimate analysis is based on a different valuation methodology than ratio-based approaches. If you've ever talked about P/E or P/B (as we did in Stocks 108), you have valued stocks using ratios, also known as multiples. Investors like to use ratios because they are easy to calculate and readily available. The downside is that making sense of valuation ratios usually requires a bit of context. A company can have a high P/E or P/B but still be cheap based on fair value. If a computer company can grow fast enough, its stock will deserve a high P/E, and it might even be a bargain. Likewise, a company in a dying industry with negative growth may have a low P/E and still be overvalued.

We believe that looking at future profits allows for a more sophisticated approach to stock valuation. By determining a company's fair value based on a projection of a company's future cash flows, we can determine whether a stock is undervalued or overvalued. The advantage of this approach is that the result is easy to understand and does not require as much context as the basic ratios. While it takes more time and expertise to estimate future cash flows, we believe that valuing stocks in this way allows investors to spot bargains and make more intelligent investments.

Next: The Bottom Line >>

Print Lesson |Feedback | Digg! digg it
Learn how to invest like a pro with Morningstar’s Investment Workbooks (John Wiley & Sons, 2004, 2005), available at online bookstores.
Copyright 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy.
If you have questions or comments please contact Morningstar.