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Understanding Cash Flow Statement - How To Make And Read Cash Flow Statement

Oct 10, 2007
The cash flow statement sometimes is another financial statement that investors should become familiar with. It is another tool for managers and investors that shows how changes in the balance sheet and income affect cash. The cash flows are broken down into three parts: operating activities, investing activities, financing activities and the cash flows from each source. These changes shown on the cash flow statement are useful in determining the immediate health of the firm and its ability to function as an ongoing concern.

Operating activities are the production, sales, and delivery of the company's products. These are the regular day to day activities of the firm that put it into business in the first place. This category will include figures like depreciation, taxes, and amortization of intangible assets (things like brand-name recognition).

Investing activities include the purchase and sale of long-term assets. Items here will include capital expenditures and investments. All investments made on behalf of the firm are including here. Purchases of plant, property and equipment are included as capital expenditures.

The financing activities represent the equity of the firm. This is the money owned by outside entities such as banks and shareholders as well as the payments to these owners of the company (dividends). If the company made any purchases or sales of its own stock, it will be included here.

The cash flow statement will contain a bottom-line, the net increase (or decrease) in cash. If a company is negative in cash, it will have issues paying its short-term debts and have difficulty continuing to do business. That's not to say it will definitely fail, but will have to find other ways to generate cash to pay its bills. Remember, this statement does not detail income; just how much cash the firm has on hand. A sample cash flow statement is pictured below.

NOTE: For image sample of a cashflow statement, go here http://www.tradingsphere.com/the-cash-flow-statement
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