There are several ways to perform financial statement analysis: Financial Ratio Analysis (Horizontal, Vertical), Trend Analysis, Relative Analysis, Cash Flow Analysis, and Profitability Studies. Ratios used in financial ratio analysis include the current assets divided by current liabilities, which helps evaluate solvency. Industry-standard ratios for this are around 1.5x to 2x. Trend Analysis compares changes in sales revenue, such as growing from 50 million yuan in one year (2021) to 60 million yuan the next (2023), to identify growth directions. Comparative Analysis measures and compares how a company performs compared to the industry average, such as a 40% gross profit margin when the industry norm is 35%. Cash Flow Analysis evaluates how durable revenue streams are, 20 million yuan in operating cash flows in 2023. One metric used in profitability analysis is ROE (net profit/equity), where a 20% ROE would be considered good.

### Financial Ratio Analysis

Financial ratio analysis is a key financial analysis tool to understand a company’s financial condition by calculating different ratios. The purpose of these ratios is to determine the condition of a company regarding solvency, profitability, and operational efficiency. The current ratio indicates short-term solvency and is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities. The industry average current ratio for 2023 data is 1.6, which means that the company has 1.6 yuan in short-term assets for every 1 yuan in liabilities. If the ratio stands at 1.2, this may lead to potential liquidity issues for a company, requiring further short-term solvency risk investigation.

The quick ratio is another important financial measurement used to gauge short-term solvency without relying on inventory. This ratio is expressed as (current assets – inventory) divided by current liabilities. The ideal quick ratio is generally between 1.0 and 1.2. A quick ratio of 0.9 in 2023 might imply that a company, despite having adequate assets to repay most current liabilities without selling inventory, may have difficulty meeting short-term obligations during emergencies and should improve its liquidity management.

### Trend Analysis

Trend analysis compares financial data over comparable periods to track changes in performance and predict future conditions. When a company’s sales revenue increased from 50 million yuan in 2021 to 55 million yuan in 2022, and later to 60 million yuan in 2023, this expansion reflects effective market penetration and increased sales volume. Annual growth rates also help predict future financial trends. With sales revenue growth slowing from 29% to 40%, the implied annual CAGR from fiscal year 2021 to 2023 is roughly aligned with recent results, falling slightly each period.

Another method of trend analysis is monitoring profit margins. If a company’s net profit margin is 8% in 2021, 10% in 2022, and 12% in 2023, it shows improvements in cost control and performance growth. This trend allows management to identify successful strategies and incorporate them into future financial plans.

### Comparative Analysis

Comparative analysis evaluates how a company performs compared to industry standards or competitors, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. For example, if a company’s 2023 gross profit margin is 40% while the industry average is 35%, it shows a cost control advantage. However, if the company has a 60% debt-to-asset ratio compared to an industry average of 50%, it may be over-leveraged and need to adjust its capital structure.

Comparative analysis is a powerful tool that not only reveals differences in market share but also in operational efficiency. For instance, if company A’s 2023 sales revenue is 60 million yuan while competitor B’s is 80 million yuan, it may indicate underutilized market expansion opportunities. By analyzing the reasons for sales revenue growth, we can identify business extension efforts and challenges, thereby improving strategic decisions and streamlining operations.

### Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis determines how much money flows in and out of a company, giving an accurate picture of its profitability and financial stability. It is divided into three primary sections: operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities. A sufficient level of operating cash flow indicates strong core business performance. If a company has 20 million yuan in operating cash flow and -15 million yuan in investing cash flow in 2023, it shows strong operational inflows but heavy investment outflows, potentially affecting short-term financial stability.

Cash Flow Analysis also includes Free Cash Flow (FCF), calculated as Operating Cash Flow minus capital expenditures. Higher free cash flow growth indicates more funds available for reinvestment, debt repayment, or dividends. For instance, if free cash flow increases from 4 million yuan in 2022 to 5 million yuan in 2023, it indicates better financial flexibility for future growth.

### Profitability Analysis

Profitability analysis evaluates a company’s profit levels and sources to see how effectively resources are used to generate profits. Net profit margin is a common profitability indicator calculated by dividing net profit by sales revenue. If a company’s net profit is 8 million yuan in 2023, with sales revenue of 60 million yuan, the net profit margin is 13.3%. This is 3.3 percentage points above the industry average of 10%, indicating strong profitability.

Other important profitability indicators include ROA and ROE. ROA, calculated as net profit divided by total assets, measures how efficiently a company generates profit from its assets. If a company’s ROA is 8% in 2023, it means that every 1 yuan of assets generates 0.08 yuan of net profit. ROE, calculated as net profit divided by equity, assesses how effectively shareholder capital is used. A company with a 20% ROE indicates efficient use of shareholder capital and high returns to shareholders.