The three primary financial statements used to analyse a company's financial performance and position are the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement.
These financial statements provide information about a company's assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, expenses, and cash flows.
Balance sheet: The balance sheet is a snapshot of a company's financial position at a specific point in time. It lists the company's assets, liabilities, and equity. Assets are resources that a company owns and that have value, such as cash, investments, and property. Liabilities are obligations that the company owes to others, such as loans and accounts payable. Equity represents the residual interest in the assets of the company, and is the difference between the assets and liabilities.
Income statement: The income statement, also known as the profit and loss (P&L) statement, shows a company's revenues, expenses, and profits over a given period of time, typically a month or a year. It measures a company's financial performance and determines its net income or loss for the period.
- Cash flow statement: The cash flow statement shows the inflow and outflow of cash for a company over a given period of time. It includes information about the company's cash receipts from sales, investments, and financing activities, as well as its cash payments for expenses, investments, and debt obligations. The cash flow statement helps to understand a company's ability to generate and use cash.
Together, these financial statements provide a comprehensive view of a company's financial position and performance, and are used by investors, analysts, and other stakeholders to evaluate the company's financial health and make informed decisions.