Financial Terms

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Definition of Finance

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A discipline concerned with determining value and making decisions. The finance function allocates
resources, which includes acquiring, investing, and managing resources.

Related Terms:

Corporate finance

One of the three areas of the discipline of finance. It deals with the operation of the firm
(both the investment decision and the financing decision) from that firm's point of view.

External finance

finance that is not generated by the firm: new borrowing or a stock issue.

Internal finance

finance generated within a firm by retained earnings and depreciation.

International finance subsidiary

A subsidiary incorporated in the U.S., usually in Delaware, whose sole
purpose was to issue debentures overseas and invest the proceeds in foreign operations, with the interest paid
to foreign bondholders not subject to U.S. withholding tax. The elimination of the corporate withholding tax
has ended the need for this type of subsidiary.

Offshore finance subsidiary

A wholly owned affiliate incorporated overseas, usually in a tax haven country,
whose function is to issue securities abroad for use in either the parent's domestic or its foreign business.

Finance Company

Company engaged in making loans to individuals or businesses. Unlike a bank, it does not receive deposits from the public.

CARs (cumulative abnormal returns)

a measure used in academic finance articles to measure the excess returns an investor would have received over a particular time period if he or she were invested in a particular stock.
This is typically used in control and takeover studies, where stockholders are paid a premium for being taken over. Starting some time period before the takeover (often five days before the first announced bid, but sometimes a longer period), the researchers calculate the actual daily stock returns for the target firm and subtract out the expected market returns (usually calculated using the firm’s beta and applying it to overall market movements during the time period under observation).
The excess actual return over the capital asset pricing model-determined expected return market is called an ‘‘abnormal return.’’ The cumulation of the daily abnormal returns over the time period under observation is the CAR. The term CAR(-5, 0) means the CAR calculated from five days before the
announcement to the day of announcement. The CAR(-1, 0) is a control premium, although Mergerstat generally uses the stock price five days before announcement rather than one day before announcement as the denominator in its control premium calculation. However, the CAR for any period other than (-1, 0) is not mathematically equivalent to a control premium.

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Adjusted present value (APV)

The net present value analysis of an asset if financed solely by equity
(present value of un-levered cash flows), plus the present value of any financing decisions (levered cash
flows). In other words, the various tax shields provided by the deductibility of interest and the benefits of
other investment tax credits are calculated separately. This analysis is often used for highly leveraged
transactions such as a leverage buy-out.

Bankruptcy view

The argument that expected bankruptcy costs preclude firms from being financed entirely
with debt.

Call money rate

Also called the broker loan rate , the interest rate that banks charge brokers to finance
margin loans to investors. The broker charges the investor the call money rate plus a service charge.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

Conditional sales contracts

Similar to equipment trust certificates except that the lender is either the
equipment manufacturer or a bank or finance company to whom the manufacturer has sold the conditional
sales contract.

Debt leverage

The amplification of the return earned on equity when an investment or firm is financed
partially with borrowed money.

Exact matching

A bond portfolio management strategy that involves finding the lowest cost portfolio
generating cash inflows exactly equal to cash outflows that are being financed by investment.

Floor planning

Arrangement used to finance inventory. A finance company buys the inventory, which is then
held in trust by the user.

Force majeure risk

The risk that there will be an interruption of operations for a prolonged period after a
project finance project has been completed due to fire, flood, storm, or some other factor beyond the control
of the project's sponsors.

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Internal measure

The number of days that a firm can finance operations without additional cash income.

Irrational call option

The implied call imbedded in the MBS. Identified as irrational because the call is
sometimes not exercised when it is in the money (interest rates are below the threshold to refinance).
Sometimes exercised when not in the money (home sold without regard to the relative level of interest rates).

Leveraged buyout (LBO)

A transaction used for taking a public corporation private financed through the use
of debt funds: bank loans and bonds. Because of the large amount of debt relative to equity in the new
corporation, the bonds are typically rated below investment grade, properly referred to as high-yield bonds or
junk bonds. Investors can participate in an LBO through either the purchase of the debt (i.e., purchase of the
bonds or participation in the bank loan) or the purchase of equity through an LBO fund that specializes in
such investments.

Leveraged required return

The required return on an investment when the investment is financed partially by debt.

Old-line factoring

Factoring arrangement that provides collection, insurance, and finance for accounts receivable.

Project notes (PNs)

Project notes are issued by municipalities to finance federally sponsored programs in
urban renewal and housing and are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Project financing A form of asset-based financing in which a firm finances a discrete set of assets on a standalone
Projected benefit obligation (PBO) A measure of a pension plan's liability at the calculation date assuming
that the plan is ongoing and will not terminate in the foreseeable future. Related:accumulated benefit obligation.

Revenue bond

A bond issued by a municipality to finance either a project or an enterprise where the issuer
pledges to the bondholders the revenues generated by the operating projects financed, for instance, hospital
revenue bonds and sewer revenue bonds.

Revenue fund

A fund accounting for all revenues from an enterprise financed by a municipal revenue bond.

Self-liquidating loan

Loan to finance current assets, The sale of the current assets provides the cash to repay
the loan.

Short-run operating activities

Events and decisions concerning the short-term finance of a firm, such as
how much inventory to order and whether to offer cash terms or credit terms to customers.

Swingline facility

Bank borrowing facility to provide finance while the firm replaces U.S. commercial paper
with eurocommercial paper.

TANs (tax anticipation notes)

Tax anticipation notes issued by states or municipalities to finance current
operations in anticipation of future tax receipts.

Threshold for refinancing

The point when the WAC of an MBS is at a level to induce homeowners to
prepay the mortgage in order to refinance to a lower-rate mortgage, generally reached when the WAC of the
MBS is 2% or more above currently available mortgage rates.


Mutual Funds: A measure of trading activity during the previous year, expressed as a percentage of
the average total assets of the fund. A turnover ratio of 25% means that the value of trades represented onefourth
of the assets of the fund. finance: The number of times a given asset, such as inventory, is replaced
during the accounting period, usually a year. Corporate: The ratio of annual sales to net worth, representing
the extent to which a company can growth without outside capital. Markets: The volume of shares traded as a
percent of total shares listed during a specified period, usually a day or a year. Great Britain: total revenue.

Unleveraged beta

The beta of an unleveraged required return (i.e. no debt) on an investment when the
investment is financed entirely by equity.

Unleveraged required return

The required return on an investment when the investment is financed entirely
by equity (i.e. no debt).

World Bank

A multilateral development finance agency created by the 1944 Bretton Woods, New
Hampshire negotiations. It makes loans to developing countries for social overhead capital projects, which are
guaranteed by the recipient country. See: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


A section on the cash-flow statement that shows how much cash a company raised by selling stocks or bonds this year and how much was paid out for cash dividends and other finance-related obligations.

Operating profit

The profit made by the business for an accounting period, equal to gross profit less selling, finance, administration etc. expenses, but before deducting interest or taxation.

Ratio Analysis

The process of using financial ratios, calculated from key accounts
found in a company's financial statements, to make judgements
concerning the finances and operations of the firm

pecking order theory

Firms prefer to issue debt rather than equity if internal finance is insufficient.

venture capital

Money invested to finance a new firm.

Balanced-Budget Multiplier

The multiplier associated with a change in government spending financed by an equal change in taxes.

National Debt

The debt owed by the government as a result of earlier borrowing to finance budget deficits. That part of the debt not held by the central bank is the publically held national debt.

Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB)

Interpretations and practices followed by the staff of the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Division of Corporation finance in administering the disclosure
requirements of the federal securities laws.

Inspection Report

This is a telephone interview of the person applying for life insurance conducted by someone from the underwriting department of the insurance company. Some insurance companies only sporadically contact applicants and some contact every applicant. On average the interview lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. The questions asked relate to personal habits (like smoking and alcohol consumption) and finances, including income and net worth, confirmation of employment, duties and the nature of the applicant's business. In addition, there are questions about driving, sports, aviation and currently held insurance. All information obtained is strictly confidential and is submitted solely to the underwriter for review.

Asset-Based Financing

Loans granted usually by a financial institution where the asset being financed constitutes the sole security given to the lender.


In finance: to find the present value of a stream of cash flows.
In Accounting: to reflect costs of the balance sheet rather than charge them off through the income statement, as to capitalize major repairs to a fixed asset.

Project Financing

Debt finance, usually non-recourse, provided by financial institutions for the development and construction of a new project.







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