Z-Score is a simple linear, multi-factor model that measures the financial health and economic stability of a company. The score is used to predict probability of a firm going into bankruptcy within next 24 months or two fiscal years from the day stated on the accounting statements used to calculate it. The model uses five fundamental business ratios that are weighted according to algorithm of Professor Edward Altman who developed it in late 1960s at New York University.. To calculate Z-Score one would need to know current working capital of the company, its total assets and liabilities, amount of latest retained earnings as well as earnings before interest and tax. Z-Score can be used to compare the odds of bankruptcy of companies in similar line of business or firms operating in the same industry. Companies with Z-Scores above 3.1 are generally considered to be stable and healthy with low probability of bankruptcy. Scores that fall between 1.8 and 3.1 lie in a so-called 'grey area' with scores of less than 1 indicating the high probability of distress. Z Score is used widely by financial auditors, accountants, money managers, loan processers, wealth advisers, as well as day traders. In the last 25 years many financial models that utilize z score has been proved to be successful as a predictor of corporate bankruptcy.
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