Features Determine Value

In every market, buyers determine Value, the sustainable prices for products based on their features.  This phenomenon is never more evident than in stock markets.

Consider the S&P 500 from one day in July 2019, as shown below.  After filtering out those stocks with negative figures for book values, earnings per share, and returns on assets, we have 411 stocks left.

At left, the plane running through the data reveals how the market rewards market capitalization (showing larger companies draw larger prices) and book value per share (how the market rewards a measure of safety if the company were to dissolve), given earnings per share (EPS) of $2.  We could imagine stockholders consider EPS as part of their Value calculation as well, and if we increase it from $2 to $20, as shown at right, we see how the market rewards that feature.

Book value per share, market cap, and earnings per share (with P-values of 0.58%, 1.88E-67, and, 1.17E-11, respectively, where P-values measure the chance a variable contribution is due to chance) are parts of an equation with more contributors to Value as a part of it.

What else might add Value?  Check in to the next post for some answers.


Costs And Prices Both Move Down Over Time

In most markets outside of refining and mining, costs and prices move in the same direction – generally downward.

In the case of the Model T, this happened for nearly two decades. When prices exceed costs, we say the product is in Sustainable Disequilibrium.  When costs rise to and exceed prices, producers end the product line (Source, Abernathy, Product Dilemma, 1978, ISBN ISBN-13: 978-0801820816)

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