Theoretically it is what the shareholders will receive if the company is liquidated. Total equity is a balance sheet item and equal to total assets less total liabilities of the company. Since intangibles such as goodwill cannot be sold when the company liquidates, tangible book value per share is considered more accurate in reflecting how much shareholders will receive when the company liquidates.
Usually a companys book value and tangible book may not reflect its true value. The assets may be carried on the balance sheets at the original cost minus depreciation. This may underestimate the true economic values of the assets. It also may over-estimate their true economic value because the assets can become obsolete.
For financial companies such as banks and insurance companies, their assets may be reported in current market value of the assets owned. Book values of financial companies are more accurate indicator of the economic value of the company.
Disclaimers: GuruFocus.com is not operated by a broker, a dealer, or a registered investment adviser. Under no circumstances does any information posted on GuruFocus.com represent a recommendation to buy or sell a security. The information on this site, and in its related newsletters, is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, investment advice or recommendations. The gurus may buy and sell securities before and after any particular article and report and information herein is published, with respect to the securities discussed in any article and report posted herein. In no event shall GuruFocus.com be liable to any member, guest or third party for any damages of any kind arising out of the use of any content or other material published or available on GuruFocus.com, or relating to the use of, or inability to use, GuruFocus.com or any content, including, without limitation, any investment losses, lost profits, lost opportunity, special, incidental, indirect, consequential or punitive damages. Past performance is a poor indicator of future performance. The information on this site, and in its related newsletters, is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, investment advice or recommendations. The information on this site is in no way guaranteed for completeness, accuracy or in any other way. The gurus listed in this website are not affiliated with GuruFocus.com, LLC.
Stock quotes provided by InterActive Data. Fundamental company data provided by Morningstar, updated daily.