In the calculation of a companys net cash, assets other than cash and short term investments are considered to be worth nothing. But the company has to pay its debt and other liabilities in full. This is an extremely conservative way of valuation. Most companies have negative net cash. But sometimes a companys price may be lower than its net-cash.
Ben Graham invested in situations where the companys stock price was lower than its net-cash. He assigned some value to the companys other current asset. The value is called Net Current Asset Value (NCAV). One research study, covering the years 1970 through 1983 showed that portfolios picked at the beginning of each year, and held for one year, returned 29.4 percent, on average, over the 13-year period, compared to 11.5 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Other studies of Grahams strategy produced similar results.
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