The book is eminently readable, exhaustively treating the subject in simple but engaging language, and using practical examples wherever possible. It explains the concepts it uses as it introduces them. It is both ambitious and modest at the same time, covering all aspects of its subject, but disclaiming precision. It admits the hazards of ‘determining the present value of future worth’ and that, ‘despite GAAP and IFRS, financial reports remain only dim mirrors of company value’, stressing other factors ‘such as qualitative measures of corporate governance.’
Getting to the IR heart, the book claims ‘valuation begins from the hour a company’s leaders find equity investors who believe so strongly in the company’s economic prospects that they are willing to provide capital for it with no strings attached. This belief in a company’s future – this hope – is what makes the value of the stock something more than the current value of its assets if valued in a fire sale.’
Of course the book does, at length, consider the different ways to assess the qualitative aspects of a company’s value, but it also expands on that ‘hope’ that, ultimately, is the added value of good investor relations beyond sending out the spreadsheets. It is in that qualitative space where an effective IRO can tease out and illustrate the factors that are not susceptible to number crunching.
Although the book is officially aimed at fund managers, the authors do express the hope that others will find it interesting and of value. And they should. Its combination of penetrating insights that are sharply expressed and carefully built-up reasoning make it not only an amazingly readable work on one of the drier branches of the dismal science of corporate valuation, but also eminently well suited to analysts, IROs and others who want a refreshing and provocative look at their subject."
— Ian Williams, Inside Investor Relations, December 3, 2010