How to Calculate Carrying Value Per Share

by Mark Kennan

Carrying value per share, also called book value per share, measures the theoretical amount that a person owning one share of a company would receive if the company were to be liquidated. Investors use carrying value per share as one financial metric to evaluate a company as a potential investment. The carrying value per share only measures the tangible assets, so a company with significant potential for growth or large profits with only a small asset base will have a smaller carrying value per share.

Calculate the company's tangible assets by subtracting the intangible assets from the total assets. For example, if the company has $900,000 in assets and $50,000 in intangible assets, subtract $50,000 from $900,000 to find the company has $850,000 in tangible assets.

Subtract the company's liabilities from its total tangible assets. For example, if the company has $300,000 in debt, subtract $300,000 from $850,000 to get the company's assets in excess of liabilities, which in this example equals $550,000.

Subtract the company's preferred shares from the company's assets in excess of liabilities to find the net assets available to common stock. In this example, if the company has $150,000 in preferred stock, subtract $150,000 from $550,000 to find the company has $400,000 in net assets available to common stock.

Divide the net assets available to common stock by the total number of shares outstanding to find the company's carrying value per share. In this example, if the company has 40,000 shares outstanding, divide $400,000 by 40,000 shares to find the carrying value equals $10 per share.

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