Financial Accounting Blog

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Intangible Assets. says that "not all the glitter in a corporation shows up on it's balance sheet." Many companies are worth much more than what is on their books, through such intangible assets as reputation, innovation, management, and human capital.
Beyond the hard assets than can be quantified--the cash and factories and receivables--are intanglibles like trademarks, patents, and ways of doing business. Pepsi Co., for example, shows a tangible book value of $6.5 billion, yet a market value of $86.8 billion. Even if you include in Pepsi Co.'s book value the intangible assets, like goodwill, quantified on its balance sheet, Wall Street says you are still $75 billion short of the company's worth. What intangibles are not quantified? Brands, innovation, corporate integrity and corporate citizenship--despite their obvious relevance to performance.