13.2 Methods Of Equity Analysis

A comprehensive guide covering the methods of equity analysis, focusing on fundamental and technical analysis, and providing detailed insights, formulas, charts, and key takeaways to help you prepare for the Canadian Securities Course certification exam.


Equity analysis involves evaluating and selecting which stocks to add to an investment portfolio. The two primary methodologies for equity analysis are fundamental analysis and technical analysis. These methods provide investors with insights necessary to make informed investment decisions. This guide will compare and contrast these two approaches in detail.

1. Compare and Contrast Fundamental and Technical Analysis

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is an approach to evaluating the intrinsic value of a security by examining related economic, financial, and other qualitative and quantitative factors. It assesses the short-, medium-, and long-range prospects of different industries and companies. The key components of fundamental analysis include:

  1. Economic Analysis: This involves the evaluation of macroeconomic indicators like GDP growth rates, unemployment rates, and inflation, which provide a context for the performance expectations of different industries.

  2. Industry Analysis: This step examines the outlook for the industry in which a company operates. Factors such as industry life cycle, competition, regulatory impacts, and innovation are considered.

  3. Company Analysis: Analyzing the financial health and performance of a company through its financial statements, including its income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Key metrics and ratios include:

    • Earnings Per Share (EPS): $$EPS = \frac{Net Income – Dividends on Preferred Stock}{Average Outstanding Shares}$$
    • Price-to-Earnings Ratio (P/E): $$P/E \text{ Ratio} = \frac{Market Price per Share}{EPS}$$
    • Return on Equity (ROE): $$ROE = \frac{Net Income}{Shareholder’s Equity}$$

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis evaluates securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volume. It aims to predict future price movements based on the assumption that patterns and trends repeat over time. Key principles and tools include:

  1. Price Trends: Identifying whether prices are moving upward (bullish trend) or downward (bearish trend).

  2. Chart Patterns: Utilizing charts such as line charts, bar charts, and candlestick charts to identify patterns. Common patterns include head and shoulders, flags and pennants, and double tops and bottoms.

  3. Indicators: Applying technical indicators such as Moving Averages (MA), Relative Strength Index (RSI), and Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) to identify potential buy and sell signals.

Example: Simple Moving Average

A simple moving average with a period ( n ) is calculated as follows:

$$ (SMA = \frac{P_1 + P_2 + ... + P_n}{n}) $$
where ( P ) represents the price points.

Comparing Fundamental and Technical Analysis

Aspect Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis
Focus Long-term intrinsic value Short to medium-term price movements
Data Financial statements, economic indicators Historical price data, volume
Time Horizon Short, medium, and long-term Short and medium-term
Tools Ratios, financial models, economic reports Charts, trends, patterns, technical indicators
Analytical Approach Qualitative and quantitative Primarily quantitative

Key Takeaways

  • Fundamental Analysis aims to determine a security’s intrinsic value by evaluating economic, industry, and company factors.
  • Technical Analysis focuses on forecasting future price movements using past market data and trends.
  • Investors can use a combination of both methods to gain a comprehensive understanding of potential investment opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the primary difference between fundamental and technical analysis?

The primary difference is that fundamental analysis seeks to determine a security’s intrinsic value based on economic and financial factors, while technical analysis aims to predict future price movements based on historical price and volume patterns.

How can earnings per share (EPS) impact stock prices in fundamental analysis?

Higher EPS indicates a company’s profitability, which can lead to a higher stock price as investors perceive the company to be more valuable.

Are there any limitations to using technical analysis?

Yes, technical analysis may not account for all market conditions, such as macroeconomic changes or unforeseen events, which can impact price movements beyond historical patterns.


  • Intrinsic Value: The actual worth of a company or asset based on an underlying perception of its true value, including all aspects of the business.
  • Candlestick Chart: A type of financial chart that shows the high, low, open, and closing prices of a security for a specific period.
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS): A company’s profit divided by the outstanding shares of its common stock.
  • Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio: A ratio for valuing a company by measuring its current share price relative to its per-share earnings.
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): A momentum oscillator measuring the speed and change of price movements.
  • Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD): A trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of a security’s price.

End of Document

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## What is the primary focus of fundamental analysis in equity evaluation? - [x] Assessing the short-, medium-, and long-range prospects of industries and companies - [ ] Analyzing historical stock prices - [ ] Studying investor sentiment - [ ] Evaluating economic cycles > **Explanation:** Fundamental analysis evaluates the prospects of industries and companies over different time frames to determine security prices. ## What does technical analysis primarily study to predict future prices? - [ ] Company financial statements - [ ] Industry growth potential - [x] Historical stock prices and market behaviour - [ ] Government fiscal policies > **Explanation:** Technical analysis focuses on historical stock prices and market behaviour to predict future price movements. ## Which method of equity analysis assesses short-, medium-, and long-term prospects of companies? - [x] Fundamental analysis - [ ] Technical analysis - [ ] Quantitative analysis - [ ] Sentiment analysis > **Explanation:** Fundamental analysis evaluates company prospects over multiple time frames to assess security values. ## Which method is more likely to use chart patterns and trends to make investment decisions? - [ ] Fundamental analysis - [ ] Economic analysis - [x] Technical analysis - [ ] Qualitative analysis > **Explanation:** Technical analysis relies on chart patterns and trends to predict future stock behaviour. ## Which type of analysis would involve evaluating a company's earnings, debt levels, and industry competition? - [x] Fundamental analysis - [ ] Technical analysis - [ ] Sentiment analysis - [ ] Artificial Intelligence-based analysis > **Explanation:** Fundamental analysis involves evaluating financial and competitive metrics of companies. ## Which type of analysis could involve studying moving averages and relative strength indicators (RSI)? - [ ] Fundamental analysis - [x] Technical analysis - [ ] Economic analysis - [ ] Sentiment analysis > **Explanation:** Technical analysis tools like moving averages and RSI are used to predict future market movements. ## What is a typical timeframe focus for fundamental analysis? - [x] Short-, medium-, and long-range - [ ] Only short-range - [ ] Only medium-range - [ ] Only long-range > **Explanation:** Fundamental analysis assesses the prospects of different time ranges for industries and companies. ## What does technical analysis attempt to predict using stock market behavior? - [ ] Company's market share - [ ] Long-term economic outlook - [x] Future stock prices - [ ] Interest rates > **Explanation:** Technical analysis uses stock market behaviour to predict future price movements. ## Which type of analysis is more likely to use balance sheets and income statements in their assessment? - [x] Fundamental analysis - [ ] Technical analysis - [ ] Behavioural analysis - [ ] Macro-economic analysis > **Explanation:** Fundamental analysis typically employs financial statements like balance sheets and income statements to determine the value of a security. ## In which method of analysis would an investor use historical price charts to inform their trading decisions? - [ ] Fundamental analysis - [x] Technical analysis - [ ] Economic indicators analysis - [ ] Sociopolitical analysis > **Explanation:** Technical analysis uses historical price charts to forecast future stock movements.

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In this section

  • 13.2.1 Overview Of Fundamental Analysis
    Learn about fundamental analysis in the context of the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), including its importance in evaluating capital market conditions, economic conditions, industry conditions, and individual companies to measure intrinsic value.
  • 13.2.2 Overview Of Technical Analysis
    Discover the fundamentals and key concepts of technical analysis in securities trading. Learn how past price movements and market sentiment help predict future price directions.
  • 13.2.3 Market Theories
    Explore the three major stock market theories - efficient market hypothesis, random walk theory, and rational expectations hypothesis, along with their variations and implications for investment strategies.
Tuesday, July 23, 2024