Monday, May 23, 2011

Watch Out When Valuations Aren't Based on Earnings

There isn't a social media bubble, a PwC consultant says. But watch out when experts start using metrics other than those based on earnings. That's what happened during the 1999 technology bubble as well. People started inventing metrics not based on earnings, because there were no earnings.

Obviously, some firms do have actual earnings. But many do not. So beware when people start saying "price to earnings" ratios aren't the best way to value firms. That's the same slippery slope that lead to disaster last time. PwC partner Ian Coleman says "value per user" is a reasonable way to value firms. Watch out. That's bubble talk.

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