Monday, March 23, 2009

Applying the Altman Z-Score Model to Mining Companies

Tools and ideas for short sellers, including an automated calculator and screener based on the Altman models.

In a couple of recent posts ("Using the Altman Z-Score Model to Calculate the Risk of a Company Going Bankrupt" and "Applying the Altman Z-Score Model to a Non-Manufacturing Company") we discussed the use of the original, five variable model for manufacturers and the modified model for non-manufacturers. Recall that the modified Altman Z-score model for non-manufacturers excludes the fifth variable in the original model (sales/total assets), to account for different levels of capital intensiveness among non-manufacturers.

Since mining companies, like manufacturers, are also capital intensive, I asked Dr. Altman via e-mail which of his models would be best for miners. His response:

Try both, but probably the 4 variable model is more appropriate.

The photo above, of a copper smelter, is from the website of the Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals.

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