Altman Z-score

The Altman Z-score is a formula for determining whether a company, particularly in the manufacturing industry, is headed for bankruptcy. It takes into account profitability, leverage, liquidity, solvency, and activity ratios, data found on a company’s annual 10-K report. Investors can use Altman Z-scores to determine whether they should buy or sell a stock if they're concerned about the company's underlying financial strength.

Z-Score = 1.2A + 1.4B + 3.3C + 0.6D + 1.0E 


A = working capital / total assets

B = retained earnings / total assets

C = earnings before interest and tax / total assets

D = market value of equity / total liabilities

E = sales / total assets

A score below 1.8 means it's likely the company is headed for bankruptcy, while companies with scores above 3 are not likely to go bankrupt.

Investors may consider purchasing a stock if its Altman Z-Score value is closer to 3 and selling or shorting a stock if the value is closer to 1.8.