This book was designed and developed explicitly for a first course in business or corporate finance, for both finance majors and non-majors alike. In terms of background or prerequisites, the book is nearly self- contained, assuming some familiarity with basic algebra and accounting concepts, while still reviewing important accounting principles very early on.
When the three of us decided to write a book, we were united by one strongly held principle: Corporate finance should be developed in terms of a few integrated, powerful ideas. We believed that the subject was all too often presented as a collection of loosely related topics, unified primarily by virtue of being bound together in one book, and we thought there must be a better way. One thing we knew for certain was that we didn’t want to write a “me-too” book. So, with a lot of help, we took a hard look at what was truly important and useful. In doing so, we were led to eliminate topics of dubious relevance, downplay purely theoretical issues, and minimize the use of extensive and elaborate calculations to illustrate points that are either intuitively obvious or of limited practical use. As a result of this process, three basic themes became our central focus in writing Fundamentals of Corporate Finance: AN EMPHASIS ON INTUITION We always try to separate and explain the principles at work on a common sense, intuitive level before launching into any specifics. The underlying ideas are discussed first in very general terms and then by way of examples that illustrate in more concrete terms how a financial manager might proceed in a given situation. A UNIFIED VALUATION APPROACH We treat net present value (NPV) as the basic concept underlying corporate finance. Many texts stop well short of consistently integrating this important principle. The most basic and important notion, that NPV represents the excess of market value over cost, often is lost in an overly mechanical approach that emphasizes computation at the expense of comprehension. In contrast, every subject we cover is firmly rooted in valuation, and care is taken throughout to explain how particular decisions have valuation effects. A MANAGERIAL FOCUS Students shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that financial management concerns management. We emphasize the role of the financial manager as decision maker, and we stress the need for managerial input and judgment. We consciously avoid “black box” approaches to finance, and, where appropriate, the approximate, pragmatic nature of financial analysis is made explicit, possible pitfalls are described, and limitations are discussed. In retrospect, looking back to our 1991 first edition IPO, we had the same hopes and fears as any entrepreneurs. How would we be received in the market? At the time, we had no idea that just 18 years later, we would be working on a ninth edition. We certainly never dreamed that in those years we would work with friends and colleagues from around the world to create country-specific Australian, Canadian, and South African editions, an International edition, Chinese, French, Polish, Portuguese, Thai, Russian, Korean, and Spanish language editions, and an entirely separate book, Essentials of Corporate Finance, now in its sixth edition. Today, as we prepare to once more enter the market, our goal is to stick with the basic principles that have brought us this far. However, based on the enormous amount of feedback we have received from you and your colleagues, we have made this edition and its package even more flexible than previous editions. We offer flexibility in coverage, by continuing to offer two editions, and flexibility in pedagogy, by providing a wide variety of features in the book to help stu- dents to learn about corporate finance. We also provide flexibility in package options by offering the most extensive collection of teaching, learning, and technology aids of any corporate finance text. Whether you use only the textbook, or the book in conjunction with our other products, we believe you will find a combination with this edition that will meet your current as well as your changing course needs.