The Mysteries of Stock Value

In the last post, I told you (as if you wouldn’t have already assumed) that Asian art is normally a mystery to me.

Now, the secret will be really be out.   So is stock value.

The Wall Street Journal today says that the aggregate stock value of General Motors Corp. is $7.8 billion, and that the aggregate stock value of Toyota Motor Corp. is $154 billion.

Understanding that Toyota has been on the rise, and GM on the decline, and understanding that Toyota is about to surpass GM in sales in the U.S., I still don’t understand how the company can be worth 20 times what GM is worth.

I assume that there is not a factor of 20 in asset value, although I guess it is possible.  I would be surprised if GM has 20 times the debt of Toyota, although I guess it is possible.

I conclude (based on nothing) that the value is all in speculation as to future success of the companies.  And, perhaps, that is the best indication of value after all, although it is an indication of value is remarkably unstable.

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