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Investment Banking Interview Questions with Answer Part 3

Q1- How you will use your skill and experience apply to this job?

Suggested Answer: I would use my skill and experience to review a company's financial reports, assess its business model and prospects, and make a recommendation on whether or not to invest in its securities.


Q2- Tell me the main causes the expansion and contraction of EV/EBITDA multiples?

Suggested Answer: EV/EBITDA (Enterprise Value to Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) multiples are used to compare the relative value of a company to others in its industry. The main factors that can cause the expansion or contraction of EV/EBITDA multiples include changes in the overall market and industry conditions, the performance and growth prospects of the company, and investor sentiment and risk appetite.


Q3- If depreciation does down by $5000, how does this effect the financial statements of a company ?

Suggested Answer: If a company's depreciation expense decreases by $5000, it will have a positive effect on its financial statements. Decreasing depreciation expense will increase the company's net income on the income statement and, in turn, its earnings per share (EPS). On the balance sheet, the decrease in depreciation expense will increase the company's retained earnings.


Q4- Where does minority interest go on the financials statements ?

Suggested Answer: Minority interest, also known as non-controlling interest, represents the portion of a subsidiary company's equity that is not owned by the parent company. In consolidated financial statements, minority interest is reported in the equity section of the balance sheet, along with the parent company's equity. On the income statement, the share of the subsidiary's net income or loss that is attributable to the minority interest is reported as a separate line item below the net income or loss of the parent company.



Q5- Describe how a discounted cash flow model is reliable or not.

Suggested Answer: A discounted cash flow (DCF) model is a method used to value a company or project by estimating its future cash flows and discounting them back to their present value. A DCF model is considered to be a reliable method for valuing a company or project if it is based on accurate and realistic assumptions about the future cash flows and the appropriate discount rate is used to reflect the risk and time value of money. However, there are several limitations to the DCF model that can affect its reliability, such as the subjectivity and uncertainty of the assumptions used, the sensitivity of the results to small changes in the assumptions, and the inability to account for certain factors that may affect the company's future cash flows. Additionally, the reliability of a DCF model can be affected by the use of inaccurate or outdated information, as well as any biases or errors in the estimation and calculation of the cash flows and discount rate.



Q6- Walk me through an LBO?

Suggested Answer: A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a type of acquisition in which a company is purchased using a combination of equity and debt financing. The goal of an LBO is typically to generate a high return on investment for the acquiring company or its investors.

Here is a step-by-step description of how an LBO typically works:

  • The acquiring company identifies a target company that it wants to purchase and negotiates the terms of the acquisition with the target's management or shareholders.

  • The acquiring company raises the funds needed to finance the acquisition by issuing new equity, such as stocks or bonds, to investors. The company may also obtain financing from banks or other lenders in the form of loans or other types of debt.

  • The acquiring company uses the funds raised to pay for the purchase of the target company, either in full or in installments. The amount paid for the target company may be higher than its current market value, as the acquiring company expects to generate a return on its investment through future cash flows or other means.

  • Once the acquisition is complete, the acquiring company becomes the owner of the target company and integrates it into its operations. The company may restructure the target company's business or make other changes in order to improve its performance and generate a return on its investment.

  • The acquiring company uses the cash flows generated by the target company to repay the debt it used to finance the acquisition, as well as to provide a return to its equity investors. This process may take several years, depending on the terms of the debt and the performance of the target company.

  • Once the debt has been repaid, the acquiring company may continue to operate the target company as a subsidiary, or it may sell it to another buyer in order to realize a profit on its investment.


Q7- How would a PE firm value a company?

Suggested Answer: Private equity (PE) firms typically use a variety of methods to value a company that they are considering acquiring. These methods may include analyzing the company's financial statements, such as its income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, as well as conducting market and industry research to understand the company's competitive landscape and growth prospects.


One common method used by PE firms to value a company is the discounted cash flow (DCF) model. This method involves estimating the company's future cash flows and discounting them back to their present value using a discount rate that reflects the company's risk and the time value of money. The present value of the company's future cash flows is then compared to the acquisition price to determine the potential return on investment.


Other methods that may be used by PE firms to value a company include the comparable company analysis, which involves comparing the financial metrics of the target company to those of similar companies in the same industry, and the precedent transaction analysis, which involves looking at the prices paid for similar companies in the past. PE firms may also use a combination of these and other methods to arrive at a valuation for the company.


Q8- What are your view on the value of gold?

Suggested Answer: The value of gold, like any other asset, is determined by market forces such as supply and demand, interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical developments. These factors can cause the price of gold to fluctuate over time, and the value of gold can be viewed differently by different individuals and investors depending on their individual circumstances and investment objectives.


Q9- What is TLC, derivatives?

Suggested Answer: TLC, or total loss-absorbing capacity, is a measure of a financial institution's ability to absorb losses in the event of a default or other financial crisis. In the context of derivatives, TLC is the amount of capital and other resources that a financial institution holds to cover the potential losses from its derivative positions. TLC is an important consideration for regulators, as it helps to ensure that a financial institution has sufficient resources to cover its potential losses and protect its customers and creditors from losses in the event of a crisis. TLC requirements for derivatives may vary depending on the type of derivative and the jurisdiction in which the financial institution is operating.


Q10- What is the black Scholes model ?

Suggested Answer: The Black-Scholes model is a mathematical model used to determine the fair price or theoretical value for a European call or put option, using assumptions of constant volatility, no dividends, and efficient markets. The model was developed in 1973 by Fisher Black, Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton, and it has been widely used in the pricing of options and other derivatives.


The Black-Scholes model takes into account several key factors that affect the value of an option, such as the underlying stock price, the option's strike price, the time to expiration, the risk-free interest rate, and the option's volatility. By plugging these variables into the model's equations, the fair value of the option can be calculated. The model assumes that the option will only be exercised at expiration, and it does not take into account factors such as dividends, early exercise, or transaction costs.


The Black-Scholes model is widely used in the financial industry, but it has also been criticized for its assumptions and limitations. As a result, many alternative models have been developed to address these issues and improve the accuracy of option pricing.




Q11- What does beta tell us about systematic risk?

Suggested Answer: Beta is a measure of a security's volatility, or risk, in relation to the overall market. A security with a beta greater than 1 is considered to be more volatile than the market, while a security with a beta less than 1 is considered to be less volatile than the market.


Systematic risk, also known as market risk, is the risk that affects the entire market or a significant portion of it. This type of risk is difficult to diversify away and cannot be eliminated through diversification. Examples of systematic risk include economic recessions, natural disasters, and political instability.


Beta is used to measure a security's exposure to systematic risk. A security with a high beta is considered to be more sensitive to changes in the market and therefore has a higher level of systematic risk. On the other hand, a security with a low beta is considered to be less sensitive to changes in the market and therefore has a lower level of systematic risk. By looking at a security's beta, investors can get an idea of its systematic risk and make more informed investment decisions.




Q12- What Is DTA/DTL creation under various scenarios and Borrowing cost adjustments.

Suggested Answer: DTA, or deferred tax assets, and DTL, or deferred tax liabilities, are items on a company's balance sheet that arise from temporary differences between the company's taxable income and its financial income. These differences can be caused by various factors, such as the timing of revenue and expenses, the use of different accounting methods, and the recognition of certain tax deductions or credits.


DTA and DTL are created when a company's taxable income is different from its financial income in a given period. For example, if a company has a loss for tax purposes but a profit for financial reporting purposes, it will have a DTA that can be used to offset future taxable income. On the other hand, if a company has a profit for tax purposes but a loss for financial reporting purposes, it will have a DTL that must be recognized as an expense in future periods.


Borrowing cost adjustments are made to account for the interest expenses incurred by a company when it borrows money to finance its operations or investments. These adjustments are made to reflect the difference between the interest expenses that are deductible for tax purposes and the interest expenses that are recognized for financial reporting purposes. For example, if a company incurs interest expenses that are not immediately deductible for tax purposes, it may need to make a borrowing cost adjustment to its DTA or DTL in order to accurately reflect the company's tax position.


Q13- Could you explain the concept of present value and how it relates to company valuations?

Suggested Answer: The present value is a concept used in finance that refers to the current worth of a future sum of money or stream of cash flows, taking into account the time value of money and the potential risks associated with the future cash flows. In other words, the present value is the amount of money that would need to be invested today in order to achieve a certain future value, given a certain interest rate or discount rate.


The concept of present value is widely used in the valuation of companies and other assets. When valuing a company, the present value of its future cash flows is determined by estimating the company's future earnings and cash flows and discounting them back to their present value using a discount rate that reflects the company's risk and the time value of money. The present value of the company's future cash flows is then compared to the current market value or acquisition price of the company to determine whether it is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued.


In general, the higher the present value of a company's future cash flows, the more valuable the company is considered to be. This is because a higher present value indicates that the company is expected to generate higher future cash flows, which can be used to pay dividends, reduce debt, or invest in growth opportunities. On the other hand, a lower present value may indicate that the company is facing challenges or uncertainties that may affect its future cash flows, which could decrease its value.


Q14- Tell me about equity value and how is it calculated?

Suggested Answer: Equity value, also known as market capitalization, is the total value of a company's equity, or the value of the company's outstanding shares of common stock. Equity value is calculated by multiplying the company's share price by the number of shares outstanding. For example, if a company has 1 million shares outstanding and its share price is $100 per share, its equity value is $100 million.


Equity value is an important measure of a company's size and market value, and it is often used by investors and analysts to compare the relative value of different companies. Equity value is different from the company's book value, which is the value of the company's assets minus its liabilities, as reported on its balance sheet. While book value provides an indication of the company's net worth, equity value reflects the market's perception of the company's value and its potential for growth.


Equity value is calculated using the current share price of the company, which is determined by the forces of supply and demand in the market. The equity value of a company can fluctuate over time, depending on changes in the company's performance, market conditions, and investor sentiment.


Q15- How to calculate equity value from EV (Enterprise Value)?

Suggested Answer: Equity value, or market capitalization, is the total value of a company's equity, or the value of the company's outstanding shares of common stock. Enterprise value, on the other hand, is a measure of a company's total value, including its equity value and its net debt. Enterprise value is calculated by adding a company's equity value to its net debt and subtracting its cash and cash equivalents.


To calculate equity value from enterprise value, you need to know the company's enterprise value, equity value, net debt, and cash and cash equivalents. Here is the formula:


Equity value = Enterprise value - Net debt + Cash and cash equivalents


For example, if a company has an enterprise value of $1 billion, net debt of $200 million, and cash and cash equivalents of $50 million, its equity value is calculated as follows:


Equity value = $1 billion - $200 million + $50 million = $850 million


In this example, the company's equity value is $850 million. This means that if the company were to pay off all its debt and liquidate its cash and cash equivalents, its shareholders would receive $850 million for their ownership stakes in the company.


Q16- Could a company have a negative net debt balance?

Suggested Answer: Yes, it is possible for a company to have a negative net debt balance. Net debt is calculated by subtracting a company's cash and cash equivalents from its total debt. If a company has more cash and cash equivalents than total debt, its net debt will be negative.

A negative net debt balance indicates that the company has more cash and other liquid assets than outstanding debt. This can be a favorable position for a company, as it suggests that the company has the financial flexibility to make investments, pay dividends, or repurchase shares without incurring additional debt. However, a negative net debt balance can also be a sign of inefficiency or underutilization of the company's capital, as it may indicate that the company is not generating sufficient returns on its excess cash.

In general, the net debt balance of a company should be considered in the context of its overall financial performance, business model, and growth prospects. A negative net debt balance may be beneficial for some companies, but it may not be suitable for all companies or industries.


Q17- Is there possible enterprise value of a company turn negative?

Suggested Answer: It is theoretically possible for a company's enterprise value to be negative, but it is unlikely to happen in practice. Enterprise value is a measure of a company's total value, including its equity value, net debt, and other liabilities. If a company's equity value, net debt, and other liabilities are all negative, the company's enterprise value will be negative as well.


However, it is highly unlikely for a company to have negative equity value, net debt, and other liabilities simultaneously. In most cases, a company's equity value is positive, as it represents the value of the company's outstanding shares of common stock. Similarly, a company's net debt is typically positive, as it represents the company's total debt minus its cash and cash equivalents. Other liabilities, such as taxes and warranties, are also typically positive for most companies.


Therefore, it is very unlikely for a company to have a negative enterprise value. In the rare cases where a company's enterprise value is close to zero or negative, it may indicate that the company is facing significant financial challenges or uncertainties that may affect its value and sustainability.



Q18- If a company raises $150 million in additional debt, how would its enterprise value change?

Suggested Answer: If a company raises $150 million in additional debt, its enterprise value will increase by the same amount. Enterprise value is a measure of a company's total value, including its equity value, net debt, and other liabilities. When a company raises debt, it increases its net debt, which in turn increases its enterprise value.


To calculate the impact of the additional debt on the company's enterprise value, you need to know the company's current enterprise value, equity value, net debt, and cash and cash equivalents. Here is the formula:


New enterprise value = Current enterprise value + Additional debt - Cash and cash equivalents


For example, if a company has a current enterprise value of $1 billion, equity value of $500 million, net debt of $200 million, and cash and cash equivalents of $50 million, and it raises $150 million in additional debt, its new enterprise value is calculated as follows:


New enterprise value = $1 billion + $150 million - $50 million = $1.1 billion


In this example, the company's new enterprise value is $1.1 billion, which is an increase of $100 million from its current enterprise value. This means that the company's total value, including its equity and debt, has increased by $100 million as a result of the additional debt.


Q19- What are the two main approaches of valuation?

Suggested Answer: There are several approaches to valuation, and the appropriate approach to use can depend on the type of asset being valued, the information available, and the objectives of the valuation. In general, however, there are two main approaches to valuation: the income approach and the market approach.


The income approach is based on the idea that the value of an asset is equal to the present value of its expected future cash flows. This approach is commonly used to value assets such as businesses, real estate, and intellectual property, where the value is determined by the asset's ability to generate future income. The income approach involves estimating the asset's future cash flows, selecting an appropriate discount rate to reflect the time value of money and the risks associated with the cash flows, and calculating the present value of the cash flows using the discount rate.


The market approach is based on the idea that the value of an asset is equal to the price at which it would be traded in an active market. This approach is commonly used to value assets such as stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, where the value is determined by the market's perception of the asset's value and its potential for growth. The market approach involves comparing the asset being valued to similar assets that are actively traded in the market, and using the market prices of these assets to estimate the value of the asset being valued.


Both the income approach and the market approach have their strengths and limitations, and they may be used together or in combination with other approaches to provide a more accurate and comprehensive valuation of an asset.


Q20- What are the most common valuation methods used in financial modelling ?

Suggested Answer: There are several valuation methods that are commonly used in financial modelling, and the appropriate method to use can depend on the type of asset being valued, the information available, and the objectives of the valuation. Some of the most common valuation methods used in financial modelling include the following:


  • Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis: This method involves estimating the future cash flows of an asset, discounting them back to their present value using an appropriate discount rate, and comparing the present value to the current market value or acquisition price of the asset to determine whether it is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued.

  • Comparable company analysis: This method involves comparing the financial metrics of the asset being valued to those of similar companies in the same industry, and using the market prices of these comparable companies to estimate the value of the asset being valued.

  • Precedent transaction analysis: This method involves looking at the prices paid for similar assets in the past, and using these prices as a basis for estimating the value of the asset being valued.

  • Dividend discount model (DDM): This method involves estimating the future dividends of an asset, discounting them back to their present value using an appropriate discount rate, and comparing the present value to the current market price of the asset to determine its intrinsic value.

  • Price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio: This method involves dividing the market price of an asset by its earnings per share, and comparing the resulting P/E ratio to the P/E ratios of similar assets in the market to estimate the value of the asset being valued.

These are just a few examples of the many valuation methods that are commonly used in financial modelling. The appropriate method to use will depend on the specific circumstances and objectives of the valuation.




Q21- What is the main difference between the unlevered DCF and the levered DCF?

Suggested Answer: The unlevered DCF, or unlevered discounted cash flow, is a valuation method that estimates the value of an asset based on its future cash flows, without considering the effects of the asset's financing structure. The levered DCF, or levered discounted cash flow, is a similar valuation method, but it takes into account the effects of the asset's financing structure on its cash flows and value.


The main difference between the unlevered DCF and the levered DCF is that the unlevered DCF ignores the effects of financing, while the levered DCF considers the effects of financing on the asset's cash flows and value. In the unlevered DCF, the cash flows of the asset are assumed to be unaffected by the asset's financing structure, which means that the same cash flows are used for both the numerator and the denominator of the valuation equation. In the levered DCF, on the other hand, the cash flows of the asset are adjusted to reflect the effects of financing, which means that different cash flows are used for the numerator and the denominator of the valuation equation.


The choice of whether to use the unlevered DCF or the levered DCF depends on the specific circumstances and objectives of the valuation. The unlevered DCF may be more appropriate when the asset's financing structure is not relevant to the valuation, or when the asset is assumed to be financed with equity only. The levered DCF may be more appropriate when the asset's financing structure is relevant to the valuation, or when the asset is assumed to be financed with both equity and debt.


Q22- What is equity risk premium used in the CAPM formula.

Suggested Answer: The equity risk premium is a term used in the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) formula to represent the excess return that investors expect to earn on an equity investment over and above the risk-free rate of return. The equity risk premium represents the compensation that investors require for bearing the additional risk of investing in equities, as compared to risk-free investments such as government bonds.


In the CAPM formula, the equity risk premium is used to determine the required rate of return, or the expected return, on an equity investment. The formula for the required rate of return is as follows:


Required rate of return = Risk-free rate + Beta x Equity risk premium


where the risk-free rate is the return on a risk-free investment, such as a government bond, and beta is a measure of the volatility, or risk, of the equity investment relative to the market.


The equity risk premium is an important factor in the CAPM formula, as it determines the required rate of return on an equity investment. The higher the equity risk premium, the higher the required rate of return on the equity investment, and vice versa. The equity risk premium can vary over time, depending on market conditions and investor sentiment, and it may be estimated using historical data or expert judgment.


Q23- Explain the concept of beta (β).

Suggested Answer: Beta is one of the measures of volatility or risk associated with holding a stock. The beta of a stock is measure of how much its price moves in relation to the movements in the overall market. A beta of 1 means that the stock price moves with the market. A beta that is greater than 1 means the stock price moves more than the market, and a beta that is less than 1 means the stock price moves less than the market.


Q24- What are the benefits of the industry beta approach?

Suggested Answer: The industry beta approach is a method used to estimate the beta of a company or security, based on the average beta of companies in the same industry. The industry beta approach is considered to be more accurate and reliable than the market beta approach, which uses the average beta of the overall market as a proxy for the beta of the company or security being valued.


The main benefits of the industry beta approach are:

  • Greater accuracy: The industry beta approach provides a more accurate estimate of the beta of a company or security, as it takes into account the specific characteristics and risks of the industry in which the company operates. This is in contrast to the market beta approach, which may not accurately reflect the industry-specific risks of the company or security being valued.

  • Better alignment with the company's risk profile: The industry beta approach ensures that the estimated beta of the company or security being valued is aligned with its actual risk profile, as it is based on the average beta of companies in the same industry. This is important for accurately assessing the risk and expected return of the company or security, and for making informed investment decisions.

  • Increased reliability: The industry beta approach is based on a larger and more representative sample of companies, as it uses the average beta of companies in the same industry. This increases the reliability of the estimated beta, as it is based on more data and a more homogeneous group of companies.

Overall, the industry beta approach provides more accurate, relevant, and reliable estimates of the beta of a company or security, which can be useful for valuing the company or security, assessing its risk and return, and making investment decisions.