A company's balance sheet provides a wealth of information for investors, creditors and employees. Beyond providing a glimpse into the financial performance of a business at a specific point in time, the balance sheet provides useful information for calculations such as the price per common share of stock. With information from the balance sheet, employees, potential investors and other shareholders may determine the book value per share of common stock at the time the company prepared the balance sheet.
Note the difference between book value per share and market price per share. Calculations using the balance sheet result in book value per share. This calculation provides a glimpse at the value per common share at a specific point in time based on the company's recorded assets and liabilities. In contrast, market price per common share represents the amount investors are willing to pay to purchase or sell the stock on the securities market.
Locate shareholders' equity on the balance sheet. Shareholders' equity represents the amount available for shareholders after all liabilities have been taken into account. Essentially, shareholders' equity, also referred to as stockholders' equity, is equal to total assets less total liabilities.
Check the balance sheet for any intangible assets and subtract that amount from shareholders' equity. Although intangible assets represent a value to a corporation, they don't physically exist and shouldn't be included when calculating stock price per common share from the balance sheet. Not all corporations have intangible assets.
Make note of the value of any preferred shares outstanding at the time. This number is listed on the balance sheet under preferred stock. Deduct the amount allocated for preferred shares, if any, from shareholders' equity.
Divide the remaining shareholders' equity by the number of common shares outstanding at the time to arrive at book value per common share. You may find the number of common shares outstanding on the balance sheet under the "Common Stock" section.