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Stocks Investing 101 Part 3: How To Read Seedly Chicken Rice Limited’s Cash Flow Statement

profileTracy Lim

So… You’ve figured out how to read an income statement and a company’s balance sheet.

If you’re reading this article now, well… good for you! You are that much closer to understanding how to go about investing in a company.

In this third and final instalment of the Stock Investing 101 series, we will be breaking down the basics of the cash flow statement.

Read together, this guide will equip you with the tools to start analysing great stocks!

Disclaimer: we’re not experts but we just want to share the little that we know in hopes that it’ll help you to take the first steps in your investing journey in 2021. Hopefully, this will help you better understand what our savvy community members are saying about investments on Seedly and help you huat in the year ahead!


An Analysis Of Seedly Chicken Rice Limited

For this exercise, I’ll continue using the fictitious chicken rice company, Seedly Chicken Rice Limited to explain the basics of how to evaluate a company in simple, delicious bite-sized terms.

We have previously covered the company’s income statement and balance sheet.

So now, let’s look at the company’s cash flow statement.

Why Look At The Company’s Cash Flows?

Ever heard of the term, “Cash is King”?

Source: Giphy

You know that cash is good for you.

It allows you to purchase your necessities, and also allows you to quickly go into investments when opportunities arise.

Similarly, for a company, it is important to have cash on hand for many reasons:

  • Pay off expenses
  • Capital expenditure
  • Emergency
  • Liquidity

The statement of cash flows or cash flow statement tells you about the cash that is entering and leaving the company.

Basically, it shows you how the company is spending and utilising their cash, and also where all that cash is coming from.

The amount of cash a company has shows you how liquid a company is, which is the ability of the company to meet short-term obligations.

Without positive cash flows, the company may be in a dire position and may even go bankrupt. And that’s NOT something we’re looking for when looking for a company to invest in.

The statement of cash flows is divided into 3 parts:

  1. Operating Activities
  2. Investing Activities
  3. Financing Activities

Let’s take a look at Seedly Chicken Rice Limited’s cash flows statement for the year ended 31 December 2019.

1) Operating Activities

This refers to the cash flows from operations. Operations here would mean the revenue-generating activities that the company is engaged in.

For Seedly Chicken Rice Limited, it would be:

Profit Before Taxation

Remember what we talked about in the first article about income statement? This is the profit which the owners of Seedly Chicken Rice Limited can pocket.

Depreciation Of Property, Plant, And Equipment (PPE)

Depreciation of their kitchen equipment due to use.

Net Gain On Disposal Of PPE

One day, the boss of Seedly Chicken Rice Limited realised that the stoves are taking too long to cook the chickens. The slow cooking led to customer orders being delayed and that delay eventually led to a loss in customers as they got impatient waiting for their food.

Convinced that he needed new and better stoves, he upgraded the stoves and sold off the old ones. Lucky for him, he managed to sell them at a gain.

Gain = Sale price – Net book value (where Net book value = Cost price – Accumulated depreciation)

Impairment of Receivables

Impairment occurs when for example, Seedly Chicken Rice Limited caters their chicken rice to Company X for their company gala event.

Unfortunately, Company X goes bankrupt after their celebration and is unable to repay its debt.

Interest Expense and Interest Income

More will be explained below.

Write-Off Of Intangible Assets

Intangible assets (for example, Seedly Chicken Rice Limited’s brand reputation) are tested for impairment (the process of writing off) at least once a year or whenever there is an indication of impairment, whichever comes first.

Impairment occurs when the fair value (the market or recoverable value) is lower than the book value (what is stated in the financial statements).

For example, you bought a Huawei smartphone that is worth $1,000 and you’re supposed to use it for 5 years. The annual depreciation of the Huawei smartphone would be $200.

But because their reputation suffered recently, the fair value of the smartphone got affected.

So if you wish to sell your phone after the first year, the book value of the smartphone is $1,000 – $200 = $800 (what it’s supposed to be worth).

BUT because the whole Google-Huawei fiasco, the second-hand phone shop offered to buy your phone at only $300.

Essentially, that means that there is a $500 impairment (loss in value) to the value of the phone.

Write-Off Of Inventories

Over the year, they sometimes overestimated their sales and ordered too many chickens in advance.

As such, their unsold chickens turned bad and the amounts have to be written off since these chickens are “obsolete” and cannot be sold.

Changes To Working Capital

Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities

Changes to Net Working Capital = Working Capital (Current Year) – Working Capital (Previous Year)

You’ll notice that any increases this year to assets will be reflected as a negative number. Conversely, the reverse applies for liabilities. You’re probably wondering, “Why is an increase in inventory indicated as a negative number? Isn’t it a good thing?”

This is because there is a decrease in cash.

The cash outflow you experience when you gain other assets is because you have to pay for your purchase of inventory. However, this only applies to operating activities only.

2) Investing Activities

Like the name suggests, this portion shows the cash flows from investments.

Investing activities can be in capital expenditure such as the purchase of property, plant, and equipment (PPE), investments in subsidiaries (if any) and/or investments in financial markets. In this case, let’s assume that Seedly Chicken Rice Limited only has capital expenditure.

Purchase Of PPE

This refers to the upgrade of new stoves, and also the purchase of new PPE when they opened a new chicken rice store!

When they purchased new PPE, their revenue and profit increased.

This shows that capital expenditure is utilised wisely as it is put to good use.

Proceeds From Disposal Of PPE

This refers to proceeds from selling off old equipment.

Interest Income Received

This refers to the Interest received on the cash they put in the bank, etc.

The company has chosen to put the $50,000 in cash that it has into a bank account that gives 0.4 per cent interest per annum.

That would give an interest income of $200. (You may think that’s very low… maybe the company should look to put their cash in a better savings account instead!)

3) Financing Activities

This portion talks about cash flows from different methods of financing, for example, the issuing of shares or taking up of loans.

Dividends Paid

Being shareholders, you are definitely interested in this, right? The good news is, Seedly Chicken Rice is a publicly listed company which pays dividends.

Some points to take note:

  • Not all companies pay dividends.
  • If they do, check whether the dividends paid is consistent with the previous year, or even better, if they increased from the previous year.
  • Check also whether the dividend payout ratio is sustainable. If the payout ratio is close to 100%, that is a red flag because it means the company it means they are not retaining their earnings and that is not sustainable! (Do note that REITs are the exception, as they are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income.)

Proceeds From Long Term Loans

The company borrowed $30,000 from the bank.

Interest Expense

The interest paid on their loans.

Referring back to their balance sheet, they have a loan (long-term borrowing) of $30,000.

Assuming they are paying an interest of 2 per cent (technically too good to be true! But assuming somehow they did…), their interest paid would be $600 per year.


If you’ve followed through this far, congrats! You have finished learning the basics of the tjree Financial Statements. You may be asking…

But… What do these numbers actually mean?!

Fret not.

If you would like to stretch your learning further, we will be putting meaning to these numbers by explaining the different financial ratios and metrics.

Hungry For More Analysis And Discussion About Stock Investing?

Why not check out our community at Seedly and participate in the lively discussion about stock investing there!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any stock.

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