In this paper, I examine the idea that the residual income model is superior to the discounted cash flow model. Using a simple numerical example, I show that in a M & M world, the two approaches to valuation are equivalent. In practice, the choice between the two valuation methods will be determined by the ease with which the relevant information is available.
Residual income is calculated as net income less a charge for the cost of capital. The charge is known as the equity charge and is calculated as the value of equity capital multiplied by the cost of equity or the required rate of return on equity. Given the opportunity cost of equity, a company can have positive net income but negative residual income.