The Altman Z-score is the output of a credit-strength test that gauges a publicly traded manufacturing company's likelihood of bankruptcy. The Altman Z-score is based on five financial ratios that can be calculated from data found on a company's annual 10K report. It uses profitability, leverage, liquidity, solvency and activity to predict whether a company has a high degree of probability of being insolvent. A score below 1.8 means the company is probably headed for bankruptcy, while companies with scores above 3 are not likely to go bankrupt. Investors can use Altman Z-scores to determine whether they should buy or sell a particular stock if they're concerned about the underlying company's financial strength. Investors may consider purchasing a stock if its Altman Z-Score value is closer to 3 and selling or shorting a stock if the value is closer to 1.8.
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