Describing the value of a company is important to making decisions, and lots of things can be learned from looking at a balance sheet. I learned to do all this in business school, but I haven't practiced it since the early 1980s.
A little homework is in order, so I've been doing a little research, and I'm going to leave this link right here so I can find it later. LINKY TO BASIC BUSINESS FINANCIALS. All investors should be able to get a balance sheet and an income statement. Most of what we need to evaluate a company's health is right there. Business is about numbers and those are the numbers.
For example, if you're trying to figure out the intrinsic value in one share of a company's stock, you'd do well to find its net worth (assets minus liabilities) . Divide the result by the number of shares outstanding and you have the book value of one share.
It's good to remember these things, and the ratios sometimes escape me.