Write-Down

Reducing the book value of an asset because it is overvalued compared to the market value. A write-down typically occurs on a company's financial statement, when the carrying value of the asset can no longer be justified as fair value and the likelihood of receiving the cost (book value) is questionable at best.

Write-downs are typically reflected in a company's income statement as an above-the-line expense, thereby reducing net income. This, however, is not always a bad thing, since a write-down is simply a paper loss, which, since it lowers net income, will reduce a firm's tax burden. Companies will usually attempt to time large write-downs together, so they can "take a bath" in one reporting period with the hope of quickly recovering in the next period.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • write down — vt wrote down, writ·ten down, writ·ing down: to reduce the book value of (an asset) write down accounts receivable write–down / rīt ˌdau̇n/ n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • write-down — [rīt′doun΄] n. a reduction in the book value of an asset, as because of depreciation or a decline in market value …   English World dictionary

  • write down — verb 1. put down in writing; of texts, musical compositions, etc. (Freq. 4) • Syn: ↑set down, ↑get down, ↑put down • Hypernyms: ↑write • Hyponyms: ↑transcribe …   Useful english dictionary

  • write down — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms write down : present tense I/you/we/they write down he/she/it writes down present participle writing down past tense wrote down past participle written down to write something on a piece of paper Write down… …   English dictionary

  • Write-down — Decreasing the book value of an asset if its book value is overstated compared to current market values. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * write down ˈwrite down also writedown noun [countable, uncountable] ACCOUNTING when the value of… …   Financial and business terms

  • write-down — Reducing the book value of an asset if its is overstated compared to current market values. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * write down ˈwrite down also writedown noun [countable, uncountable] ACCOUNTING when the value of an asset as shown in …   Financial and business terms

  • write down — PHRASAL VERB When you write something down, you record it on a piece of paper using a pen or pencil. [V P n (not pron)] On the morning before starting the fast, write down your starting weight... [V n P] Only by writing things down could I bring… …   English dictionary

  • write-down — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms write down : singular write down plural write downs business a reduction in the value of the assets that a company owns …   English dictionary

  • write-down — noun (accounting) reduction in the book value of an asset • Syn: ↑write off • Derivationally related forms: ↑write down, ↑write off (for: ↑write off) • …   Useful english dictionary

  • write-down — /ruyt down /, n. Accounting. 1. a reduction of the entered value of an asset account. 2. the procedure of reducing the recorded value of an asset, either by estimate or as a plan. [1930 35; n. use of v. phrase write down] * * * …   Universalium


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