February 2008 Newsletter

“Dead” Hard Drives

As reliable as hard drives have become, they still have a finite lifespan. There is no way to predict how long a drive will last however there are factors (excess heat, restricted airflow, etc.) that will increase the likelihood of premature failure. When a hard drive crashes, especially those containing irreplaceable data such as intellectual property, proprietary information, or even family photographs, the end results can be devastating.

There are proven technologies for successfully recovering data from a damaged or dead hard drive. The less interaction a user has with the computer after a crash, the greater chances for a full recovery. Multiple reboots, drive recovery programs, or other invasive methods could be unintentionally destroying data. The best practice is to power down the machine and contact your data recovery specialist.

J.A. Compton & Co. has the ability to recover data from a damaged or “dead” hard drive. After an opportunity to evaluate the drive, we can tell you which files are possible to recover and provide a quote for our services. For assistance or additional information please contact Paul Price at pprice@jacompton.com or (713) 351-7150.

Summer Intern

For the past two summers, a student majoring in Mathematical Economic Analysis at Rice University has joined us as a Summer Intern. We’ve been especially fortunate to have these students working with us because of the exceptional rigor of their curriculum and the analytical skills they have brought. This May, Lorène Rothschild will join us for the summer. Lorène is a native French-speaker who is presently a junior expecting degrees in Mathematical Economic Analysis (with honors) and French Studies. We hope you will have the pleasure to meet her.

Planning for the Valuation

Determining the assignment with regard to a business valuation will materially affect the result; care and planning at the inception will avoid costly misunderstandings. It’s close attention to the parameters of the valuation assignment that ensures the result will be relevant. The key issues are deciding the interest to be valued, the standard of value, the premise of value, the ownership characteristics and the application of discounts and premiums.

The interest to be valued is often the equity of the subject company but may vary with specific facts; it could be the equity and the interest-bearing debt which is commonly called the market value of invested capital. The standard of value is most likely fair market value but could be fair value, requiring the application of case law. Premise of value means going-concern versus liquidation value. Ownership characteristics refer to the marketability and control embodied in the subject interest. Calculating these discounts and premiums separately will facilitate resolution of disputes as to these characteristics by identifying their effects.

Using a valuation professional as a consultant early in the process leading up to a valuation is becoming popular for good reason.

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