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This is a conservative approach but I give absolutely zero value to goodwill when I analyze a company. Particularly in the biotech/life sciences arena where I feel acquirers tend to overpay. Book value is not one of my favorite measures, because of goodwill for one, so if I'm going to use it I'll use tangible book.

As for acquisitions paying off or not that's an important thing to look at. Particularly with serial acquirers. I'll generally look at the past five years cash flows statements. If there's a lot of cash acquisition entries and not much in the way of an uptick in operating cash flow in future years, as is arguably the case with Invitrogen, that's a big red flag.
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