FINC300

  

FINC 330 Project Descriptions
Research Project Part 1

Ratio Analysis
OBJECTIVE
You are to assume you have been recently hired by The Company and have been assigned to a team that reports to the CEO of THE COMPANY (SELECTED BY INSTRUCTOR). The head of your team is the CFO who is concerned about THE COMPANY’s current financial performance and comparison against major competitors in the industry and the impact that may have on the firm’s stock price. The CFO would like your team to provide insights that will help them to project future financial performance. Specifically, the primary question to answer is: will THE COMPANY be financially viable over the next two to three years, and which steps should be done to improve its financial stability?
THE COMPANY that is to be analyzed for this project is to be a company selected by instructor.
Alternatively, you can request approval of another publicly traded company. This request must be submitted before the end of the first week of the course. The request must include
· identification of the company by ticker symbol and name
· a reasonable and appropriate explanation of why you want to examine the alternative company
· the source of the analyst’s report that will be used in the analysis (which must be submitted to me)
· acknowledgement by you that all of the specific elements of the assignment (see below) will be prepared by you and included in the final research project report
SUGGESTED WEBSITES
www.morningstar.com – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Quotes window to get into the company’s page.
www.marketwatch.com  -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page.
www.Finviz.com – To find the information for your company you need click on Screener on the top of the screen, type the stock symbol in the Ticker window to get into the company’s page., and click on the company in the list.
www.money.cnn.com  -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page.
www.finance.yahoo.com – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page.
www.nyse.com – Click on Data, then click on Stocks (under Quotes), and type the name of the company or the stock symbol in the window “Keyword or symbol” to get into the company’s page.
www.nasdaq.com – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page.
Company’s websites
YOUR SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENT
Using the information from the websites the students will develop evaluation of the financial performance for THE COMPANY (SELECTED BY INSTRUCTOR). (The evaluation portion will total 85% of the assignment grade)  
-1—Background and Industry (one short paragraph). 
-2— Common size analysis of the balance sheet (15% of the project grade).
Create a table that contains the most significant common size results of the balance sheet for the last 5 years for THE COMPANY and for the last year for the major competitor. Your analysis should include but not limited to:
· Cash & ST Investments / Total Assets
· Total Liabilities / Total Assets
· Common Equity / Total Assets
· Total Shareholders’ Equity / Total Assets (if differ from Common Equity / Total Assets)
You can find these ratios in the Internet or calculate them. If you use published ratios you must indicate that and cite their source.
These ratios are available in www.marketwatch.com  -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page. Click on Financial > Balance Sheet > click on View Ratios.
To present your findings, you will create the table(s) and/or graphs. You can use the bar graphs provided by www.marketwatch.com or create your own ones.
Present the tables and the graphs with this information in your report. Write about 1-2 pages of the analysis of the financial conditions, its stability, and trends. What important information does this analysis provide?
-3— Trend analysis (15% of the project grade)
Analyze the financial trends over the last 5 years of
· Sale Growth,
· COGS Growth,
· Gross Income Growth,
· Interest Expense Growth,
· Net Income Growth,
· Cash & Short Term Investments Growth
· Assets – Total – Growth.
You can find these ratios in the Internet or calculate them. If you use published ratios you must indicate that and cite their source.
These growth rates are available in www.marketwatch.com  -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page. Click on Financial > Income Statement (or Balance Sheet) > click on View Ratios.
To present your findings, you will create the table(s) and/or graphs. You can use the bar graphs provided by www.marketwatch.com or create your own ones.
Write about 1-2 pages of the analysis of the financial conditions, its stability, and trends. What important information does this analysis provide?
-4— Financial ratio analysis. (20% of the project grade)
In this part of the project you will complete ratio analysis of THE COMPANY. Please remember that you are the financial analyst of THE COMPANY and should prepare the report to be read by the chairman (CEO) of THE COMPANY. The ratio analysis should be completed from the point of view of THE COMPANY’s the management.
The chairman of THE COMPANY is especially concerned about the following groups of ratios:
· Liquidity (current ratio, quick ratio)
· Operating performance ratio (Days of Sales in Inventory, Days of Sales Outstanding, Days of Payables Outstanding), Receivables Turnover, Inventory Turnover, Fixed Assets Turnover, Total Assets Turnover)
· Profitability ratios (Gross Profit Margin, Operating Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin)
· Return on Investment ratios: (ROA, ROE)
These ratios are available on www.morningstar.com > Company’s page – under Financials and under Operating Performance
You can find financial ratios for the company for the last 1-5 years in the Internet or calculate them. If you use published ratios you must indicate that and cite their source.
a) Present the ratios as the table(s) in your project. Create graphs for some ratios on your choice over three years to show trends.
b) Write 2 pages (or more) of analysis of the ratio results that you found. In your analysis you should answer the following questions:
· How liquid is the company?
· Is management generating a substantial profit on the company’s assets?
· If the management of the company would like to improve the company’s financial performance, what should the management of THE COMPANY do?
-5- Evaluate Return on Equity for the company for the last three years using the DuPont analysis. (15% of the project grade).
You can find these ratios in the Internet or calculate them. If you use published ratios you must indicate that and cite their source.
a. Find ROE, Net profit margin (listed as net margin), asset turnover, financial leverage for the last three years for your company. You also may use debt/equity ratio in your analysis. Present the ratios as the table(s) in your project.
b. Find ROE, Net profit margin (listed as net margin), asset turnover, financial leverage for the last year for its major peer competitor. You also may use debt/equity ratio of peer competitor in your analysis. Present the ratios as the table(s) in your project.
c. Has the company’s ROE changed over the last three years? What was the main factor that influenced this change?
d. Compare the ratios of you company to the peer competitor. If the management of the company would like to improve their return on equity, what should the management of the company do? 
Write about 1 page of analysis to answer the questions (c) and (d).
-6- Develop a specific recommendation, with supporting rationale, as to whether the assigned company’s recent trends and results in financial performance is of sufficient financial strength, will THE COMPANY be financially sustainable over the next two to three years, and which steps should be done to improve its financial stability? (about 1 page) (15% of the project grade).
-7- Reflection – the student should write a paragraph in their own words reflecting on specifically what they learned from the assignment and how they think they could apply what they learned in the workplace. (5% of the project grade)
PRESENTATION OF PAPER AND WRITING (15%) of the project grade):
-Organization, Format and Presentation of Paper including the Title page, Introduction, Body, and Summary. Each section of the paper must begin with sub-headings. Please use the sub-headings included in the assignment (4% of the project grade)
Use of Tables, Figures and Other Graphics to Summarize and Support Analysis Presented in the Paper (3% of the project grade)
Logical and Smooth Flowing Transitions and Relationships among Sections of the Written Report (3% of the project grade)
Research Sources and Significance of Research Information and Data, Use of APA Citation Methodology (5% of the project grade)

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RUBRIC
Criteria
Common size analysis of the assigned company. (Prepare, analyze and interpret financial information) (15% of the paper grade)
15 points
Outstanding and very thorough development and articulation of the common size analysis of the income statement and the balance sheet of the assigned company

Trend analysis. (Prepare, analyze and interpret financial information) (15% of the paper grade)
15 points
Outstanding effort to develop trend analysis of the most significant financial performance results.

Financial ratios trends analysis of the assigned company and industry comparatives (Prepare, analyze and interpret financial information) (20% of the project grade)
20 points
Excellent and successful effort to implement financial ratio analysis of the assigned company and industry comparatives; very clear linkages between financial ratio results and investment decisions and recommendations

Dupont analysis of the assigned company. Compare with main competitor. (Apply Financial Theories to Solve Financial Problems) (15% of the project grade)
15 points
Successful implementation of DuPont analysis of the company and provides a very clear linkage between DuPont analysis and  investment decisions and recommendations.

Develop a specific recommendation, with supporting rationale, will THE COMPANY be financially sustainable over the next two to three years, and which steps should be done to improve its financial stability? (15% of the paper grade)
15 points
Outstanding and very thorough effort to explain whether the assigned company’s recent trends and results in financial performance is of sufficient financial strength, will THE COMPANY be financially sustainable over the next two to three years, and which steps should be done to improve its financial stability.

Reflection – the student should write a paragraph in their own words reflecting on specifically what they learned from the assignment and how they think they could apply what they learned in the workplace. (5% of the project grade)
5 points
Outstanding and very thorough effort to write in their own words reflecting on specifically what they learned from the assignment and how they think they could apply what they learned in the workplace.

Organization, Format and Presentation of Paper including the Title page, Introduction, Body, and Summary. Each section of the paper must begin with sub-headings. Please use the sub-headings included in the assignment (4% of the project grade)
4 points
Paper is organized and very easily followed.  The paper follows APA format and contains no or very few errors.

Use of Tables, figures, and other graphics to summarize and support analysis presented in paper (Research, collect, synthesize and interpret data by applying appropriate technology tools to solve business problems) (3% of the project grade)
3 points
Tables, figures and other graphics are very descriptive and provide exceptionally strong support for the paper; there are no errors in labels or in the numbering sequence

Logical and smooth flowing transitions and relationships among sections of the written report (Communicate, collaborate, lead and influence across the organization to achieve organizational goals) (3% of the project grade)
3 points
Transitions are used throughout the written analysis and provides a logical transition from topic to topic.

Research sources and significance of information and data applying appropirate technology tools to solve business problems, APA citations, double-spaced, 12-point font Times New Roman (5% of the project grade)
5 points
Successful identification and use  of appropriate and professional research sources including Library Search Engines, Websites, S&P, SEC, stock exchanges, Morningstar, NYSE, Competitors, 10K Report, analyst reports, news releases, articles, etc.; appropriate and accurate documentation, APA citations are accurate and of the highest level.

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