BU113: Critical Thinking and
Communication in Business
Finance Application Assignment
Links to assignment sections with instructions: | Part 2: Selecting two comparable companies | Part 3: Comparative Financial Analysis of Two Companies | Part 4: Effect of an Announcement or Event on Company Stock Price--Indexed Stock Price Performance | Part 5: Extra Credit--Auditors' Opinion | Part 7: References | Part 8: Attachments
This is an individual assignment, with each student required to submit his/her own analysis, to be written in MEMO form. You may work with a partner only to collect the data and calculate the ratios. While you may discuss the meaning of the data/ratios with your partner, you must submit your own written analysis.
Your finance application assignment should be written in memo format (single-spaced, with headings for major sections/subsections, no indentations). It should include the following:
Brief description (1 paragraph) of the business of each of two publicly traded U.S. companies in similar businesses (same industry).
Comparative financial analysis of the two companies.
Indexed stock price performance of one of the two companies vs. the S & P 500 following a major company announcement.
Optional for extra credit: Your assessment of whether the Auditors' Opinion on one company's financial statements is a qualified or unqualified opinion and with the pertinent information circled or highlighted. Make sure to find the opinion on the financial statements, not on internal control.
Financial Ratio sheet (including calculations)
Exhibit comparing relative valuation, ROE, D/E and growth rates of your two companies
Indexed stock price vs. S & P 500 performance graph
Calculation of index values for the event study
Value Line sheets for each of the two companies, with financial information you used circled or highlighted.
Balance Sheet and Income Statement for each of the two companies, with financial information that you used circled or highlighted.
Printout of Company Event/Announcement
Audit opinion on one company's financial statements with opinion statement circled or highlighted (optional extra credit assignment in #5)
Below is information on how and where to get information on your two comparable companies as well as fuller descriptions of what is required for parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, and 8.
Part 2: Instructions for selecting two comparable companies
Access Value Line on
the library's Web page for BU113
Value Line, select
an industry and within that industry select two publicly traded U.S.
companies. Find your two
comparable companies. For the
industry lookup, you may also use
Yahoo's Industry Index at
NOTE: The companies must meet the following requirements:
No financial institutions or automobile companies
Not combined on the "Company Pairs not Allowed" list
Must have positive net income for latest year
Listed on a U.S. stock exchange (New York Stock Exchange--NYSE--or NASDAQ).
Download or copy the pages from Value Line.
For each company, get the Balance Sheet and Income Statement for the latest year. These can be found in the company's Annual Report (also called 10-K) on either the company's Web site, under the SEC filings on the company's site in Yahoo!Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/), or in another source. Make sure to get the annual (not quarterly) financial statements.
Instructions for Part 3: Comparative Financial Analysis of Two Companies
This section includes ratio calculations, a discussion of your ratio analysis, and your assessment of whether the relative valuation of the two companies is appropriate.
Do a financial ratio comparison of the two companies (see separate handout for ratios and other information required). Make sure you use data from the same year for each company. Use the latest historical year available for both. Do not use projected data, except for projected earnings per share and projected growth rates.
In the memo, discuss the following:
Comparison of the liquidity, operating efficiency, financial risk, profitability, valuation and expected future growth rates of the companies. (In this section you should be analyzing what the ratio comparison tells you about one company versus the other company.)
Relative Valuation: Based on your financial analysis above, do you think the company with the highest valuation ratio (P/E) should have the highest relative valuation? Why or why not? Refer to your attached exhibit comparing relative valuation, ROE, D/E, and growth rates of your two companies.
Use the Company RATIO Calculations table to record your calculations.
Instructions for Part 4: Effect of an Announcement or Event on Company Stock--Indexed Stock Price Performance
For one of your companies, discuss a major event that affected the company or a major announcement made by the company that you think might have affected the stock price of the company. Track how the stock price of the company reacted to this new information. To address this question, you will have to do the following:
A computer search of business periodicals or recent news from the company's Web site to find an article announcing the event/new development. See the library's Web page for BU113 Company Financials.
Track the closing stock price of the company for 3 days before the announcement, the day of the announcement, and 5 days after the announcement, and also track the closing value of the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) on these days. Use Historical Prices on Yahoo!Finance to get the stock quotes. The S&P 500 can be found at Yahoo!Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=^GSPC--symbol: ^spx or ^GSPC). It is an indication of how the U.S. stock market as a whole performed.
To see if the event/development impacted the company's stock price, determine whether the company's stock price outperformed or underperformed the market as a result of the announcement. Track the performance of the company's stock vs. the market by preparing a table and a graph indexing the company's stock price performance during this period to that of the S&P 500 (see instructions below and/or in-class handout).
Decide whether the company's stock outperformed or underperformed the S&P 500 and discuss any possible reasons for this outperformance of underperformance based on your knowledge about the company and the event/development.
Instructions for preparing the graph of indexed prices (Also see in-class handout on preparing the index value calculations.). Index calculations must accompany your graph. For the index you may do your own calculations or use Excel (see Note below). Your graph can be constructed in Excel using the index calculations (see Note below) or Bigcharts.com (www.bigcharts.com).
Initial value becomes a base of 100 (e.g. if the beginning stock price is $10, the $10 becomes the index value of 100.).
Compare each later value to the initial value to get the index value for each day (e.g. if a later stock price is $15, the index value is $15/$10 X 100 = 150.). Use this same process for both the stock price and the S&P 500 values.
Plot the index values you calculated. Both plot lines will therefore start at 100 and independently move up or down from 100.
To learn how to use Excel to accomplish the task, follow the instructions in Creating an Index and Graph to Compare Company Stock Performance with the Market (S&P 500).
Part 5: Extra Credit--Auditors' Opinion
For extra credit, find the auditors' opinion on the company's financial statements (not on internal control) in the annual report of one of your companies on the Internet and attach it. Determine who the auditors of the company are and if the company received an unqualified audit opinion or not. Highlight the pertinent information in the Auditors' Opinion.
Part 7: References
Please be sure to follow the guidelines in Examples of Citing Electronic Resources for both in-text and reference citations.
Part 8: Attachments
In the attachments, circle or highlight the pertinent information (financial information used, auditors' opinion).
Please see the Performance Inventory--Financial Application Assignment for the criteria used to grade your memo.
This page was last updated: February 10, 2015