Using financial ratios to analyse companies

Description of Assignment:

Success in the business world requires participants to have a good understanding of how companies perform. This is made possible by examining the various ratios based on the financial statements. Whereas the ability to calculate ratios is important, the real value of ratios lies in the insight that can be gleaned from them. Therefore, the most important aspect – as well as the goal – of this assessment is the interpretation of ratios.

Students are required to produce a 1200 words MS Word document (font-size 12 and line spacing of 1.5) to analyze a company of their own choosing, using ratios generated based on financial statements of a firm, as well as reports on the chosen company’s recent business performance, strategic decisions and financing decisions.

One of the challenges of this assignment is that usually in financial statements there will be a lot of details that can be very accounting-wise technical. One way to get around this is to aggregate the details into major categories (e.g. if there are different types of interest expenses, just add them all up to form one single “interest expense”). The idea is to take a step back and focus on the big picture instead of getting bogged down by unnecessary details.

You are welcome to place tables and references (and nothing else) in the appendix, which will not be counted as the 1200 words.

Quality Indicators (how will it be graded; what constitutes a good assignment):
Insights, interpretations and implications if the ratios deployed
•    Logic of the analysis
•    Error-free writing/quality control
•    Keeping it precise and concise – get to the point
•    Consistent formatting

Since this is a graduate-level course, it is expected that the final output would be produced to professional standard.

Learning Outcomes Targeted:
CLO1 and CLO2

CLO1 – Evaluate models, frameworks, and processes available to financial managers in relation to organizational functions such as financial statements, ratios, stock and bond valuation, capital budgeting, and valuation of the firm.
CLO2 – Apply analytical frameworks in developing recommendations and plans of action that can be implemented and measured, including appropriate ethical considerations.

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