1) Getting Started Pick any publicly traded United States based company that you can easily get information on – typically a large national company will have info that is easy to find. You will need to research the company’s stock (including: stock history, performance and current figures). Yahoo is a great place to find a stock. Go to www.yahoo.com and click on the tab labeled ‘Finance’ on the left side of the page. Then scroll down to the ‘Investing’ area on the left and click on ‘Industries’ (www.yahoo.com>Finance>Investing>Industries). The yahoo site has research available by industry and also a little general information about companies. If you need more help, Yahoo has a stock screener under ‘Stock Research’ just above Industries. My only requirements are that you pick a company you are interested in and, is a publicly traded United States company – and that you can easily get data on. **Using Yahoo.com is only a suggestion you can use any credible financial site(s). 2) What You Need to Find *(everything that is underlined needs to be included in the report along with your analysis). 1. (about 1 page) Start your report with a description of what the company does and a brief history. You can find this at finance.yahoo.com. Enter your stock’s ticker symbol in the box at the top of the page and click on GO (if you do not know the symbol, there is a symbol lookup just to the right of the box). When you get a quote, click on ‘profiles’ on the left. That is where you will find the history and a brief description of the company. Please note: you do not need to use yahoo.com for your research, you can use any other online source – there are many out there. 2. (3 to 4 pages). Include a copy of the most current annual financial statements. You will need a copy of these three statements: Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flow – define each of these statements including briefly describing their purpose. It would be best to get a copy of the annual report. Starting at Yahoo’s Financial page, click on the Stock Research on the left. The Company Reports will be under the heading ‘Company Reports’. They list the companies by ticker symbol, name and industry. Not all companies will be listed but if you find your company they will send you the annual report for free! You should also be able to find the financials by looking for the company’s web page address on the profile page. Sometimes they have a special investor relation’s web site. If they don’t, go to the company’s home page and look for ‘investor relations’ (it may be well hidden but it is usually there). If this doesn’t work then look within the SEC site [Securities and Exchange Commission] (www.sec.gov). Look under archives – the report you want is called the “10K report”. Get the most current one. This is the last place to look, as the report is very long and it may take awhile to find what you want (1 page) Review the auditor’s opinion. In your own words what does the Auditor’s Opinion state? When searching for the opinion, and if your company is in good financial health the Auditors Opinion should say,” In our opinion, the following financial statement presents fairly in all material respects the financial position of…”. If it says anything else, be careful – this means that the auditors did not give a favorable opinion and, it may mean you cannot believe the financial statements! The opinion will be in the annual report or the SEC 10K report. It will be right after the notes to the financial statements, which are right after the financial statements. (1-2 pages) Find some financial ratios for your firm. You will need to locate and list the following ratios, Current Ratio, P/E Ratio, and Earnings per share; also briefly describe the purpose of each ratio. This info should be easy to find on most financial websites for your company. Try Yahoo or Hoover’s (www.hoovers.com). If you use an ACC computer you have access to the expensive info. for free! (1 page) Chart the recent stock prices for at least one year. Replicate the stock price chart for a 12 month period and provide a brief trend analysis. This is also available on Yahoo (under charts). Click on chart at the side of the profile page. You can also compare your company’s stock price to a competitor’s or to several indexes. (2 pages) The last part is your analysis. Look at the material you have found and see what you can discover. This is essentially the purpose of the assignment. You need to give it real thought. It needs to be about 2 pages long. Make sure you footnote material/research by others. Your general analysis should include the following (TIP: if you follow the Questions below – in bold, you’ll complete this part of the assignment well). a) Financially is the company solid or declining, explain your answer. Things to consider on the financial statements: 1 Are sales up from last year? 2 Are expenses up more or less than sales? 3 Is the net income up from last year (Why)? 4 Are total assets up? 5 Are total liabilities up? 6 Did the stockholder equity go up or down? 7 What part of equity was affected (contributed capital or retained earnings)? 8 Did the company have a positive cash flow (how much)? b) Is the company innovating, are they a market leader, or simply following the lead of other companies in the market? Please explain. Things to consider on Innovation: Are they introducing new products or services? Are they expanding into new markets? Are they innovative? Is there any hot new on them? How do the experts rank them compared to competition? What part of the company’s sale are from outside the US and how important is that to the company? c) Is management sound, or is there criticism of management, please explain. Things to consider on the strength of Management 1 The management discussion in the annual report. 2 The management’s analysis of the firm’s future risk in the SEC 10-K report. 3 The reviews published by various research groups (Value Line, Hoover’s, Morningstar, etc.). 7. (1-2 pages) Finally, the Personal Opinion part of the analysis: (my favorite part to grade) a) Is the company a good corporate citizen and/or have good ethics? b) Wouldyouliketoeitherworkforthecompanyorcompeteagainst them? c) Do you like their products? Would you recommend them to a friend? FORMATTING Type of Presentation / Paper The paper format is up to you (APA style, MLA, Chicago style – other). Start with a nice cover page followed with a table of contents. The table of contents should include – as stated above: brief description and or history of the company, the current annual financial statements, 4 the auditor’s opinion that accompanies the financial statements, 5 financial ratios, 6 charts of the stock’s price and finally 7 your analysis.
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