The report should provide an analysis of the company’s strategic, financial and stock market performance over the last five years. It should be addressed to a potential investor in the company’s shares and should include your recommendation to that investor as to the desirability of investing (or not) in the short, medium or long-term.
You will be allocated a particular company and the module will provide the tools to enable you to access its published accounts, other financial and strategic data and stock market data. The allocation of assessment companies is carried out randomly. Please note you will NOT be able to select a company of your own choice. In order to satisfactorily complete the assignment, you will need to conduct in depth research into your allocated company, the industry in which it operates and its competitors. You will be given detailed information as to how to conduct this research in lectures and from suggested reading.
The main body of your report should be structured into the following sections:
This section should provide a brief company history, an outline of the industry and of the company’s position within it.
- Strategic Analysis
The strategic analysis should contain reference to the broad environment, industry and competitors, and, most importantly, to the company itself. It should include:
- A PEST(LE) analysis
- An analysis of the industry including a Porter’s Five Forces analysis
- An analysis of the company’s strategy with comparisons to its competitors. The analysis could include for example pricing policies, product range, market position, etc., with that of its competitor(s).
- Financial Statement Analysis
This section should offer an analysis of the company’s financial performance over the last five years. Crucially it should make use of your knowledge of the company’s strategic direction, its industry position and the broad environment. This section should include:
- A detailed analysis of the financial statements, making comparisons with competitor(s).
- Identification of any new accounting policies/treatments, which may impact significantly on future profitability.
- Identification of problems of comparison caused by particular accounting policies/treatments.
- Stock Market Analysis
This section should offer an analysis of the company’s share price performance over the last five years. You will need to use your strategic and financial knowledge of the company as a basis for your analysis.
- Analysis of share price performance relative to the industry and the stock market as a whole.
- An evaluation of stock market indices (price-earnings ratios, dividend yield, etc.) in comparison with competitor(s), sector and market averages.
- Conclusion and Recommendations
The conclusion section should draw together your findings in order to make a recommendation to a potential investor in the company’s shares.
The report should be based on information up to and including Friday 28th February 2020.
All sources of information should be identified in the report. A full bibliography containing all references (books, newspaper reports with dates, company reports, internet information etc.) must be included with the report. These references will also not count towards the word limit.