Each student is required to conduct extensive research on a publicly traded company and submit a written analysis of that company. Please submit your company selection and final report on D2L discussion board, where students can access all reports. Companies selections will be done on first-come, first-serve basis – only one student per class could analyze any one company.
The goal of the research report is to help you hone your research and analytical skills. Once you have gathered a significant body of data, you will be able to apply the strategic frameworks you have learned, and form an opinion about the company’s performance and its sustainability based on the evidence you found. When forming your opinion, you could think about whether you would recommend this company as a potential employer or a potential investment to a close friend. An acceptable report will incorporate several (5-10) business articles, research on company’s competitors, as well as the company’s annual (10-K), quarterly (10-Q), and proxy statements (Def 14a) (available from http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html). Grading on this component will be approximately distributed as 50% for the depth and comprehensiveness of the research you conducted, and 50% for the quality of your analyses and recommendations. Please note that as an extra-credit you could choose to present your report in an ePortoflio format (available from D2L) or use wordpress, Google cites or another substitute. This may be an opportunity to showcase your work to a current or future employer.
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Your analysis and recommendations should not exceed 5 pages; however, there is no limit on the appendices you use to support your analyses and recommendations. Please base your recommendations on factual information, and include all data, tables, and figures that you used when analyzing the company. Examples of information that could facilitate your analysis of the company and provide factual support for your recommendations:
- Firm performance – i.e. earnings, sales, ROA, P/E, stock price (feel free to add to those) – remember to investigate firm performance both across time (try to discern a trend) and relative to its competitors (see how well the firm does relative to its rivals)
- Market share
- Vision & mission
- Key resources and capabilities, VRINE Analysis
- Key macroenvironmental trends, PESTEL Analysis
- Strategic Group Analysis
- Information about competitive moves
- Business Strategy
- Corporate segments, Corporate Strategy
- Most important corporate divisions (industries in which the company operates)
- Which corporate divisions generate most revenues/profits for the firm?
- International operations, International Strategy
- Which are the most important international markets for the firm?
- Which countries generate most revenues/profits for the firm?
- Board of directors, Independence from the CEO, Expertise
- CEO compensation and ownership
- Large owners
- Corporate governance score