1. Your question is in TWO parts, as follows:
You work as a financial analyst for Kraber, Khan and Jones, a firm of management consultants. The firm has been approached by a large pension fund which wants to undertake a significant (multi-million dollar) investment in a major pharmaceutical company.
The pension fund client has identified two possible investment targets â€“ Johnson & Johnson (and Subsidiaries) and Novartis Group â€“ and has approached Kraber, Khan and Jones for an independent analysis of which company might make the most suitable investment, taking into account consideration of both risk and return.
Part 1: You are asked to undertake a critical, comparative analysis of the two companies â€“ based on their 2014 financial reports â€“ which covers a review of each companyâ€™s area of business together with an evaluation of their financial risks and financial performance. Your analysis should conclude with recommendation, with reasons, as to which company might be the preferred investment by your pension fund client.
The outcome of your analysis should be produced in report format, for presentation to the client.
Kraber, Kahn and Jones are planning to open a new advisory division, specialising in working capital management advice. They are currently putting together some promotional material to be used to launch the new division.
Part 2: As part of this promotional material, you have been tasked to write an illustrative case-study analysis of the working capital management practices of a multinational company.
The case study should include a discussion about the nature and importance of working capital, as well as a critical analysis of how a companyâ€™s working capital management has changed over time.
Because of the recent work that you have been undertaking, you decide to use Novartis as the illustrative case-study, evaluating, analysing and commenting on their working capital management over the four year period from 2011 to 2014.
As a starting point, you might like to consult the following web links:
â€¢ A consultantâ€™s report should be clearly and logically structured in whatever format appears to be most suitable for supporting the analysis, arguments, conclusions and recommendations. Undertake ratio calculations in an appendix and only present the actual ratios in the body of the report.
â€¢ The case study may be written in any format that you think appropriate. Once again, place any ratio calculations in an appendix to the case study.
â€¢ Tables, graphs and charts are a convenient way of organising your findings and presenting data. They also make it easier for the client (and the marker) to understand your findings and so you are recommended to use visual aids where appropriate.
3. Assessment Requirements:
â€¢ The submission of your work assessment should be organised and clearly structured.
â€¢ Maximum word length allowed for the whole assignment is 4000 words, excluding words in Charts & Tables and the ratio calculations in the Appendix section of your report. This word count should be split approximately, as follows: Part 1 â€“ 2,400 words and Part 2 â€“ 1,600 words. (Further guidance is given in the marking scheme, below.)
â€¢ Student is required to submit a type-written document in Microsoft Word format with Times New Roman font type, size 12 and line spacing 1.5.
â€¢ This assignment is worth 100% of the final assessment of the module.
â€¢ Indicate any sources of information and literature review by including all the necessary citations and references adopting the Harvard Referencing System.
â€¢ Students who have been found to have committed acts of Plagiarism are automatically considered to have failed the entire module. If found to have breached the regulation for the second time, you will be asked to leave the course.
â€¢ Plagiarism involves taking someone elseâ€™s words and using them as your own. This entire assignment must be written in your own words. Short quotations â€“ up to twenty words long â€“ are allowed as long as they are properly acknowledged and referenced.
4. Marking Scheme:
Word Limit Marks (%)
Brief review of the current areas of business of both the Novartis Group and Johnson & Johnson. 300 15
A Financial evaluation of the financial risks and financial performance of both companies, based on their 2014 financial statements. 2000 35
Recommendation, with reasons, as to which of the two companies might make the most suitable investment for your pension fund client. 100 10
A discussion of the nature and importance of working capital management 200 10
An evaluation and critical analysis of the working capital management of the Novartis Group over the four years 2011 to 2014. 1400 30
Total 4000 100%
6. Learning Outcomes tested in this assignment