Select two public limited companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that are in the same industry. Go to the website of your selected companies. Then go to the Investor Relations section of the website. This section may be called, “Investors”, “Shareholder Information” or similar name.
In this section, go to your companies’ annual reports and save to your computer your firms’ latest annual reports consecutively for last three years. Do not use your companies’ interim financial statements or their concise financial statements. Please read the financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in owner’s equity, cash flow statement) very carefully. Also please read the relevant footnotes of your companies’ financial statements carefully and include information from these footnotes in your answer.
You need to do the following tasks:
The present report is based on the assessment of financial position of the three ASX listed companies that are having the business operations in the same industry. For the purpose of this report, the companies selected here are BHP Billiton, Bluescope Steel Ltd and Boral Ltd (BHP 2019). All the three companies are from the materials industry listed under the ASX 100. The report would take into the account the latest financial reports of the three companies which would also comprise the analysis of the sections such as cash flow statement, balance sheet and comprehensive income statement and corporate income tax.
BHP Billiton is founded in 1985, is a trading entity in metals and mining having its headquarter in Melbourne, Australia. BHP Billiton is ranked as ranked as one of the biggest company in respect of the market capitalization and it is also regarded as the third largest company of Melbourne’s in terms of revenue generated. BHP merged with Billiton to be known as the BHP Billiton.
Boral Ltd is the international company that manufactures and supplies the building and construction materials (Boral 2019). The company is founded in Australia and has its extensive business operations in US and Asia. The company has around 16,000 employees that are working across the world in an estimated 700 operating sites. The company has its headquarter located in Sydney and three operational divisions namely Boral Australia, Boral North America and Boral USG.
Bluescope Steel Ltd is one of the steel producing company in Australia that has also has its operations in New Zealand, Pacific Islands, North America and Asia. Bluescope Steel Ltd demerged from the BHP Billiton and renamed the company as Bluescope Steel in 2003 (Bluescope.com 2019). The company employees approximately 16,000 employees and has its headquarter in Melbourne. The major products of the company include the slab, hot rolled coil, steel plate, galvanised steel and automotive steel.
As evident from the financial reports of the three companies each companies has certain items listed under the heads of Equity in balance sheet.
As evident from the annual report of the BHP Billiton the items listed under the heads of equity includes the share capital of BHP Billiton Ltd, BHP Billiton Plc, Treasury Shares, Reserves and Retained Earnings (BHP 2019). Gauging into the annual report of BHP Billiton the share capital for both the BHP Billiton Ltd and BHP Billiton Plc remained static at $1,186 and $1,057million all through the period of 2016 to 2018. While the reserves for BHP Billiton represented a declining trend. As evident the reserves for BHP Billiton declined from $2538 in 2016 to 2290 in 2018. The primary reason for the decline in the reserves is due to the decline in hedge reserves and share premium reserves. While the retained earnings for BHP Billiton represented a rising trend as in 2016 the retained earnings stood $49,542 while in 2018 it increasingly stood at $51,064 mainly because of rise in profits for the company.
For Bluescope Steel Ltd, the three items under the heads of equity include the contributed equity, reserves and retained earnings. The contributed equity represented a marginal decline as in 2016 the contributed equity stood $4,668.1 while in 2018 it stood $4,554.4 (Bluescope.com 2019). The reserve on the other hand stood $224.9 in 2016 while in 2018 it increasingly stood 272.8. The rise in reserve is because of gain in hedging reserve, foreign exchange translation reserve and share-based payments reserve and non-distributable profit reserve.
In context of Boral Ltd, under the heads of Equity the items included the Issued capital, retained earnings and reserves (Boral 2019). A rise in share capital is witnessed from 2018-18 because Boral has raised more equity shares for its capital requirements. Simultaneously, the reserves have declined from 2016 to 2017 while in 2018 the reserves increased to stand at $155.8 million.
According to the financial statements of BHP Billiton the company has reported certain transactions under both the current and non-current liabilities. The current liabilities include the trade payables, current tax payable, interest bearing liabilities etc while the non-current liabilities include the trade and other payables, interest bearing liabilities, deferred tax liabilities and provision (Henderson et al. 2015). A reducing trend is witnessed in the non-current liabilities for the BHP Billiton since the non-current liabilities in 2016 stood $46,452 while in 2018 it stood $37,334.
As per the annual reports of Bluescope Steel Ltd the items listed under the current liabilities includes the trade and other payables, borrowings, current tax liabilities, provisions, derivative financial instrument and deferred income. The current liabilities for the company stood $2,284 while in 2018 it subsequently increased to $2,608 mainly due to the increased in trade and other payables and short term provisions.
According to the annual reports of Boral Ltd, the items listed under the current liabilities stands trade creditors, borrowings, financial liabilities, current tax liabilities, provisions and liabilities held for the purpose of sales. In 2017 the current liabilities for Boral ltd increased to $14733.1 from the figures reported in 2016 while in 2018 it fell down to stand at $995.2. For Boral Ltd, the main items for the non-current liabilities includes the loans and borrowings, provisions, financial liabilities, employee benefits and other liabilities (Warren and Jones 2018). A rise in the non-current liabilities is witnessed in 2016 to 2018 for Boral.
The debt to equity ratio is computed by dividing the total liabilities of the company from its shareholder’s equity (Macve 2015). The ratio is useful in assessing the financial leverage for the business.
As evident from the above stated computed table and figures all the three companies are using higher section of debt capital beside using their equity capital as the sources of finance (Dutta and Patatoukas 2016). Out of the three companies it is noticed that Boral Ltd and BHP Billiton is using higher amount of Debt while the debt to equity ratio for Blusescope Steel Ltd somewhat stood lower than these two companies. Among the three companies BHP Billiton has the highest amount of liabilities whereas Boral Ltd liabilities stood second. Furthermore, the equity for BHP Billiton stood highest which is followed by the Boral Ltd and Bluescope Steel Ltd.
As per the cash flow statement of BHP Billiton, the central items that forms the part of the statement is the cash flow from operating activities which includes the profit before taxation, adjustment for depreciation and amortisation expenses (Weygandt, Kimmel and Kieso 2015). This also includes the receipts from interest, interest payment and net tax income tax paid. The net operating cash flows from the company from 2016-18 represented a rising trend. The cash flow from investing activities included the purchase of property, plant and equipment, exploration expenses that is included in the operating cash flows. The cash flow from financing activities in 2016-17 declined while in 2017-18 it increased to stand at $5,921 million. The items under the net cash flow from financing activities included proceeds from interest bearing loans, settlement of debt and repayments relating to interest payments. The cash flow from this activity from the year 2016-18 represented an increase as in 2018 it amounted to $10,851.
In context of the Bluescope Steel Ltd the main items under the cash flow from operating activities included the receipts from the customers and payments made to the suppliers. From the year 2016 to 2018 represented an increasing trend with the cash flow standing $1,132.4. The net cash from investing activities mainly included the payments for purchase of subsidiaries, business assets and payments for the purchase of property, plant and equipment (Trotman and Carson 2018). The cash flow from investing activities in 2016 to 2017 declined while in 2018 it further declined to stand at $380.4 million. Finally, under the financing activities the net cash amount of cash flow in 2016 stood $367.9 while in 2017-18 the net cash flow from financing activities increased to stand at $581.5 million.
In context of the Boral ltd the main items of the cash flow from operations included the receipts received from the customers and interest and payments for the suppliers and employees, borrowing and acquisition costs (Campbell, Khan and Pierce 2018). The cash flow from operations in 2016-17 declined while the cash flow from operations declined in 2018. The main items under cash used for investment activities included the purchase of property, plant and equipment, intangibles and controlled entities, proceeds from the sales of non-current assets and sale of control entities as well as repayment of loans. The items stated under the cash flow from financial activities included the payment of dividend, capital raising, proceeds obtained from the repayment of borrowings. There was a high increase in cash flow is witnessed in 2017 while in 2018 it declined to stand at $398.2.
Table 2: Comparison of Heads to Cash Flows of BHP Billiton
(Source: As Created by Author)
As evident from the above stated analysis the net cash flow from the operational activities for represented a rising trend. The cash flow from investing activities included the purchase of property, plant and equipment, exploration expenses that is included in the operating cash flows. Following that the there is an increase in the purchase of property plant and equipment (Narayanaswamy 2017). The business has used higher amount of cash for the payment of its dividend to its shareholders and non-controlling interest.
Bluescope Steel Ltd:
Table 3: Comparison of Heads to Cash Flows of Bluescope Steel Ltd
(Source: As created by Authors)
As evident from the above stated tabular computation, the net cash flow from the operational activities for Bluescope Steel Ltd declined in 2017-18. The higher amount of has been incurred by the company for the repayments of borrowing (Chan et al. 2016). Beside this, an increase in investment in the form of purchase of property plant and equipment is reported in the cash flow statement. Additionally, a decrease in the cash flow from the financing activities is mainly due to the repayment of borrowings and buy back of shares.
Table 4: Figure stating comparative analysis of Cash Flows of Boral Limited
(Source: As Created by Author)
As evident from the above stated graphs and tables there is an increase in the net cash flow from the operating activities that is witnessed from 2017 to 2018. This is mainly because of the dividend and payments of interest. Furthermore, Boral Ltd has also made heavy investment in the purchase of its controlled entities and property plant and equipment (Hoyle, Schaefer and Doupnik 2015). With higher repayment of borrowings, a rise in net cash used in financing activities is witnessed.
On the basis of above analysis of three ASX listed companies, it is understood that Boral Ltd reported highest of cash flow from operations among the two companies. This is mainly due to the depreciation and amortisation expenses and payment of income tax (De Waegenaere, Sansing and Wielhouwer 2015). The cash flow statement vividly explains that three companies have made significant investment in the purchase of property, plant and equipment. All these aspects result in higher investment by the three companies. Additionally, all the three companies have made significant payment towards the interests, finance costs and dividends that has contributed towards the outflow of cash in the three companies.
As per the financial statements of BHP Billiton, the business has reported compressive income and expenditure that includes the net amount of tax in the statement of other comprehensive income (Christensen et al. 2016). The items stated includes the net profit and loss from the cash flow hedges, gains or loss taken from the equity and tax recognized inside the comprehensive income statement.
While the statement of other comprehensive income for Bluescope Steel Ltd states that the items recorded under it includes the net gains from the cash flow hedges, net income derived from the investments made in foreign subsidiaries, exchange fluctuations on translation of foreign operations attributable. This is because these items that cannot be reclassified for profit and loss includes the benefit of superannuation plans and income tax expenses (Nilsson and Stockenstrand 2015).
The statement of other comprehensive income for Boral Ltd includes the comprehensive together with the specific items namely the foreign currency translation, exchange differences, fair valued adjustment and tax on the items (Citron 2015).
As evident from the above stated explanations that the companies have not recorded the items of other comprehensive income into the income statement because these items are extraordinary in nature and these items are hardly used in the daily business to perform their business operations (Maynard 2017). On recording the items of other comprehensive income statement these items are used for disclosure of business activities during the account year. As a result of this, all three companies under study have not reported the items under the income statement and recording the same under the other comprehensive income statement.
Upon the detailed analysis of the financial report for the three companies it is noticed that the all the companies under assessment has reported the cash flow hedges in comprehensive income statement (Hoitash, Hoitash and Yezegel 2017). The total amount of comprehensive income for the BHP Billiton stood highest with the company reporting $4,726 million. The income under the comprehensive income statement is attributed to the non-controlling interest as well as the shareholders of the companies.
The analysis of the other comprehensive income statement for BHP Billiton stood highest among the three companies while Bluescope Steel Ltd stood second and Boral Ltd reported the lowest other comprehensive income statement. On adding up the items of other comprehensive income statement to income statement, the net income of the business may be impacted and might create an impact on the net income of the business (Spiceland et al. 2018). In case of Bluescope Steel Ltd the items of the comprehensive income statement are included into the income statement and hence the profitability of the business may decrease.
As evident from the analysis the performance of any business should not remain dependent on the items listed in the comprehensive income because they are characteristically reported in the annual statements of the business (Yasseen, Jansen and Small 2016). Furthermore, the items listed in the comprehensive income statements are mainly of extraordinary in type. In the existence of this aspects, the management of the companies should not consider them in the process of business decision making.
As evident from the annual report of all the three companies, disclosure regarding the income tax expenses has been for both the current and previous accounting year (BHP 2019). As per BHP Billiton annual report there is a rise in income tax expenses as in 2017 it stood $4276 while in 2018 it increased to $6,879.
On analysing the financial report for Bluescope Steel Ltd the income tax expense for 2017 stood $181.7 million while in 2018 the company reported an income tax benefit of $270 million. This is mainly due to the credit on tax return obtained by the Bluescope Steel Ltd (Bluescope.com 2019).
Finally, for Boral Ltd during 2017 and 2018 the income tax expenses amounted to $37 million and $49 million respectively. Therefore a decrease in the tax expenditure is witnessed for the business.
The computation of effective tax rate of BHP, Bluescope Steel Ltd and Boral Ltd is stated below;
The effective tax rate provides the rate based on which the business uses them to calculate the taxes that will be imposed on the profits of the business (Mullinova and Simonyants 2016). The table evidently provides the calculations for each of the three companies with the effective tax rate for BHP Billiton standing the highest at 47%.
As evident the deferred tax assets and the deferred tax liabilities are treated as the important aspects of financial reporting in any corporate firms. Business firms are required to report the deferred tax assets and liabilities in annual financial statements (Bauman and Bowler 2018). The financial reports of BHP Billiton, Bluescope Steel Ltd and Boral Ltd have all reported about the deferred tax assets and liabilities. An explanatory notes is also disclosed in the notes section of financial statements. The deferred tax asset and liabilities are recorded from the differences arising out of accounting and taxation profit. Another reason for including the deferred tax assets and liabilities is carry forward of tax assets and liabilities in the present year from the previous financial year.
As evident from the financial statements of BHP Billiton the company reported the deferred tax assets of $4,041 million and $5,788 million respectively in 2017 and 2018. While the deferred tax liabilities for 2017 stood $3,765 million while in 2018 it stood $3,472 million. The deferred tax assets represented a rise in 2018 while the deferred tax liabilities declined in 2018.
Bluescope Steel Ltd reported the deferred tax asset of 1,676.2 million and 1639.9 million in 2017 and 2018 representing a marginal decline. Whereas the deferred tax liabilities for 2017 stood $175.9 million and 2018 stood $158.8 million. Therefore a decline trend is noticed in deferred tax liabilities for Bluescope Steel ltd.
The financial statements of Boral Ltd states that the company reported the deferred tax assets of $76.5 million and $69.6 million for financial year ended 2017 and 2018 representing a fall in this aspects. While the deferred tax liabilities stood $73.9 million in 2017 while in 2018 it stood $39.5 million. There is a decrease in the deferred tax liabilities for Boral ltd.
The above stated tables provides that the BHP Billion reported the highest amount of cash tax rate of 35% among the three companies.
The primary difference between the cash tax rate and the book tax rate is because the companies project the rate of cash tax for the current financial year. While the estimation of book tax rate is performed on the basis of current and future years (Wang, Butterfield and Campbell 2016). While computing the cash rate special attention must be paid towards deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities. The book tax rate does not requires any of the above stated considerations.
On a conclusive note the analysis states that all the three companies namely, BHP Billiton, Bluescope Steel Ltd and Boral Ltd have reported highest debt capital. This signifies that all the three companies are dependent on the external source of funding for raising capital. The analysis also concludes that it is not necessary to include the extraordinary items of comprehensive income statement since they hardly have any relation to regular business activities. While the deferred tax assets and liabilities as well as finance costs require special attention in determining the rate of cash tax.
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