The case study consists of two sections- Section A consists of 55 marks and Section B consist of 30 marks. A total of 15 Marks will be awarded for presentation, detailed citation, referencing and good use of English in the assignment. Students are expected to read the case study thoroughly and to answer all the questions in a structured and organised manner with reference to published work. This is an individual assignment and it is worth 60% of the total module mark.
You are required to:
1a. Using the company websites, specifically the Investor’s area, and the annual “Chief Executive’s Strategic Review” identify the Strategic Plans for each company including the main financial goals and measurable success indicators in relation to financial growth, financial sustainability and financial performance. Having identified the key goals, explain the nature of the decisions ie long term or short term, and justify how these decisions will achieve the financial goals eg new investments, new products / services, increasing market share, restructuring etc. Clearly demonstrate how these decisions have impacted on the financial performance of the companies (use of evidence from ratio analysis will be required to support content).
1b. Critically evaluate the performance of the three companies using the latest three years financial and non-financial data to reach a conclusion to clearly identify the ranking of performance ie 1st, 2nd and 3rd. To reach a conclusion on the performance of the companies you are required to select and analyse 10 appropriate financial ratios, ensuring the you cover all the categories of ratio, and 2 non-financial ratios to look in depth at each ratio result / finding, use supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these findings interrelate to one another. Demonstrate your understanding of the findings by interpreting the performance and financial position of the three companies by commenting on any significant patterns and causal relationships. Use of charts and tables is expected in your supporting argument. It is essential to establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the industry, selected companies and literature, you are therefore required to look at the audited financial statements and carry out further research to explain the performance of the companies over the three years.
1c. Using information and results from tasks 1 and 2 above, put forward a short case justifying the reasons why the best performing company (using the ranking result from task 2) would/ would not be a positive investment opportunity. In order to present a balanced argument, consider opinions which may run contrary to your own before stating your conclusion.
1. All calculations must be detailed and presented clearly.
2. Use of published work (citing references) within text is expected.
3. A full list of references should be presented at the end of the case study.
4. Please avoid the use of ‘I, We, Us’ in your case study. You are expected to write in third person.
5. Include the assignment front sheet which is attached to the assignment brief.
6. Your answer should not repeat the question as it will be included in your word count.
a. Font Type: Arial.
b. Font size 11/12.
c. Line spacing 1.5 to 2.
d. All pages must be numbered
e. All graphs, charts and tables should have a number and a title.
f. All text must be aligned to the left.
Subject-Specific Knowledge, Understanding & Application
a) Understand and interpret the fundamental concepts and principles which underpin internal operational decisions within business.
c) Analyse, interpret and critically review more complex financial accounting information drawn from the current reporting environment.
d) Appraise critically various principles of long term capital decisions, cost of capital, the time value of money, shareholder value and risk management. Employability & Changemaker Skills
e) Communicate written and numerical information in an appropriate and effective manner.
f) Review academic theory in a critical and reflective manner suitable for an academic audience.
You are required to prepare a memo on the topic of ‘Financing a Business’, addressing the following areas:
2a. Using evidence from a range of sources, critically evaluate the main types of internal and external short term finance available to listed companies, use numerical examples to help illustrate key aspects eg cost, risk, impact on cashflow and working capital. Reach a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.
2b. Select one source of short term finance used by one of the company’s in the case study, to explore how it affects the interests of existing stakeholders. Consider a variety of stakeholders’ viewpoints. Where possible reconcile opposing views by presenting a final line of argument.