These are useful when there are large year to year changes on the balance sheet.
If you obtain data from the SEC web site “Interactive Data, then you can copy and paste
into Excel. If you use data from other web sites, it may or may not allow excel to
calculate ratios. The company website usually lists Excel file of its annual report.
Create a single Excel file for your calculations, and cut and paste relevant pages to your Word
and/or PPT file. You need to submit this Excel File, together with the final report. Spend time to
understand what you are trying to do and simplify your format, your calculations and
approach. Think about which ratios are important and WHY?
You may obtain financial information and the companies’ latest annual reports on the web directly
from MSN Money or Yahoo Finance or Morningstar. However, it may be necessary to enter the
numbers by hand into excel to allow Excel to calculate ratios. For additional information, look for
the SEC Form10-K link from one of the MSN Money, or Morningstar, or Yahoo Finance financial
What can you tell from your analysis? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each
company? Which is the stronger competitor? Give your reasons.
B) Describe any industry specific accounting problems and practices. Tabulate and compare
the accounting methods chosen by your firms in their most recent financial statements.
How do these choices affect the ability to make comparisons among firms? Compare the
most important financial ratios for your set of firms. How is this comparison affected by
your firms’ accounting choices? What do these ratios suggest about firm strategies within
the industry? If you were making stock recommendations, would you recommend
buy/hold/sell on any of these firms? Why, or why not?
You should support your analytical inferences with figures/computations, making valid or
reasonable assumptions as necessary. Your analysis should explore (in depth) the risks,
accounting and/or market returns, strengths, opportunities, uncertainties, threats, etc., that face the
C). 3 files to be submitted by the last day of the class.
a. 15-page Word file: the final report, including tables, graphs and references.
b. 10-slides PPT file: summary of the project
c. A single Excel file for ratio computations and industry comparison.