An investor report on the financial performance of a company
You have to select a company (PLC) for the basis of this coursework report. It should be a 1,100 word bulletin for a potential investor in a PLC of your choice. Think
about a company you are interested in (but not Tesco!) and download their annual report.
Obtain the most recently available annual report of the PLC. These can be downloaded from a number of websites, including their own. A good source is the Financial
Times website at FT.com.
It is probably best not to choose a finance company or bank as they can be a little more complex.
To do this you need to obtain the company’s annual report and accounts, which you can access via the following link:
From the internet, find:
• Historic share prices – use the closing price
• Financial ratios
• Any news stories about the company
• Any qualitative issues, for example, governance, supply of labour, environmental issues
• Useful sites
There are a number of sites that will provide useful information. Two of which are:
http://shares.telegraph.co.uk/ (To do this you need to find out your company EPIC code by putting the company name in the box; Go to “fundamentals; and then look at
the bottom of the page for lists of ratios).
The Report – Suggested Structure:-
Your task is to prepare a short 1,100 word bulletin for a potential investor in your chosen company.
The report could be structured as follows:
• Introduction (200 words max)
Include a brief background to the company, the business it is in and its main customers.
• Financial Performance (600-700 words) this is the core theme of the report. Start by looking at the figures in the accounts and compare year on year. You do not have
to comment on everything but try to pick out any significant changes.
Select 4 key accounting ratios from 4 different categories to report on. Ensure that one of your ratios is a gearing ratio. Apply analysis and comment and state why
you selected these ratios.
Analysis could be enhanced by comparing the financial performance of your chosen company with another company in the same sector.
Include a graph showing share price performance over 5 years and comment on this.
• Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): discussion of qualitative issues and the company’s approach to these (200 words max).
This part requires analysis of the company’s ethical approach. It could be in terms of their CSR profile or their compliance with accounting standards. In this section
of your company’s annual report you are unlikely to find anything negative as companies are only too pleased to put a positive gloss on things. To get a more balanced
view, you will need to do some further research to find out if the company has been in the news over the accounting period for positive or negative reasons that relate
to qualitative issues.
• Conclusion: Summarise your key findings about the company and whether or not you would recommend it as a potential investment (100 words max).
The word limit does not include illustrations, pictures, tables, appendices or graphs. If you exceed the word limit by more than 10% you are likely to be downgraded by
up to 10%.
Additional supporting materials can be placed as appendices but you must refer to these in the main body of your report.
Use short sentences and do not use the first person.
In a report of this nature it is not good practice to cut and paste large blocks of text or quotes it would be better if you tried to re-phrase them in your own words.
Reference all your sources using the Harvard System of Referencing.
(200 word introduction
600-700 words financial performance
200 words on qualitative issues
100 words on a brief conclusion)
The coursework report will be assessed using the following criteria:
? Knowledge and insight about the company context
? Understanding of financial analysis and its relevance
? Quality and relevance of content, including tabulated data and charts/diagrams and how these highlight the key issues being discussed
? The written presentation, its layout and structure, including spelling and grammar.
? Application of course tools and frameworks and use of core texts/references. Use of the Harvard Referencing System.
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