Accounting -You all get the chance to play the role of financial analyst below

| January 30, 2017

Question
You all get the chance to play the role of financial analyst below. The summary should be a comparison of each company’s performance for each major category of ratios (liquidity, solvency, and profitability) listed below. Focus on major differences as you compare each company’s performance. A nice way to conclude is to state which company you feel is the better investment and why.
Measuring Ability to Pay Current Liabilities: Tootsie Roll has the advantage for the current ratio. Tootsie Roll has $3.25 in current assets for every dollar in current liabilities while Hershey has only $1.44 in current assets for every dollar in current liabilities.
Measuring Turnover: Hershey has the advantage for the inventory turnover and accounts receivable turnover ratios. Hershey turns over their inventory 5.9 times to Tootsie Roll’s 5.5 times and Hershey turns over their accounts receivable 15.4 times to Tootsie Roll’s 13.1 times.
Measuring Leverage- Overall Ability to Pay Debts: Tootsie Roll has significantly less debt than Hershey as evidenced by Tootsie Roll’s 23% debt to asset ratio as compared to Hershey’s 84% debt to asset ratio. Tootsie Roll can cover their interest expense 504 times with income before interest and taxes while Hershey can only cover their interest expense 11 times with their income before interest and taxes. Tootsie Roll has the advantage for each of these ratios.
Measuring Profitability: Hershey has the advantage for each of the profitability ratios. Hershey has a significant edge in return on common stockholders’ equity with a 68.5% return on common stockholders’ equity as compared to Tootsie Roll’s 8.0% return on common stockholders’ equity. Hershey also has a higher gross profit rate (43.0% to 33.3%) and higher profit margin ratio (9.9% to 9.5%).
Analyzing Stock as an Investment: Hershey returns a 2% dividend yield to their investors while Tootsie Roll’s yield is 1%. Hershey has positive free cash flow of $836.1 million while Tootsie Roll has positive free cash flow of $93 million. Free cash flow can be used to undertake acquisitions, pay additional dividends, pay down debt, or buy back stock.
Conclusion: Tootsie Roll is the safer investment when you examine their ability to pay current liabilities and overall liabilities; however, Hershey has the edge for all of the profitability ratios. For the conservative investor, Tootsie Roll looks like the way to go because of their strong current and times-interest-earned ratios. For the growth-oriented investor, Hershey is the way to go because of their stronger profitability ratios and large amount of free cash flow.

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