Financial analysis

The purpose of the assignment is to involve you as an analyst in an investment decision- making situation, based on real information and actual companies.
You are employed as an investment analyst by a UK-based pension fund. The time is September 2019 and you are assigned the task of assessing the financial performance and position of a non-financial FTSE 100 company. You are required to draft a report for submission to Lorna Campbell, a retired professor of chemistry. Subject to the recommendation of your report, Lorna will invest £100,000 in ordinary shares of the Company on 1st December 2019.
In teams of 4 members, draft a report to advise Lorna Campbell on the potential investment. The report is in the form of a detailed analysis of the financial performance and status of the company that incorporates the following:

(1)  Carry out a financial analysis of the company. The financial analysis should include the following four areas: (a) investor returns, (b) performance, (c) liquidity and working capital management, (4) gearing.
(60% of weighting)
(2)  Analyse the prospects of the company and comment on the valuation of the company by the market.
(30% of weighting)
(3)  Critically appraise the information used and highlight the limitations in your analysis. (10% of weighting)

WORD LENGTH 2,000 – 2,500 WORDS (include tables)
Other information

1)  The chosen company must have published an annual report with year ended on or after 30 September 2018.
2)  It is for you to decide what information is relevant and what to include in your report.
3)  You should utilize a variety of available sources (newspapers, books, journals etc) and make reference to them. You should apply appropriate accounting techniques and draw succinct and clear conclusions.
4)  You will also need to put your learning from other course modules and your business awareness into use here.
5)  Although you are encouraged to obtain data from financial databases, you should not use analysts’ reports that you can find online. Their ratios will inevitably differ from yours, and are not to be relied upon. If you use financial data from databases, make sure that you understand the underlying meaning of the data. You should provide definitions of financial ratios used. You also need to show your workings.
6)  References are not included in the word limit. Appendices should add no more than a further three pages.
7)  This is a piece of independent group work. You should not discuss your analysis and findings with other groups.

Guidelines on report writing:

1)  A report should start with a contents page
2)  A report should be written in short sentences.
3)  Where appropriate, present information, comments or conclusions in bullet point
4)  If you wish to use charts and tables in the main body of a report keep them simple.
5)  Complex charts and tables should be included as an appendix.
6)  The report should be divided into short sections. Each section of a report should
have a clear heading
7)  Consider the use of subheadings for longer sections of a report.
8)  All pages, tables and appendices should be numbered
9)  State the word count. Marks will be deducted if you exceed the limit.

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