BUS 650 Complete Class Week 1-6 Includes All DQs, Journals & Assignments ÿ WEEK 1 Week 1 DQ’s: The Role of Financial Management in a Firm: Examine the role of management as it relates to finance in a corporation. In your post, discuss the role of management by addressing the following prompts: Explain the various aspects of finance that management must understand. Describe why a manager needs to understand the characteristics and importance of financial markets including their liquidity, competitiveness, and efficiency. Interpret the function of the Financial Balance Sheet in assisting in management_s decision making process. Discuss what could happen if management does not fulfill responsibilities related to finance. Share a real world example from your own professional experience or from an external source.ÿ Your post should be 200-250 words in length. ÿ Week 1 – DQ 2: Short Term View or Long Term View? After reading the first two chapters of your textbook, evaluate the following statement: Managers should not focus on the current stock value because doing so will lead to overemphasis on short-term profits at the expense of long-term profits. In your post, explain what is meant by this statement. Describe how management might decide whether to focus on short term or long term goals and how that decision impacts the organization. Next, using the financial balance sheet as displayed in the text, compute an example of how focusing on short term profits can be detrimental to long term profits. Share your opinion regarding whether you feel it_s a better option to focus on short term or long term goals. Use evidence from the text or external sources to support your position. Your post should be 200-250 words in length. ÿ Week 1 – Assignment – Financial Management Challenges:ÿThe following video discusses the four types of markets: perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly.ÿ Video 2.1: Market Structuresÿ Given the market structures as described in the video, find at least two articles from the ProQuest database that highlight and discuss two of the biggest challenges facing financial managers today in these varied market structures. Summarize your findings from the articles in a three to five page paper excluding title page and references page(s). Include how market liquidity, competitiveness, and efficiency impact financial managers. The paper should be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Be sure to properly cite your resources using APA style. ÿ ÿ WEEK 2 Week 2 – DQ 1: Initial Investment: After reading Chapters 3 and 4 of your textbook, address each of the following questions: a) Think of something you want or need for which you currently do not have the funds. It could be a vehicle, boat, horse, jewelry, property, vacation, college fund, retirement money, etc. Select something which costs somewhere between $2,000 and $50,000. Use the _Present Value Formula_, which computes how much money you need to start with now to achieve the desired monetary goal. Assume you will find an investment that promises somewhere between 5% and 10% interest on your money (you choose the rate) and pretend you want to purchase your desired item in 12 years. (Remember that the higher the return, usually the riskier the investment, so think carefully before deciding on the interest rate.) How much do you need to invest today to reach that desired amount 12 years from now? b) You wish to leave an endowment for your heirs that goes into effect 50 years from today. You don_t want to be forgotten after you pass so you wish to leave an endowment that will pay for a grand soire yearly and forever. What amount would you like spent yearly to fund this grand party? How much money do you have to leave to your heirs 50 years from now assuming that will compound at 6% interest? Assuming that you have not invested anything today, how much would you have to invest yearly to fully fund the annuity in 50 years, again assuming a 6% monthly compounding rate? ÿ Week 2 – DQ 2: Managing Earnings: Companies often try to keep accounting earnings growing at a relatively steady pace in an effort to avoid large swings in earnings from period to period. They also try to manage earnings targets. Reflect on these practices and discuss the following in your discussion post. Are these practices ethical? What are two tactics that a financial manager can use to manage earnings? What are the implications for cash flow and shareholder wealth? Using the financial balance sheet as displayed in the text, provide an example of how purchasing an asset or issuing stocks or bonds could potentially impact earnings targets. ÿ Week 2 – Assignment – Return on Investment _ Education Funding: Develop a three to five page analysis on the projected return on investment for your college education and projected future employment. This analysis will consist of two parts. Part 1: Describe how and why you made the decision to pursue a MBA. Include in that explanation calculations of expenses and opportunity costs related to that decision. Part 2: Conduct research on your desired occupation and how much compensation (return) you expect to earn. How long will it take to pay back the return on this investment? Be sure to use the financial formulas (Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Payback) provided in Chapters 3 and 4 of your text. The analysis should be comprehensive and reference specific examples from scholarly sources. The paper should be formatted according to APA. ÿ ÿ WEEK 3ÿ Week 3 – DQ 1: GAAP vs. IFRS: The United States uses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as the basis of financial reporting. The International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) is an alternative way to report financials. This article from Ernst and Young compares the two methods of financial reporting. Ernst & Young_s US GAAP vs. IFRS: The Basics http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/US_GAAP_v_IFRS:_The_Basics/$FILE/US%20GAAP%20v%20IFRS%20Dec%202011.pdf After reading the article from Ernst and Young, answer the following questions: How does the GAAP reporting method cause cash flows to differ from net income? How are the features of the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flow utilized in both the GAAP and the IFRS reporting methods? Does it make sense to adapt a worldwide standard for financial reporting? Should this be mandated or voluntary? Calculate some of the potential costs and benefits of switching from GAAP to IFRS. ÿ Week 3 – DQ 2: Capital Rationing: Compare and contrast the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), the Net Present Value (NPV) and Payback approaches to capital rationing. Which do you think is better? Why? Provide examples and evidence from two articles from ProQuest to support your position. Your post should be 200-250 words in length. ÿ Guided Response: Review several of your classmates_ postings. Respond to at least two classmates by explaining why you either agree or disagree with their position. Provide evidence to support your position. ÿ Week 3 – Journal – Capital Budgeting: Review the following video:ÿ http://searchcenter.intelecomonline.net/playClipDirect.aspx?id=4870EEC7664070BB9D6744FDA7325EE48937A8D6C2046957D894C3572333E0B94E4E0FADFA493E372EF9C0293DDF74D7 Critically reflect on the importance of capital budgeting. Why is this such a heated subject in many boardrooms? How does capital budgeting promote the financial health of an organization? How will you use the financial techniques you have learned this week to promote the financial health of your organization? ÿ Week 3 – Management of Working Capital Case Study:ÿ_George_s Trains_:ÿ View the following video: http://searchcenter.intelecomonline.net/playClipDirect.aspx?id=4870EEC7664070BB9D6744FDA7325EE44F45E0E47862343D60FAA8E3325D1A83C46D5C6FAB3D01A758FA30144214BB3D It appears that George is running a profitable business. George is aware you are in an MBA Managerial Finance class and comes to you for advice on his working capital practices. More specifically George asks: 1. How you would describe my working capital practices, including my methods of capital budgeting analysis techniques? 2. What are potential pitfalls in my Capital Budgeting practices that I should be aware of? 3. Develop a simple Statement of Cash Flows for George_s Trains using any information gleaned from the video. What areas of improvement do you recommend? Provide at least three references from the Ashford Library or other scholarly sources to support your recommendations. In a three to five page paper respond to George_s request for advice and answer each question in detail. The Written Paper should be properly formatted in alignment with APA 6th edition formatting. ÿ ÿ WEEK 4ÿ Week 4 – DQ 1: Applying the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM): Analyze the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Using the course text and an article from ProQuest as references, address the following:ÿ Explain how the CAPM assists in measuring both risk and return. Explain how the CAPM assists in calculating the weighted average costs of capital (WACC) and its components. Illustrate why some managers have difficulty applying the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) in financial decision making. Identify the benefits and drawbacks of using the CAPM. Develop a 200 _ 300 word answer supporting your position. ÿ Week 4 – DQ 2: Risk Identification and Mitigation: Using the annual report from the company that you have selected for your Final Project, discuss the risks the company faces and the actions they take to mitigate those risks. Refer to the Management Discussion and Analysis section of the annual report for this information. As part of your response consider whether you think the risk mitigation techniques are reasonable. Discuss what others concerns or advice you would offer if you had the opportunity. Include in your post a calculation for the probability of one of the risks identified by your company. This information may not be available in the annual report, therefore you will likely need to conduct research and critical thinking to complete this calculation. Tip: For help with reading an annual report access this handy guide from Money Chimp (http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/financials/fundamentals.htm) . ÿ Week 4 – Assignment – Types of Risk: View the following Video: http://searchcenter.intelecomonline.net/playClipDirect.aspx?id=4870EEC7664070BB9D6744FDA7325EE409273F0294E05CB605BD2644A49FA1711B997988CEF21D86EF438737AEFFE09D ÿ This video introduces the concept of business risk and risk management. It notes that business risks can generally be classified into four categories: property, market, employee, and customer. Using each of the above four categories of risk, develop an analysis on how financial management techniques or policies can be used to mitigate each of these risks. To supplement your risk analysis, research the ProQuest database and find at least one article for each of your risk mitigation techniques or policies. Summarize your findings in a three to five page paper excluding title page and references page(s), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Be sure to properly cite your scholarly resources using APA style. ÿ WEEK 5 Week 5 – DQ 1: Factors in Capital Budgeting Decisions: Imagine you are a representative of management in the company you have selected for your Week Six assignment and you must make a capital budgeting decision. The decision is to implement a new computer network system to decrease the time between customer order and delivery. The cost will be 10% of last year_s profits. You are charged with describing the important considerations in the decision-making process to upper management. In your response, be sure to include the following: A description of the important factors, in addition to quantitative factors, that were considered when making this capital budgeting decision. An explanation of how these factors are significant to the company. A summary of how you will determine the criteria to rank capital budgeting decisions and whether some criteria are more important than others.ÿ A calculation of the proposed return on investment based on criteria you select and justification for that ROI. Develop a 200 _ 250 word explanation supporting your recommendations. ÿ Tip: For help with reading an annual report access this handy guide from Money Chimp (http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/financials/fundamentals.htm) ÿ Week 5 – DQ 2: Assessing Dividend Policy: Revisit the company you chose for your Week Six Final Project. Using the annual report and other sources such as a 10k or 10q_s, discuss the dividend policy of your company. Answer the following questions as part of your response: How would you describe your chosen company_s dividend policy? Why do you believe this company chose the dividend policy they have in place? Do you agree or disagree that they have selected the best dividend policy for the company? How might this dividend policy function in both perfect and imperfect capital markets? Calculate the dividend rate over the past 5 years. Define why you believe that it has or has not changed over the last 5 years. Support your position with evidence from the text or external sources. Your post should be 200-250 words in length. ÿ Week 5 – Assignment – Comparing Capital Expenditures: Access the annual reports for your selected company for the past three years. Next, select a company that is a direct competitor and download the previous three years annual reports. Research Tip: The _Mergent_ database in the Ashford Library contains company profiles and financial information for publicly traded companies and their competitors. To access this database enter the Ashford Library and select _Find Articles and More_ in the top menu panel. Next, select _Databases A-Z_ and go to section _M_ for _Mergent_. For help with using Mergent use Mergent Online Quick Tips. Tip: For help with reading an annual report access this handy guide from Money Chimp (http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/financials/fundamentals.htm) Using the annual reports of both companies complete the following: For each company report the amount of capital spending for the past three years. Quantitatively determine whether the amount of capital spending has been consistent or if it has fluctuated. Be sure to provide the calculations used to determine your answer. Describe the capital expenditures of each firm and the factors that impacted the companies_ debt capacity and capital structure. Next, compare the level of capital spending across the two firms. Point out how the spending was similar and/or different and speculate why the similarities or differences might exist. Support your analysis with evidence from the text, external sources, and articles/reports from the Mergent database in the Ashford Library. Summarize your findings in a three to five page paper excluding title page and reference page(s). Format the paper according to the APA 6th edition style guide as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Be sure to properly cite your resources using APA style. ÿ Week 5 – Journal – Capital Budgeting and Dividend Policy: We examined two very important topics in finance this week; Capital Budgeting and Dividend Policy. Critically reflect on the importance of selecting the right projects in which to invest capital. Do we always select those projects that have the highest return on investment? What other factors play into capital budgeting decisions? We also looked at dividend policy. What incentive is there for a company to pay dividends? What signals does dividend policy provide to investors? ÿ WEEK 6ÿ Week 6 – DQ 1: Comparing Financial Ratios. Go to MSN Money: (http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/key-ratios) and type in a ticker symbol for a company with the first letter of your last name. Next, complete the following: ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿa. Select _Key Ratios_ on the left menu panel.ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿb. There are several categories listed for ratios. Select one _Financial Condition Ratio_ and one _Management Efficiency Ratio_. ÿ ÿ ÿ c. Open the Profile section on the left menu panel and you will see _Industry_ is identified. Find a competitive company within that industry and compare those ratios to the ones you just found. Examine your findings and determine whether your company outperforms its competition based on financial ratios. Identify where your firm seems to lag. Describe how your firm compares with the industry and speculate as to why you believe your firm is performing as it is. ÿ Week 6 – DQ 2: Potential Issues in Ratio Analysis: As your text describes, ratio analysis is a common technique in financial analysis. One of your colleagues states that a thorough ratio analysis is all that is needed in considering the financial health of a company. Although you agree that ratio analysis is a helpful guide, there may be some potential pitfalls in ratio analysis. Discuss at least three potential issues in utilizing ratio analysis that you would share with your colleague. In addition, calculate a liquidity, profitability, and efficiency ratio from your Week Six company to demonstrate your observations. Develop a 200 _ 300 word explanation supporting your findings. ÿ Week 6 – Final Paper: Pro Forma Financial Statement: Focus of the Final Paper Evaluation of Corporate Performance The Final Project will involve applying the concepts learned in class to an analysis of a company using data from its annual report. Using the concepts from this course, you will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the company and write a report either recommending or not recommending purchase of the company stock. The completed report should include: An introduction to the company, including background information.ÿ A complete and thorough financial statement review. Pro Forma financial statements (Balance Sheet and Income Statement) for the next two fiscal years, assuming a 10% growth rate in sales and Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for each of the next two years. Complete ratio analysis for the last fiscal year using at least two ratios from each of the following categories: ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ a. Liquidity ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ b. Financial leverage ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ c. Asset management ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ d. Profitability ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ e. Market value Calculate Return on Equity (ROE) using the DuPont system. Assess management performance by calculating Economic Value Added (EVA). Review of the soundness of the company_s financial policies (e.g. capital structure, debt, leverage, dividend policy, etc.) based on the material covered during class. A synopsis of your findings, including your recommendations and rationale for whether or not to purchase stock from this company. This report should be 15 _ 20 pages long excluding title page and reference page(s) using APA 6th edition formatting guidelines. Support your findings and recommendations with evidence from at least five scholarly sources in addition to the annual report; such as the textbook, industry reports, and articles from the Ashford library. Be sure to include links to websites that were used as references or to access company information.