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You are a financial analyst working for a major investment house. You are to analyze Costco Wholesale for its investment potential.

Based on your analysis of the firm’s financial statements and other information included in the Annual report (which you will find on the Company’s website usually under investor relations) and any relevant supplementary information you can obtain about the firm and its operating environment, identify areas in which the company is performing well (strengths) and advise management of any problem areas (weaknesses).
Include in your analysis an assessment of how the firm’s strengths and weaknesses affect its credit worthiness and investment potential.


The time period for the analysis should include two full years (the annual report will have two years of info in the financial statements). You should use the financial statements and other information in the annual and/or 10K reports. You should also use other relevant materials from other sources mentioned in your text and on Blackboard.
For comparison data use whomever you consider to be your major competitor.

Remember – your must use both financial ratios and a common-sized income statements. This means you should be COMPUTING the financial ratios yourself (and showing the calculations) and PREPARING a common-sized income statement. If it is copied in from another source, you will not receive credit for this portion.

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The attached outline is the minimum that should be provided in your PowerPoint.

Outline for Financial Statement Analysis – PowerPoint Presentation or other presentation software approved by instructor

I. Introduction
II. Firm, Industry and Environment (please be brief, this IS a finance and accounting course not a history class!)
A. Description of firm and its management (tell me about company and management)
B. Discussion of the competitive environment
C. Economic climate and outlook (where is the company heading?)
D. Other factors as appropriate, e.g. governmental regulations, labor issues, litigation pending (You can find something here for sure)
III. Evaluation of Financial Statements (note key word is “evaluation”–Tell me what the ratios tell you)
A. Overview (give an overview of the financial statements, are their sales increasing, are they profitable, are there red flags)
B. Short-term liquidity (need to see both ratios for each year)
C. Activity Ratios (should see at least 2 ratios for each year)
D. Financial Leverage (Debt Ratios) (should see debt ratio and times interest earned ratio for each year)
E. Profitability and Market Ratios (should see at least 5 ratios for each year)
F. Common-sized Income Statement and Analysis (did it improve or deteriorate from one year to another)

G. Discussion of the Company’s capital structure
IV. Outlook, Summary and Conclusions
A. Outlook for performance (what is their investment potential, credit assessment, etc.)
B. Strengths (your opinion of their strengths, not something from a website’s SWOT analysis)
C. Weaknesses (again, your opinion of their weaknesses)
D. Summary and Conclusions (what is your overall thought on this company)
V. Appendix-Identify all sources used in project-Include a link to all financial statements sources also IMPORTANT! Be sure to give credit to any source you use. While this is not an APA exercise, the rules for plagiarism definitely apply.

Additional Project Notes
The notes provided here are to help clarify some questions previous students have had or to remedy a problem I have seen often when grading the projects. If I update anything in this folder, I will post it in the announcements.
1) You do not have to paste the actual financial statements into the presentation. You should reference where you got them from in the appendix. You SHOULD provide a common-sized income statement that YOU prepared based on the financial statements. If you don’t know what a common-sized financial statement is after we cover chapter 3, you should go back and review the chapter again. Just to be clear, if you do not have a common size income statement in your presentation, you will lose 10%.
2) Please keep in mind that the outline is provided and that is the minimum topics I expect to see in the presentation. If a part is not there, it should only be because that does not pertain to your company (and you have verified that it does not get included with me).
3) You must provide the ratio CALCULATIONS. It can be included in the presentation or in the appendix but must be there or you will not receive credit for the ratios. DO NOT paste in ratios that you did not calculate yourself. The ratios should be what we covered in class with the exclusion of the fixed payment coverage ratio. Please do not do that one.

The presentation will include

1. Background and brief history of the company

2. Assessment of the current Marco Economic Environment
3. Industry Analysis

4. Analysis of Company’s Capital Structure
5. Debt Analysis (if applicable)

6. Equity Analysis
7. Recommendation

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