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Financial Analysis/Value Chain/Competitive Advantage Paper
Part 1: The assignment begins with financial analysis of American Express. Complete year over year comparisons (most current year & prior year) for AND their closest competitor for Income Statement, Balance Sheet, & Financial Ratios. Complete Common Size Income Statements & Balance Sheets for AND their closest competitor (be sure to explain the reasoning behind your choice of competitor).
Continue to research the firms through different databases.
Part 2: Complete a value chain analysis of the firms based on your financial analysis.
Part 3: Identify and evaluate the firm’s competitive advantage based on your findings in parts 2 & 3.
You should have at least 1 page of text for each of the three parts of the paper PLUS your financial tables.
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Attached you will find the paper I did for this assignment. My teacher told me to rewrite the paper and to change this
-Value chain not in terms of financials (otherwise why do the finanials?).
-Competitive advantage not discussed in terms of value chain activity (Value chain analysis based on the numbers).
Part 1,2 and 3 have to be dependent!!!

Executive Summary

The present paper involves a detailed financial analysis of American Express Company and its closest competitor MasterCard Inc using the tools of ratio analysis and common size financial statements. The financial statements of the two firms used for analysis are presented in the appendix.
The following section involves value chain analysis of the firms based on the financial analysis. The paper concludes with analysis of American Express Company’s competitive advantages based on financial analysis and the value chain analysis.
Financial Analysis

The credit card industry represents the oligopoly market structure with the industry being dominated by four players – Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover. According to research, Visa holds the largest credit card market share based on purchase volume while Discover holds the smallest credit card market share among the four players. As shown in the figure below, American Express and MasterCard Inc have extremely close market shares with American Express overtaking MasterCard Inc in 2010 with respect to market share.
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