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fm4 3 - be much larger than beginning-of-year equity so the...

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Answers and Solutions: 4 - 3 4-4 Differences in the amounts of assets necessary to generate a dollar of sales cause asset turnover ratios to vary among industries. For example, a steel company needs a greater number of dollars in assets to produce a dollar in sales than does a grocery store chain. Also, profit margins and turnover ratios may vary due to differences in the amount of expenses incurred to produce sales. For example, one would expect a grocery store chain to spend more per dollar of sales than does a steel company. Often, a large turnover will be associated with a low profit margin, and vice versa. 4-5 a. Cash, receivables, and inventories, as well as current liabilities, vary over the year for firms with seasonal sales patterns. Therefore, those ratios that examine balance sheet figures will vary unless averages (monthly ones are best) are used. b. Common equity is determined at a point in time, say December 31, 2007. Profits are earned over time, say during 2007. If a firm is growing rapidly, year-end equity will
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Unformatted text preview: be much larger than beginning-of-year equity, so the calculated rate of return on equity will be different depending on whether end-of-year, beginning-of-year, or average common equity is used as the denominator. Average common equity is conceptually the best figure to use. In public utility rate cases, people are reported to have deliberately used end-of-year or beginning-of-year equity to make returns on equity appear excessive or inadequate. Similar problems can arise when a firm is being evaluated. 4-6 Firms within the same industry may employ different accounting techniques, which make it difficult to compare financial ratios. More fundamentally, comparisons may be misleading if firms in the same industry differ in their other investments. For example, comparing Pepsico and Coca-Cola may be misleading because apart from their soft drink business, Pepsi also owns other businesses such as Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC....
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