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BUSN 5200 Spring 2, 2010 FINANCIAL ANALYSIS PROJECT GUIDELINES 1. The Task: You are to play the role of a financial analyst working for a leading...

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BUSN 5200 Spring 2, 2010 FINANCIAL ANALYSIS PROJECT GUIDELINES 1. The Task : You are to play the role of a financial analyst working for a leading investment management company. Your boss, who also happens to be your instructor, has asked you to evaluate a company for possible inclusion in your firm’s portfolio. Specifically, your boss wants you to choose a company and describe its current financial status. You are to prepare a formal report of your efforts for your boss. 2. Information sources : Use this handout, the company's latest annual and quarterly reports, and business publications on the Internet and at the library as the basis for your analysis. Good information sources on the Internet include: - The company’s own website (good for overview information, annual and quarterly reports). - www.sec.gov (search EDGAR for 10K and 10Q reports) (see separate handout for specific instructions on using the SEC website) - http://finance.yahoo.com/ (Yahoo Financial Research) - http://www.annualreports.com/ (annual reports here) - Hoovers online ( http://www.hoovers.com/free/ ) (company data, stats) - Reuters ( http://www.investor.reuters.com/StockEntry.aspx?target=/stocks ) - MSN Money Central ( http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/research/welcome.asp ) (these last two have industry averages – important for your ratio analysis) - Many others (“Google” search for your company’s name, for example) Note: Wikipedia.com is NOT an acceptable information source for your report. Since anybody can edit its information and the owners of the site do not attempt to verify the accuracy of what is posted, it does not meet minimum academic standards. 3. Format : The paper should be prepared in Microsoft Word. Use the outline that begins on the next page (recommend you copy and paste the outline into a new Word document and use it as the basis for your report). 4. Schedule : The paper is due on May 16, 2010 . Do not be late! The course ends at 11:55 pm that night and I must submit grades within a few days. Page 1
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BUSN 5200 Spring 2, 2010 Important Note on Using Information Obtained from the Internet Caution : Most of the words in your report should be your own. Remember that the rule is that you should only quote when what has been stated is so unique that it would lose its impact or value if it were not kept together as a quote. (THIS IS RARELY THE CASE.) You may paraphrase and use quotes for emphasis when you need to, but when you do you must use quotes and identify the source of the information. APA style requires that you block indent long quotations. Given that requirement, I do not expect to see long quotes in your paper. Remember that you MUST provide a source for anything that is not your original words or thoughts. Failure to do so is a breach of the Webster University honor policy and will negatively impact your grade. Simply stated, it is plagiarism. So to summarize, when you extract information from sources on the Internet for use in reports, there will be a strong temptation to copy and paste the information into your financial statement analysis. You should not routinely do this. Citing sources on a reference page is not enough. Remember that words shown in your paper are presented as if they are your own unless you provide a citation so your readers know where the information came from. The identification of a source must be sufficient to allow the reader to go DIRECTLY to the source. ..including the page! There are multiple style sheets available to show you how to cite outside work in your document. APA style is what has been adopted by Webster University so that is how the paper should appear. This approach enables the reader (me) to go directly to the source to confirm its veracity. Be sure to ask me if you have any questions about the report in general or using quoted information in particular. Good luck! Your Instructor Page 1
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