Financial Management

Students are required to choose a public listed company whose shares are traded on a stock exchange (preferably the London Stock Exchange). Download its most recent annual report(s) covering financial statements for the past 5 years, and produce a report, no more than 5,000 words which includes an analysis of the chosen company.
Your reports are expected to cover the following areas:
Part a) [10 marks, 500 words approximately]
A brief history of the chosen company including its business model, market place and major competitor(s), as well as a review of major recent events over the past five years (e.g. change of directors, profit warning, legal issue, M&A, or any strategic changes).
Part b) [60 marks, 3000 words approximately]
A critical review of the company’s financial performances including
• Calculation of key financial ratios for the past 5 years (e.g. profitability, liquidity, gearing, efficiency ratios)
• Critical evaluation of the ratios calculated
• Comparison to major competitor(s) and/or sector average if possible
• Any recommendation on how to improve the financial management of the company
(As a guidance, the calculation of ratios contributes to 10 marks, 40 marks to ratio analysis with comparisons to competitors and remaining 10% to future recommendations.)
Part c) [30 marks,]
Carry out investment appraisal techniques to evaluate the following two projects:
Assume that the company you chose in part a) has been researching the prospects for a range of new investment opportunities. The cash flow details of two promising projects (which are mutually exclusive) are given below:
Year Projected Cash Flows (£m)
0 -85 -90
1 10 40
2 20 35
3 25 7
4 65 40
Assume that the company’s cost of capital is currently at 10.25 per cent.
Assume that all cash flows arise at year ends and straight-line depreciation is used over the life of the project with zero scrap value. Ignore taxation and inflation.
1. Calculate the Payback Period (PBP), Accounting Rate of Return (ARR), Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and the Net Present Value (NPV) of the project. Evaluate the results of these calculations and recommend with reasons which project should be adopted.
(20 marks)
2. Critically discuss the advantages and shortcomings of the PBP, IRR and NPV techniques as ways of evaluating capital projects, please use relevant literature (with proper referencing) to support your discussion. Please also address the non-financial factors that need to be considered.
(10 marks)

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