I could tell you that I am looking for content and
that I am flexible on format, but I am sure that you still want to
get a sense of typical formatting. There is no one format that will
work for everyone. You might find it worthwile keeping these general
suggestions in mind while writing the report:
- An integrated report works better than separate
reports for each firm. By an intergrated report, I mean having all the
companies discussed, by section, rather than having five or six company
reports bound together. For instance, analyze the risk profiles and parameters
for all of the companies in your group under a risk and return section.
- Do not rehash what should be common knowledge. Thus, describing the regression procedure for estimating betas is not necessary, but explaining why your firms have the betas that you do is necessary.
- Use tables to summarize data and findings. Since the analysis is paralleled across the companies, you might find it useful (and I definitely will) if you start each section with a table that summarizes your findings for that section across the companies in your group.
- The questions, both in the main section and in the help manual, are designed to guide you through the project. You can alter the sequence and choose the presentation format that works best for you.
- Do not include the data sources that you used for your report (such as the Bloomberg pages or annual reports. If you are including your spreadsheet output, attach only the output pages and not the input pages.)
- Be brief.
I would like your final report to be 25 pages or less (you can have appendices on additional pages), if you have five or fewer companies in your group. If you are a group of more than five, you can add 2 pages for each additional company to the limit; thus, with 7 companies, the page limit expands to 29 pages.
- Establish a narrative for your company: Remember that while each part of the project deals with a different aspect of corporate finance, you are still looking at one company. Your overarching objective in this project is to give me a cohesive and consistent narrative that describes your firm, as it stands today: what it does well, what it does badly and what it needs to change.
If you want to get a sense of what a narrative for a company looks like, take a look at this blog post that I had on Petrobras. The narrative is not pretty but it reflected what I thought about the company.
Perhaps the best way to get a sense of format is to
look at other project reports. You can begin with my sample
analysis of Disney, using the numbers from the lecture notes and then move
on to samples from previous year's projects. They are in pdf format,
and you need Adobe Acrobat to read them. They illustrate the diversity
of the companies analyzed and the way in which different groups answered
the same questions. You will notice different formats, different structures and different writing styles.
Analysis of the Travel Industry
Analysis of the Beverage Industry
Analysis of the Healthcare Industry
Analysis of Entertainment Companies
- An Analysis of Food Companies