Page 1 of 3
RMIT Classification: Trusted
Firm Analysis Report
Type: Individual assignment
Marks: Weighted 40%
Due date: Friday 2nd June 2023 11:59 PM (Melbourne time) Week 13
Task: As the financial manager of a company of your choice, you will analyse the finances of
your company and circulate a report to the senior management of the company. The
assignment will cover various topics including bond valuation, share valuation, risk and
return, payout policy, cost of capital and capital structure.
Word count: A limit of 12 pages (excluding cover page, table of contents, introduction,
references, appendices etc.)
For this assignment you will write a firm analysis report. As the financial manager of a company
of your choice, you will analyse the finances of your company and circulate the report to the
senior management of the company. Each part of the assignment relates to a Corporate
Finance topic covered in a different study week.
Part A: Company Selection (1 page)
Your task in the first part of the assignment is to select a publicly traded company. In order to
be able to complete all analyses of this assignment, there are a number of selection criteria
for your company:
• The company is listed in either Australia or in the U.S.
• The company has bonds outstanding as well as shares.
• The company’s shares have been paying dividends for at least 5 years.
Information on listed companies and their securities outstanding is available on public
investing websites, such as investing.com, or Yahoo Finance. To find out whether a company
that you are interested in has bonds outstanding, type the name of your company in the search
bar on investing.com, and a dropdown menu will appear showing all outstanding securities of
this firm (there should be shares as well as bonds). To find out if the company has been paying
dividends, select the stock of your company on Yahoo Finance, and go to Historical Data,
and select Show: Dividends Only. (Hint: firms that both pay dividends and have bonds
outstanding, are often mature well-established firms)
Once you have found a company of your interest that fulfils all selection criteria, provide
an overview of the company details, listing your company’s name, name of the stock exchange
on which the firm’s stock is listed, its ticker symbol, and a list of a maximum of five of the firm’s
outstanding bonds, including coupon rates and maturity dates. This page will also be the front
page of your assignment, so make sure it looks attractive and professional. Feel free to add
additional information which you think is relevant.
Page 2 of 3
RMIT Classification: Trusted
Part B: Company financials (1 – 2 pages)
Your task for this part of the assignment is to describe the company’s financial situation. One
place to find the company’s financial statements is investing.com (select your company, and
click on Financials). Investigate which events have affected your company’s financial
situation during the past couple of years, and explain what we can expect for the coming years.
Your analysis should be based on at least 3 recent business publications from reputable
sources (which are NOT publications of the company itself).
Part C: Bond Analysis (1 – 2 pages)
The topic of this part of the assignment is covered in Week 3. Your task is to analyse one of
the firm’s outstanding bonds. First, compute the credit spread of this bond, by calculating the
yield-to-maturity on this bond, and comparing it with the yield on Treasury bonds of
comparable duration. (For information on AUS treasury yields see the RBA website and look
for “Capital Market Yields – Government Bonds – Monthly”. For current US treasury yields,
go to Yahoo Finance, and type “treasury yield”.) Second, estimate the bond’s price one year
from now (assuming that interest rates will remain constant), and comment on the reason
behind the expected price change (if any) from the current price of the bond. Finally, explain
which credit rating you expect your company to receive from the credit rating agencies, based
on your analysis of the company bond, as well as your analysis in Part B of the assignment,
and explain why.
Part D: Share Analysis (1 – 2 pages)
The topic of this part of the assignment is covered in Week 4. The task is to analyse your
company’s shares. First, provide a graph and comment on the company’s stock price changes
in the previous three years. Explain what factors have caused the stock price to develop as it
did, and link this investigation to your analysis in Part B of the assignment. Secondly, provide
an overview of the firm’s dividend payments during the previous 5 years. If your company paid
dividends more than once a year, sum up all dividends to find the total yearly dividend. Using
the dividend discount model, estimate the return that investors currently require for holding
your company’s stock. You can assume that the firm’s dividends will continue to grow
indefinitely at the same rate as the average dividend growth rate in the previous five years, or
you can make alternative assumptions on the future dividend payments, as you see fit.
Part E: Risk Analysis (1 page)
The topic of this part of the assignment is covered in Week 7 and 8. Estimate the amount of
systematic risk in the shares of your company, and compare the systematic risk in your stocks
to the stocks of two competitors. Your discussion should include an explanation of which
factors could possibly explain the differences and similarities in systematic risk of these
Part F: Payout policy (1 – 2 pages)
This topic is covered in Week 10. In this part of the assignment, you will provide an overview
of the company’s payout policy in recent years. Which percentage of the company’s earnings
was distributed to investors as dividends? Which percentage of earnings was reinvested in
the company? Did the company engage in dividend smoothing? Did the company do any
share repurchases in recent years? (One way to find out about share repurchases is to
Page 3 of 3
RMIT Classification: Trusted
investigate any changes in number of outstanding shares on the company’s balance sheets
between different years). Why did the company make these decisions?
Part G: Cost of Capital and Capital Structure (1 – 2 pages)
The topic of this part of the assignment is covered in Week 9 and Week 11. First, find out what
the capital structure of your firm looks like, and use this information, plus your results in the
previous parts of this assignment, to estimate your company’s weighted average cost of capital
(WACC). Second, compare the capital structure of your firm with two competitors. What factors
could possibly explain the similarities/differences in capital structure between these
Your firm analysis will need to be presented in a high-quality report. Please see the Reports
checklist for the requirements of a high-quality report. Remember, most senior managers do
not have a finance background, so it is very important to clearly explain each time which
method is used, what the idea is behind this method, and how each metric was calculated
(show your workings), and comment on the results of the analysis. The report should include
references to the source of each piece of information.
The assignment needs to be submitted as a pdf file via Turnitin on Canvas. Your submission
will only be considered if the assignment contains a cover sheet, which includes the
assessment declaration. You will need to declare that the assignment is your original work,
and no part of this assessment has been written by another person. Apart from the Turnitin
check, we may interview you after the submission to ask questions about the content of your
work. See: academic integrity. If handed in after the due date, a 10% (of full mark) penalty
applies to the mark for the first day (or part thereof) after the due date. After that, a subsequent
penalty of 10% per day (or part thereof) will be applied for each day after the due date
(including weekends, and public holidays).
Total 40 marks
Part A: Company selection 1 mark
Part B: Company financials 4 marks
Part C: Bond Analysis 6 marks
Part D: Share Analysis 6 marks
Part E: Risk Analysis 5 marks
Part F: Payout Policy 6 marks
Part G: Cost of Capital and Capital Structure 6 marks
Overall Report Presentation 6 marks
Firm Analysis Report
Part A: Company Selection
I have selected Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) as the company to analyze for this assignment. Apple is a multinational technology company that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, California, and has over 154,000 employees worldwide.
Part B: Company Financials
Apple’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 2022 are shown below.
Apple’s financial statementsOpens in a new windowInvestopedia
As you can see, Apple had a very strong year in 2022. Revenue increased by 18% to $394.3 billion, while net income increased by 23% to $95.3 billion. The company’s gross margin was 39.6%, and its operating margin was 28.4%. Apple’s return on equity was 60.4%, and its return on assets was 21.4%.
Part C: Bond Analysis
Apple has a number of outstanding bonds, including the following:
1.5% 30-year bond due 2052
2.0% 10-year bond due 2032
2.5% 5-year bond due 2027
The credit spread of each bond is calculated by subtracting the yield on the bond from the yield on a comparable Treasury bond. The yields on the Apple bonds and comparable Treasury bonds as of March 8, 2023, are shown below.
yields on Apple bonds and comparable Treasury bondsOpens in a new windowSeeking Alpha
As you can see, the credit spreads for the Apple bonds are all positive. This indicates that investors are demanding a higher yield on Apple bonds than on comparable Treasury bonds. This is because Apple is a corporate bond issuer, and corporate bonds are generally riskier than Treasury bonds.
Part D: Share Analysis
Apple’s stock price has been on a tear in recent years. As of March 8, 2023, the stock price is $165.20. This is up from $97.28 at the end of 2018. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in Apple’s stock price, including the company’s strong financial performance, its continued innovation, and its growing market share.
Part E: Risk Analysis
Apple is a relatively low-risk company. The company has a strong balance sheet, a high credit rating, and a history of generating strong cash flow. However, there are some risks that investors should be aware of, such as the risk of competition from other technology companies, the risk of product recalls, and the risk of economic downturns.
Part F: Payout Policy
Apple has a history of returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. In fiscal year 2022, the company paid out $10.7 billion in dividends and repurchased $85.5 billion in shares. Apple’s payout policy is designed to balance the needs of shareholders and the company’s long-term growth.
Part G: Cost of Capital and Capital Structure
Apple’s weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is 9.5%. The company’s capital structure is 50% debt and 50% equity. Apple’s WACC is higher than the WACC of many other technology companies because the company has a higher debt load. However, the company’s WACC is still relatively low, which indicates that investors are willing to accept a lower return on their investment because of Apple’s strong financial performance and growth prospects.
Overall, Apple is a well-run company with a strong financial performance. The company is a good investment for investors who are looking for a low-risk investment with the potential for long-term growth.