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The objective of this assignment is to integrate your knowledge of financial analysis and valuation concepts. Your ability to access relevant information about a specific industry and company on the internet. Here are some of the questions you can address in your report:
1. To which industry/sector does this company belong? (check Yahoo!Finance profile tab for the company). What are the major issues facing this industry? (consider using Porter’s Five Forces framework, see for example http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/porter.shtml). Is your company a dominant player in the industry?
2. Locate the company’s most recent annual report, usually available on the company’s website, the SEC site, or at www.annualreports.com. Read the Management Discussion & Analysis (MDA) section to determine significant events, trends and developments affecting the firm from the viewpoint of top management. Also, read at least two recent articles in the financial press about the company. Summarize and cite your findings.
3. Calculate the company’s financial ratios for the two most recent years, using the ratios introduced in Chapter 3, and addressing the company’s liquidity, operating efficiency, debt, profitability, and valuation. Are there significant trends or changes in any of the ratios? To what do you attribute these trends or changes?
4. Look at the similar comparative ratios for your company at http://www.reuters.com under the “Financials” tab. How do your company’s financials measure up against the industry?
5. Review your company’s statement of cash flows for the past two years. Compare the cash flow from operating activities to the income from continuing operations. By how much do they differ, and why do they differ?
6. Compare your company’s required return based on the Security Market Line (per Chapter 11) with the expected return based on the analysts’ mean target price and expected dividends (per Chapter 7). Hints: use the beta from Yahoo’s “key statistics” page. For the risk-free rate, use the 10-year Treasury bond yield from Yahoo’s Investing/Bonds page. For the market return use a return 6 percent higher than the rate you found for the T-bond (i.e. this is the “market risk premium” or “equity risk premium”). Get the analysts’ mean target price from Yahoo’s “analysts’ opinion” tab. Do you expect the company to deliver value for an investor over the next year?
7. Check the company’s corporate governance profile at http://finance.yahoo.com under the Profile tab: Audit risk, Board risk, Compensation risk, and Shareholder rights. Look at the composition of the company’s Board of Directors at http://www.reuters.com under the “People” tab. How large is the board and what proportion are “independent directors” versus insiders? What is the gender balance of the board? See if you can determine whether independent directors chair the Audit and Compensation Committees.
8. Summarize: Do you still want to invest in this company? Why or why not?
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