Team Assignment

 

My name is highlighted in Blue and that’t the portion I am responsible for.

Directions

You team works for XYZ Company, which has a directional strategy focused on expanding the company through horizontal integration. Your team can determine the official name of the company and industry. The company does a great job keeping close watch on its cash position and consistently maintains a positive cash flow; is very solvent; controls its overhead expenses; has solid marketing and sales, production, and human resources performance metrics, and fosters a culture of strategic thinkers. Historically, your company has expanded through a combination of organic (new startups) and inorganic growth and feels it’s time to consider acquisition opportunities.

The Board is looking to engage in a friendly acquisition of a company that will not only increase its market share, but allow it to penetrate new markets and increase the company’s abilities to meet current and future consumer needs and expectations. Since management’s attitude is to pursue a friendly acquisition as opposed to a hostile takeover, your team may consider looking at conglomerates that have experienced significant growth through inorganic growth (acquisitions) and may now be looking to refocus on their core business and are willing to consider divesting some of its businesses that are within your industry. There could be other companies that are under financial duress and receptive to acquisition offers. Your team is a part of the corporate mergers and acquisition (M&A) department and has been assigned the task of identifying two potential acquisition targets. Since your Board is committed to a strategy of horizontally integration, you will be looking for possible acquisitions from within your industry. You will be performing a preliminary analysis of the companies under consideration, and then ultimately recommend one of the companies move forward for a more in-depth valuation by M&A Department.

Notes: The target acquisitions should be publicly traded and have the same fiscal year end, preferably December 31st.  In addition, your team is encouraged to select a proper name for your company and the industry for which it is aligned.

To successfully complete your preliminary analysis of the target acquisitions, your team should follow this high level process flow:

1. Select Comparable Companies that Satisfy Inclusion Criteria

2. Conduct Qualitative Research on the Companies

3. Conduct Quantitative Analyses of the Companies (financial)

4. Prepare Report of Findings with Recommendation

Select Comparable Companies

Describe the methodology used to select the target acquisitions. You may want to consider utilizing the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to identify companies within your industry. Of course, there are a variety of Internet sites that can assist you in locating firms within your chosen industry, such as Google Finance and Yahoo Finance.

Conduct Qualitative Research on the Companies

Provide relevant background information on each company, current forces affecting its operations, and its expectations for future years. The management discussion and analysis (MD&A) section of the company’s annual report will be a useful source for this type of information. In addition to the companies’ annual report, the teams may look at pulling current articles about the companies from the databases available through the University Library. There are a number of credible sources where this type of information can be obtained through the Internet.

Caution: It is dangerous to rely solely on the opinions and perceptions expressed by agents of a firm, since they may have a tendency to present an overly optimistic picture of the current state and future of their companies. After all, they have shareholders that pay close attention to their words and actions. It would be prudent to verify information through non-agents of the companies, such as financial and investment analysts who closely track the industry as well as media outlets that closely monitor and report on companies within the U. S. economy. It is understood that the opinions expressed by these sources are subject to bias regardless of how objective they attempt to be. The objective is to validate the information you obtain through more than a single source. This is a practice that all management officials should make a habit.   

The teams will be expected to qualitatively analyze the content within the companies’ most recent independent audit of its financials and records. In performing this analysis, the teams should focus on the audit findings and options.

Conduct Quantitative Analyses of the Companies (financial)

  1. Present a comprehensive financial statement analysis of the target acquisitions. Prepare the common size statements and all the ratios and amounts for the measures given below for the most recent year for both of your companies and present in a clear tabular form.  Then discuss each category given below.
    • Prepare common-size financial statements for both target acquisitions
    • Complete both a horizontal and vertical analysis for each target acquisition
    • Compare the common-size financial statements between the two companies using cross-sectional analysis
    • Calculate and interpret relevant profitability, solvency, liquidity, leverage, market value ratios for each company that will be useful in comparing the target acquisition
  2. For each company, graphically trend the net income and cash flow from operations over the last five years. Based on a comparison of the income statement to the statement of cash flows, what accounts explain the greatest differences between net income (loss) and cash flow from operations.  Comment on the quality of the earnings numbers.
  3. Calculate and interpret the net present value (NPV) of the companies’ annual free cash flow (FCF) for a 5 year period (nper) taking into account a constant growth rate (which will need to be calculated), and a discount rate that is equal to your companies weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which is 7%.http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental-analysis/11/present-value-free-cash-flow.asp (Links to an external site.)
  4. Any notable similarities and differences in financial reporting practices of the two acquisition targets that could potentially impact your analysis should be reported along with your team mitigation strategy. For example, perhaps the firms are using the same or different methods of accounting for property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), inventory, intangibles, etc.

The team will perform all numeric calculations using Microsoft™ Excel. Excel can be used to graphically present data, and then copied and pasted into the Report of Findings (see below) or this can be directly in the Word document using the Microsoft™ charting feature.

For both blended students and online students, the spreadsheet will need to be uploaded along with the Report of Findings by Friday of Unit 8, no later than 11:59 p.m. (CT).

Report of Findings with Recommendation (160 points)

The team will prepare a Report of Findings that addresses, at a minimum, the following content: background information on the  project (not the target acquisitions) as assigned to your team by the M&A Department of your company; describe the methodologies and assumptions used in the selection of the target acquisitions as well as the qualitative and quantitative analyses of company data; present your results with  accurate interpretations; conclusions; and finally recommend on which company should be forward to the M&A Department for more in-depth valuation analysis (due diligence). The recommendation needs to be well-supported, properly vetted, and logically presented.

The team will be expected to comply with the APA (6th edition) form and style standards when in-text citing sources and listing these sources in the list of references; however, all other APA standards are suspended for purposes of completing this deliverable. It is expected that the team will use sound judgment and professional creativity in the design, layout, and presentation of the content within the report.  Any graphs used to present financial data can be created in Microsoft™ Excel, and then copied and pasted into the report OR the graphs can simply be created directly in the Word document using the Microsoft™ charting feature.

There are no prescribed page limits associated with the report. Keep in mind, the team will be expected to provide a great deal of specificity in terms of how the numeric calculations were performed, the underlying assumptions, and in the interpretation of results. The content throughout the report must be substantive, thorough, and comprehensive; explicitly address the requirement components (described in prior sections); reflective analysis, syntheses, and evaluation of relevant qualitative and quantitative data; and demonstrate the overall quality consistent with that expected of an industry professional.

You are also required to prepare an Executive Summary which is to accompany the Report of Findings. The Executive Summary can be physically positioned at the beginning of the Report for convenience. This is a common practice within industry. The Executive Summary like the Report of Findings should show good judgment and professional creativity in terms of design, layout, and content. Any graphs used to present financial data can be created in Microsoft™ Excel, and then copied and pasted into the report OR the graphs can simply be created directly in the Word document using the Microsoft™ charting feature.

For both blended students and online students, the spreadsheet will need to be uploaded along with the Report of Findings by Friday of Unit 8, no later than 11:59 p.m. (CT).

PowerPoint and Oral Presentation Description (50 points)

There is NO prescribed number of slides that must be contained within the slide deck. Specific criteria for the successful completion of the presentation (slides and oral delivery) are clearly laid out within the Presentation Grading Rubric. All participants are expected to dress in acceptable business attire and actively present content to the audience.

Blended students will deliver their presentation in the classroom before a live audience during the seventh week of the term. Online students will deliver and record their presentation using the Canvas conferencing feature before a live, remote audience. The PM will need to ascertain a date and time that will maximize audience participation. The Canvas recording of the presentation is to be archived by Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. (CT).

For both the blended and online students, the PowerPoint slides are due by Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. (CT), and are to be uploaded under the appropriate Unit 7 assignment page. The PM is responsible for ensuring the slides are correctly uploaded by the deadline.

Individually written Paper on Decision Making (68 points)

Reflect on how decisions were made during the Team Project.  Describe how you made decisions in a 2-page (maximum) double-spaced paper.  Describe the following:

  1. Process for decision making
  2. Quantitative or qualitative nature of decisions
  3. System 1 or System 2-type thinking
  4. Integrative nature of decisions
  5. Benefits of collaboration
  6. Theory for thinking – was it reflective, integrative, system, perception-based, etc.
  7. How you will strive to make decisions in the future