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Financial Analysis & Statements


Typical Requirements of Annual Report:

An annual report is a financial document that a public company prepares for its shareholders. These reports are be used by potential investors and securities analysts to evaluate a company’s stock and encourage investor to invest in your company. The report is usually the best source of information for most people to determine the financial health of a company. An annual report gives a basic overview of the company over the past year. It usually includes: an opening letter from the CEO, a business profile, a management analysis, and financial data.

*To get an idea of what a shareholder is I would encourage you to download 1-2 shareholder reports from publicly traded companies.

Here’s a basic overview of what is contained in a traditional annual report:

Chairman’s Letter

This is generally the first part of an annual report. The chairman’s letter will set the tone, establish a theme, and most importantly summarize the report for the readers. The letter will highlight the company’s accomplishments for the year, as well as the company’s failures. The letter will state what led to the company’s successes and will also address how it dealt with its failures or issues.

The chairman’s letter will provide an analysis of overall business performance, insights into the markets it’s in, and any opportunities for growth. The letter will also point out any challenges or risks facing the company such as changing market conditions, recent scandals, consumer trends, etc. The letter often ends by giving a sense of corporate direction for the next year.

* Your team will need to pick a CEO and designate positions for the other players.

Business Profile

The business profile is a basic element of an annual report. This section describes the company and includes the following information: what it does to generate revenue, its products/services, its operations, subsidiaries it owns (if any), the market it is competing in (including competitors), and risk factors for the business. Major changes made in the past year are also highlighted such as new products, sales/marketing shifts, new services, seasonal factors (ex the holiday season), or any special operating costs.

Management’s Analysis

In this section, management discusses the company’s operations in detail. Management will compare this year’s results to results from the past. Management will often use charts and graphs to highlight the most important data. Towards the end of the analysis, management will outline its own expectations and plans for the company’s future growth.

*All charts and graphs will need to be put in appendix as they do not count toward page length, but you will need to refer to them within the main body by numbering them and make sure you discuss them within the management as well as financial analysis below (see Figure 1) or (see Table 2).

Financial Analysis & Statements

What’s a report without numbers? In the report, the company presents the basic financial statements. Most businesses won’t provide all the financial statements because that generally causes information overload, and most readers of the report won’t go through everything. However, they can be downloaded from the information provided in the BSG reports.

The statements most companies will include ar

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