Objective: To analysis the financial statements of a publicly traded company.

Obtain an annual report from a corporation that is interesting to you. Using techniques you have learned in the previous weeks, respond to the following questions:

  1. Who are the firm’s auditors? Do they provide      a clean opinion on the financial statements?
  2. Have there been any subsequent events, errors      and irregularities, illegal acts, or related-party transactions that have      a material effect on the financial statements?
  3. Describe the trend in total assets and total      liabilities for the years presented.
  4. What are the company’s three largest assets      for the most recent year presented?
  5. What are the company’s three largest      liabilities for the most recent year presented?
  6. What types of stock does the company have?      How many shares are there outstanding for each type of stock for the most      recent year presented?
  7. Does the company use the single-step or      multiple-step income statement or a variation?
  8. Does the income statement contain any      separately reported items in any year presented, included discontinued      operations or extraordinary items? If it does, describe the even that      caused the item. Hint: there should be a related footnote.
  9. Describe the trend in net income over the      years presented.
  10. Does the company have other comprehensive      income? If yes, what is the nature of the transaction(s)?
  11. Does the company use the indirect or direct      method of the cash flow statement?
  12. What is the trend in cash from operations for      the years presented?
  13. What are the 2 largest items included in cash      from investing activities?


  • Papers must 8 to 10 pages in length      (this would be roughly 1/2 page per area included in the report), 10 point      font, double-spaced, include a cover page, table of contents,      introduction, body of the report, summary or conclusion and works cited.
  • Even though this is not a scientific-type      writing assignment, references are still very important.  At      least 3 authoritative, outside references are required (anonymous authors      or web pages are not acceptable). These should be listed on the last page      titled “Works Cited”.
  • Appropriate citations are required.
  • This paper is worth 155 total points and will      be graded on quality of research topic, quality of paper information, use      of citations, grammar and sentence structure.

Grading Rubrics





Documentation &   Formatting



Organization &   Cohesiveness












A quality paper will   meet or exceed all of the above requirements.

Best Practices

The following are the best practices in preparing this paper.

  • Cover Page – Include who you prepared      the paper for, who prepared, and date.
  • Table of Contents – List the main ideas      and section of your paper and the pages in which they are located. The      illustrations should be included separately.
  • Introduction – Use a header on your paper.      This will indicate you are introducing your paper.

         The purpose of an introduction or opening:
    1. Introduce the subject and       why the subject is important.
    2. Preview the main ideas and       the order in which they will be covered.
    3. Establish a tone of the       document.

Include in the introduction a reason for the audience to read the paper. Also, include an overview of what you are going to cover in your paper and the importance of the material. (This should include or introduce the questions you are asked to answer on each assignment.)

  • Body of Your Report – Use a header titled with      the name of your project. Example: “An Analysis of the Financial      Statements of Nike”. Then proceed to break out the main ideas. State the      main ideas, state major points in each idea, provide evidence. Break out      each main idea you will use in the body of your paper. Show some type of      division like separate sections that are labeled; separate group of      paragraphs; or headers. You would include the information you found during      your research and investigation.
  • Summary and Conclusion – Summarizing is similar to      paraphrasing but presents the gist of the material in fewer words than the      original. An effective summary identifies the main ideas and major support      points from the body of your report. Minor details are left out. Summarize      the benefits of the ideas and how they affect the tourism industry.
  • Work Cited – Use the citation format      as specified in the Syllabus. 

Additional hints on preparing the best possible project.

  1. Apply a three step process of writing… Plan,      Write, and Complete.
  2. Prepare an outline of your research      paper before you go forward.
  3. Complete a first draft and then go back to      edit, evaluate, and make any changes required.
  4. Use visual communication to further clarify      and support the written part of your report. You could use example graphs,      diagrams, photographs, flowcharts, maps, drawings, animation, video clips,      pictograms, and tables.