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Microsoft (MSFT) or Apple (AAPL). Please complete the following tasks:

On your first job assignment as an equity analyst, you need to analyze one of two companies: Microsoft (MSFT) or Apple (AAPL).

Please complete the following tasks:

1. Download the annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last 4 fiscal years from MarketWatch (www.marketwatch.com), SEC Website, annual reports, or other site. Enter each company's stock symbol and then go to "financials". Copy and paste the financial statements into Excel.  You can also use a subscription software, such as CapitalIQ, and utilize the Excel plug-in.

2. Find historical stock prices for each firm (Yahoo! Finance, finance.yahoo.com is one site that has this information). Enter the stock symbol, click on "historical prices" in the left column, and enter the proper date range to cover the last day of the month corresponding to the date of each financial statement. Use the closing stock prices (not the adjusted close). To calculate the firm's market capitalization at each date, multiply the number of shares outstanding (see "Basic Weighted Shares Outstanding" on the income statement) by the firm's historic stock price.

3. For each for the 4 years of statements, compute the following ratios for each firm:

Valuation Ratios

Price-earnings ratio (for EPS use diluted EPS total)

Profitability Ratios

Operating margin (Use operating income after depreciation)

Net profit margin

Return on equity

Financial Strength Ratios

Current ratio

Deb-equity ratio (indicate Book or Market)

4. Obtain industry averages for each firm from Reuters.com (www.reuters.com/finance/stocks). Enter the stock symbol at the top of the page in the "Symbol lookup" and then click on the "Financials" button, and then click on "Search". Scroll down to "Valuation ratios", and compare each firm's ratios to the available industry ratios for the most recent year. (Ignore the "Company" column as your calculations will be different.) Comment on each firm's valuation compared to its industry.

5. Analyze the performance (from profitability ratios) of each firm versus its industry and comment on any trends in each individual firm's performance.

6. Identify any strengths or weakness you find in each firm.


The statements from MarketWatch seem to group things differently: For example, in their gross profit ("gross income") calculation, they include depreciation & amortization under COGS.

To calculate operating income, you don't have to subtract D&A again since it's already reflected in "gross income". What you need to do is to take out "SG&A expense" and "other operating expense" to get operating income. Some of you get negative operating income, because you subtracted SG&A, R&D, and other SG&A from gross income. But actually SG&A is the sum of R&D, and other SG&A.

Sorry for the confusion. If you found a clearer format of financial statements for the two companies, feel free to use them. I don't really care of the source of information, as long as they are official!

Points breakdown (20 points)

#1: 4

#2: 3

#3: 6

#4: 3

#5: 4

#6: 4

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