**FIN 320 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric**

FIN 320 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

Final Project Part I

Part I Overview

Business professionals typically need to demonstrate a core set of financial knowledge to earn the job and to succeed on a job. For this part of the assessment,

you will be given a scenario in which you are asked to illustrate your financial management knowledge.

This part of the final project addresses the following course outcomes: Analyze the roles and responsibilities of financial managers in confirming compliance with federal and shareholder requirements

Differentiate between various financial markets and institutions by comparing and contrasting options when selecting appropriate private and corporate

investments Part I Prompt

You have completed an internship in the finance division of a fast-growing information technology corporation. Your boss, the financial manager, is considering

hiring you for a full-time job. He first wants to evaluate your financial knowledge and has provided you with a short examination. When composing your answers

to this employment examination, ensure that they are cohesive and read like a short essay.

Your submission must address the following critical elements:

I. Analyze Roles and Responsibilities for Compliance

A. Examine the types of decisions financial managers make. How are these decisions related to the primary objective of financial managers?

B. Analyze the various ethical issues a financial manager could potentially face and how these could be handled.

C. Compare and contrast the different federal safeguards that are in place to reduce financial reporting abuse. Why are these considered

appropriate safeguards?

II. Investment Options

A. If a private company is “going public,” what does this mean, and how would the company do this? What are the advantages of doing this? Do

you see any disadvantages? If so, what are they?

B. How do the largest U.S. stock markets differ? Out of those choices, which would be the smartest private investment option, in your opinion?

Why?

C. Compare and contrast the various investment products that are available and the types of institutions that sell them. Final Project Part I Rubric

Guidelines for Submission: Ensure that your employment examination is submitted as one comprehensive and cohesive short essay. It should use double

spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Citations should be formatted according to APA style.

Instructor Feedback: This activity uses an integrated rubric in Blackboard. Students can view instructor feedback in the Grade Center. For more information,

review these instructions.

Critical Elements

Roles and

Responsibilities:

Examine Exemplary (100%)

Meets “Proficient” criteria and

includes examples in analysis Roles and

Responsibilities:

Analyze Meets “Proficient” criteria, and

analysis indicates a clear

understanding of ethical

standards in finance Roles and

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and

Responsibilities:

analysis indicates a clear

Compare and Contrast understanding of federal

safeguards in finance Investment: Private

Company Meets “Proficient” criteria and

includes examples in analysis Investment: U.S. Stock Meets “Proficient” criteria and

Markets

explains choice of smartest stock

market to invest private money

into Proficient (85%)

Comprehensively examines the

types of decisions financial

managers make, including how

these decisions are related to

their primary objective Needs Improvement (55%)

Examines the types of decisions

financial managers make,

including how these decisions are

related to their primary objective,

but examination is not

comprehensive

Comprehensively analyzes the

Analyzes the various ethical issues

various ethical issues a financial

a financial manager could

manager could potentially face

potentially face and how these

and how these issues could be

issues could be handled, but

handled

analysis is not comprehensive

Accurately analyzes different

Analyzes different federal

federal safeguards that are in

safeguards that are in place to

place to reduce financial

reduce financial reporting abuse,

reporting abuse, including why

but analysis is inaccurate or

these safeguards are appropriate cursory, or analysis of why these

safeguards are appropriate is

inaccurate or cursory

Comprehensively compares and

Compares and contrasts the

contrasts the advantages and

advantages and disadvantages of

disadvantages of a company

a company “going public” versus

“going public” versus staying

staying private, but analysis is not

private

comprehensive

Comprehensively and accurately Differentiates between the

differentiates between the largest largest U.S. stock markets, but

U.S. stock markets and indicates analysis is inaccurate or cursory

choice of smartest stock market

or is missing choice of smartest

to invest private money into

stock market to invest private

money into Not Evident (0%)

Does not examine the types of

decisions financial managers

make Value

15.83 Does not analyze the various

ethical issues a financial manager

could potentially face and how

these issues could be handled 15.83 Does not analyze different federal

safeguards 15.83 Does not compare and contrast

the advantages and

disadvantages of a company

“going public” versus staying

private

Does not differentiate between

the largest U.S. stock markets 15.83 15.83 Investment: Compare

and Contrast Articulation of

Response Meets “Proficient” criteria and

includes both foreign and

domestic institutions Comprehensively compares and

contrasts the various investment

products available and the types

of institutions that sell them Submission is free of errors

Submission has no major errors

related to citations, grammar,

related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, and organization spelling, syntax, or organization

and is presented in a professional

and easy to read format Compares and contrasts the

various investment products and

the types of institutions that sell

them, but analysis is not

comprehensive

Submission has major errors

related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, or organization

that negatively impact readability

and articulation of main ideas Does not compare and contrast

the various investment products

and the types of institutions that

sell them 15.83 Submission has critical errors

related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, or organization

that prevent understanding of

ideas

Earned Total 5.02 100% Final Project Part II

Part II Overview

For this part of the final project, you will be given a scenario in which you are asked to illustrate your financial computation and analysis skills.

This part of the assessment addresses the following course outcomes: Compute financial ratios, time value, variables, and returns using industry standard tools for optimizing financial success

Analyze corporate financial data for multiple companies in evaluating past and future financial performances Part II Prompt

For this section of your employment exam, you will select two companies. The first company needs to come from your TDAU thinkorswim portfolio. The second

needs to be a competitor of the first company from the same industry. You will be responsible for collecting, synthesizing, and making decisions regarding both

companies. After evaluating these companies’ financial data, you will then decide which company’s stock is the better investment.

This section of your employment examination must be submitted in two parts. Part A will contain the workbooks that house all of your quantitative data and

formulas, along with any of the information that is relevant for your chosen companies. Part B will contain your answers to the questions asked below,

composed in a cohesive manner. If you are referring to data that is found within the workbooks in Part A, be sure to include a citation—for example, “rate of

return is 3.570 USD (E64, WB2),” where E64 is the cell that the calculation took place in and WB2 is designating “workbook 2.” This ensures that your instructor

can quickly and accurately check data entry, formula use, and financial calculations.

Your submission must address the following critical elements:

I. Preparing the Workbooks

A. Download the annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three completed fiscal years for your chosen

companies. This information must be included in your final submission.

B. Prepare a worksheet for each of the companies to display their financial data for the last three fiscal years. Ensure your data is accurate and

organized. Include these worksheets as a workbook in your final submission.

C. Find historical stock prices for both companies and add this information to the respective spreadsheets. Consider the appropriate date range

you should use.

II. Three-Year Returns

A. What is the three-year return on the stock price of the first company (Company A)? How is the stock performing? Ensure that you use the

appropriate formula in your spreadsheets to calculate the three-year return on the given company’s stock price.

B. What is the three-year return on the stock price of the second company (Company B)? How is this stock performing? Ensure that you use the

appropriate formula in your spreadsheets to calculate the three-year return on your chosen company’s stock price.

C. How do these two stocks compare in terms of three-year returns? What does this indicate about these two companies? III. Financial Calculations

A. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the price-to-earnings ratio for the last three fiscal

years of the given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

B. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the debt-to-equity ratios for the last three fiscal years

of the given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

C. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the return-on-equity ratios for the last three fiscal

years of the given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

D. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the return on assets for the last three fiscal years of

the given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

E. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the profit margins for the last three fiscal years of the

given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

F. Using the appropriate spreadsheets, which are to be included in the workbooks, calculate the free cash flows for the last three fiscal years of the

given and your chosen companies. Be sure that you are entering and using the correct formula.

IV. Industry Averages

A. Obtain current industry averages of three of the financial calculations above for both companies and add this information to your spreadsheet

for comparison. Ensure the accuracy and organization of your data.

B. In this context, how is each company’s financial health? How do these two companies compare to one another? Consider the appropriate date

range you should use.

V. Performance Over Time

A. Analyze the performance of the Company A over time. What financial strengths and weaknesses does this company have? Consider addressing

the free cash flows and ratios you calculated earlier.

B. Analyze the performance of your Company B over time. What financial strengths and weaknesses does this company have? Consider addressing

the free cash flows and ratios you calculated earlier.

C. Analyze how the data differ between these two companies. Why do you think this is? Consider addressing the free cash flows and ratios you

calculated earlier.

VI. Investment

A. Are the companies considered growth or value companies? Why?

B. Which company’s stock is the better investment? Consider supporting your answer with data. Final Project Part II Rubric

Guidelines for Submission: This part of the final project will be submitted in two parts. Part A will contain the workbooks that house all of your quantitative data and

formulas, along with any of the information that is relevant for your chosen company. Part B will contain your answers to the prompts, composed in a cohesive

manner. Part B should use double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Citations should be formatted according to APA style.

Instructor Feedback: This activity uses an integrated rubric in Blackboard. Students can view instructor feedback in the Grade Center. For more information,

review these instructions.

Critical Elements

Preparing: Download Exemplary Preparing: Worksheet Preparing: Stock Prices Returns: Company A Meets “Proficient” criteria and

logically explains reasoning

behind indication of stock

performance (100%) Returns: Company B Meets “Proficient” criteria and

logically explains reasoning

behind indication of stock

performance (100%) Proficient

Downloads and includes annual

income statements, balance

sheets, and cash flow

statements for the last three

fiscal years for chosen

companies (100%)

Prepares worksheet for chosen

and given companies,

displaying all financial data for

the last three fiscal years in an

accurate and organized manner

(100%)

Adds historical stock prices for

an appropriate date range for

the chosen and given

companies to their respective

worksheets (100%)

Correctly calculates the threeyear return on the stock price

of the given company and

accurately indicates how this

stock is performing (85%)

Correctly calculates the threeyear return on the stock price

of the chosen company and

accurately indicates how this

stock is performing (85%) Needs Improvement

Downloads and includes annual income

statements, balance sheets, and cash

flow statements for chosen companies

but is missing various components

(55%) Not Evident

Does not download and include

annual income statements,

balance sheets, and cash flow

statements for the last three

fiscal years for chosen

companies (0%)

Does not prepare worksheets

for both the chosen and given

companies (0%) Value

2 Adds historical stock prices for the

chosen and given companies, but data

has been inaccurately entered or is not

for an appropriate date range (55%) Does not add historical stock

prices for the given and chosen

companies to their respective

worksheets (0%) 2 Calculates the three-year return on the

stock price of the given company, but

calculation is incorrect or indication of

how this stock is performing is

inaccurate or missing (55%)

Calculates the three-year return on the

stock price of the chosen company, but

calculation is incorrect or indication of

how this stock is performing is

inaccurate or missing (55%) Does not calculate the threeyear return on the stock price of

the given company (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the threeyear return on the stock price of

the chosen company (0%) 5.63 Prepares worksheet for chosen and

given companies, displaying financial

data for the last three fiscal years, but

worksheets are unorganized, inaccurate,

or incomplete (55%) 2 Returns: Compare Meets “Proficient” criteria, and

explanation demonstrates

nuanced understanding of

three-year returns and their

implications (100%) Calculations: Price-toEarnings Ratios Calculations: Debt-toEquity Ratios Calculations: Returnon-Equity Ratios Calculations: Return on

Assets Calculations: Profit

Margins Calculations: Free Cash

Flows Industry Averages:

Industry Averages Industry Averages:

Financial Health Meets “Proficient” criteria and

includes current industry

averages within an appropriate

date range (100%) Compares the three-year

returns of the given and chosen

companies, explaining what

this indicates about each

company (85%)

Correctly calculates the priceto-earnings ratios for the last

three fiscal years of the given

and chosen companies (100%)

Correctly calculates the debtto-equity ratios for the last

three fiscal years of the given

and chosen companies (100%)

Correctly calculates the returnon-equity ratios for the last

three fiscal years of the given

and chosen companies (100%)

Correctly calculates the return

on assets for the last three

fiscal years of the given and

chosen companies (100%)

Correctly calculates the profit

margins for the last three fiscal

years of the given and chosen

companies (100%)

Correctly calculates the free

cash flows for the last three

fiscal years of the given and

chosen companies (100%)

Adds current industry averages

for chosen and given

companies to worksheet in an

accurate and organized manner

(100%)

Analyzes the given and chosen

companies’ financial health by

comparing the two companies’

current industry averages

(85%) Compares the three-year returns of the

given and chosen companies, but

explanation of what this indicates about

each company is cursory or missing

(55%)

Calculates the price-to-earnings ratios of

the given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Calculates the debt-to-equity ratios of

the given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Calculates the return-on-equity ratios of

the given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Calculates the return on assets of the

given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Calculates the profit margins of the

given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Calculates the free cash flows of the

given and chosen companies, but

calculations are incorrect or do not

consider the last three fiscal years (55%)

Adds current industry averages for

chosen and given companies to

worksheets, but some data is

inaccurate, unorganized, or missing

(55%)

Analyzes the given and chosen

companies’ financial health by

comparing the two companies’ industry

averages but does not consider the

current industry rates (55%) Does not compare the threeyear returns of the given and

chosen companies (0%) 6.43 Does not calculate the price-toearnings ratios of the given and

chosen companies (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the debt-toequity ratios of the given and

chosen companies (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the returnon-equity ratios of the given and

chosen companies (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the return on

assets ratios of the given and

chosen companies (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the profit

margins of the given and chosen

companies (0%) 5.63 Does not calculate the free cash

flows of the given and chosen

companies (0%) 5.63 Does not add current industry

averages for chosen and given

companies to worksheets (0%) 2 Does not analyze the given and

chosen companies’ financial

health (0%) 6.43 Performance: Company Meets “Proficient” criteria and

A

references free cash flow and

ratios calculated for the given

company in analysis (100%)

Performance: Company Meets “Proficient” criteria and

B

references free cash flow and

ratios calculated for the chosen

company in analysis (100%)

Performance: Differ Meets “Proficient” criteria and

references the companies’ free

cash flows and ratios calculated

in analysis (100%) Comprehensively analyzes the

strengths and weaknesses of

the given company over time

(85%)

Comprehensively analyzes the

strengths and weaknesses of

the chosen company over time

(85%)

Accurately contrasts the

performances of the given and

chosen companies over time,

including a logical, proposed

explanation of these

performances (85%)

Comprehensively analyzes

whether the companies are

considered growth or value

companies, including a logical

explanation of why (85%)

Analyzes each company’s stock,

including a logical explanation

of personal preference of

which stock to purchase (85%) Analyzes the strengths and weaknesses

of the given company over time, but

analysis is not comprehensive (55%) Does not analyze the strengths

and weaknesses of the given

company over time (0%) 6.43 Analyzes the strengths and weaknesses

of the chosen company over time, but

analysis is not comprehensive (55%) Does not analyze the strengths

and weaknesses of the chosen

company over time (0%) 6.43 Does not contrast the

performances of the given and

chosen companies over time

(0%) 6.43 Does not analyze whether the

companies are considered

growth or value companies (0%) 6.43 Does not analyze each

company’s stock (0%) 6.43 Submission has critical errors

related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, or organization

that prevent understanding of

ideas (0%) 1.95 Contrasts the performances of the given

and chosen companies over time, but

analysis is inaccurate or cursory, or the

included explanation of these

performances is illogical or cursory

(55%)

Investment: Growth or Meets “Proficient” criteria and

Analyzes whether the companies are

Value

includes quantitative data to

considered growth or value companies,

support analysis (100%)

but analysis is not comprehensive, or

the explanation included is illogical or

cursory (55%)

Investment: Stock

Meets “Proficient” criteria and

Analyzes each company’s stock,

includes quantitative data to

including an explanation of personal

support analysis (100%)

preference of stock options, but analysis

or explanation is illogical or cursory

(55%)

Articulation of

Submission is free of errors

Submission has no major errors Submission has major errors related to

Response

related to citations, grammar,

related to citations, grammar, citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or

spelling, syntax, and

spelling, syntax, or organization organization that negatively impact

organization and is presented in (85%)

readability and articulation of main

a professional and easy to read

ideas (55%)

format (100%) Earned Total 100% Final Project Part III

Part III Overview

To make corporate finance decisions, take an advanced finance course, or pursue a career in finance, you will need to understand basic concepts. This includes

going beyond the number crunching and reading graphs in order to analyze various financial indicators. This analysis can lead to many important decisions in

your financial career. For this part of the final project, you will be given a scenario in which you are asked to illustrate your financial knowledge and analysis

skills.

This part of the assessment addresses the following course outcomes: Analyze the roles and responsibilities of financial managers in confirming compliance with federal and shareholder requirements

Differentiate between various financial markets and institutions by comparing and contrasting options when selecting appropriate private and corporate

investments

Compute financial ratios, time value, variables, and returns using industry standard tools for optimizing financial success

Analyze corporate financial data for multiple companies in evaluating past and future financial performances Part III Prompt

The results of both sections of your employment examination have finally been received, and you were offered the position. You have a few important decisions

to make before you can formally accept or decline the position. When composing your answers to these decisions, ensure that they are cohesive and read like a

short essay.

Your submission must address the following critical elements:

I. School Versus Work

A. The school you would like to attend costs $100,000. To help finance your education, you need to choose whether or not to sell your 1,000

shares of Apple stock, 1,000 EE Savings Bonds (with $100 denominations and 4.25% coupon rate) that are five years from their 30-year maturity

date, or a combination of both. Provide the appropriate data and calculations that you would perform to make this decision.

B. What are the advantages and disadvantages of selling a combination of stocks and bonds? Be sure to support your answers.

C. Suppose that you choose to sell your stocks, bonds, or a combination of both. What is your choice, and what is your financial reasoning behind

this choice? Consider supporting your answer with quantitative data.

D. Suppose that you choose to accept the job. What is your financial reasoning behind this choice? Be sure to support your answer with

quantitative data. II. Bonus Versus Stock

A. The company has offered you a $5,000 bonus, which you may receive today, or 100 shares of the company’s stock, which has a current stock

price of $50 per share. Mathematically, what is the best choice? Why?

B. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option? Be sure to support your answers.

C. What would you ultimately choose to do? What is your financial reasoning behind this choice? Consider supporting your answer with

quantitative data.

III. Compliance

A. While investigating the shares offered to you by your potential boss, you discover that the company you are con...

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