Applied Financial Skills – Assignment: A report of Jaguar Land Rover Automotive (JLR) plc
This assignment is concerned with the financial performance and financial position of a company over a period of time. Key areas of interest are:
o Performance: how well has the company performed as seen through its performance ratios?
o Financing/Position: how does the company choose to finance its activities and investments and what are the implications of these choices for its financial position?
Your position is that of an analyst working in a financial advisory firm. Your role is to monitor and evaluate publicly available information about the company, reporting your findings to members of the executive team.
Your line manager, Alex Jones, has emailed you the following message:
‘Hi. We have been approached by a group of high net worth private investors in Dubai who are looking to make long-term, strategic investments into automotive industries. Their representative, Lucy, who is based in London, has expressed a particular interest in the automotive sector. I have asked Jade, the finance intern, to pull together some ratios for JLR plc in an excel spreadsheet and pass them on to you.
Can you prepare a report, no more than 1,200 words please, which clearly explains JLR plc’s investing and financing activities and profits performance? The most recent annual report that we have been able to obtain is for the year ended 31 March 2019, so you should certainly use that. Could your report also explain anything that they have been investing in and how the company is being financed? You’ll need to present the ratios in your report, but you won’t need to explain the meaning of the ratios themselves.
Could you conclude your report by stating whether or not, based on your analysis of the numbers along with other research, you think that JLR plc would make a good long term investment? You will find it helpful to use the information in the Strategic Report at the front of JLR plc’s annual report to help you interpret the ratios but could you also include some research from newspaper articles and/or from news websites to back up your conclusions?
Your report must set out who it is to, who it is from, be dated, give a heading and include a brief introduction and conclusion. The main body of your report must include a discussion of the ratios (first of all for investing and financing, and secondly for the profits performance), to include information from the sources that you have decided to use.
Clarity of written English is important. Lucy’s clients are highly educated but English is not their first language. Also, we need to respect the value of their time, so the report must be clear and direct. It is important that they can understand its message without having to think too much about it.
You are required to
1. Review and evaluate the information provided
2. Source additional publicly available and relevant information e.g. management commentary type disclosure in annual reports, newspaper articles, websites etc.
3. Write a formal report addressed to your line manager, Alex Jones that addresses the request in the message.
Word limit: 1,200 words
Company information: https://www.jaguar.co.uk/index.html
Annual report: http://annualreport2019.jaguarlandrover.com/
Online links to The Guardian Business, The Financial Times and BBC news
Learning outcomes relevant to this assignment
● Locate, evaluate and use information from multiple sources to critically appraise the financial performance and position of companies in the light of their strategic and operational objectives.
● Identify the main sources of company finance and the consequences of different capital structures.
Please see attached feedback sheet for details of assessment criteria. You are advised to take note of the allocation of marks to understand where the focus of your report needs to be.
Guidelines for layout: Your assignment should be presented in size 11 Arial font and should use double line spacing with 2.54cm margins top, bottom, left and right. With these settings, one page contains approximately 350 words. You are advised to check carefully as any work in excess of the 1200 words will not be marked.
The focus of this assignment is to use evidence to try to tell a story about the way the company raises funds and the implications of that financing strategy, how it uses those funds and therefore how well it is performing (i.e. the strengths and weaknesses of its financial performance and position). We are testing how well you can find and use information and draw conclusions. These are things we explore in the module and you should refer to what you have been learning in class sessions and homework activities.
There are no marks for explaining what a ratio is intended to show- you can assume the reader has a good understanding of financial analysis. There are also few marks for description. Your focus should be on what the actual results suggest.
The strategy of the company will be relevant but have only an underpinning role. This is not a Business Strategy assignment. You need to use your judgement and use strategic information to explain results. For example if the company has made a major strategic shift which explains a big investment or a significant change in sales or expenses then it would be relevant to refer to this. If a company competes in a particular way e.g. is a high margin niche player but has very low margins then, again, this would be an appropriate area to explore.
Many business reports are short executive summary type reports. You have only 1,200 words so you need to make tough choices about what to include. You should expect to discard some of the information and ideas that you have so that you highlight the key issues and evaluate them critically. No summary or abstract is required. Appendices are not appropriate so please do not include any.
P.S: I have attached some past samples student papers graded between 60 and 70. (A+). it’s not perfect but good examples to help for the assignment.
You should also use the préforma paper attached to write the assignment.
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