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Goals of this assignment: Use analytical research and writing skills (“yardstick” approach) Apply an informal, memo-style business report format Use secondary business research techniques (primary research optional) This is an exercise in company research (from a prospective employee’s point of view) that assesses the attractiveness of two companies.

Situation: You will soon graduate and are considering two publicly traded companies for employment. Thoroughly research and analyze these companies’ stability and profitability as well as their attractiveness as a potential employer. Write an objective, informal critical analysis comparing and contrasting the two companies (Note: You select the companies).

Audience: Your audience for the report is your graduate instructor and/or professor.

Length: Suggested maximum number of pages for the body of report (excludes references) is ten complete pages. The minimum number is five complete pages within the body (noted in bold below).

Contents/Criteria for Analysis:

1. Brief introduction (one paragraph)

2. Criteria for analysis of Company A vs. Company B

I. Size and history of company

II. Market position/growth potential (major products and services)

III. Ability to compete

IV. Financial analysis (stability and profitability)

V. Corporate culture (working environment and benefits)

VI. Reasons NOT to work for this company (recent layoffs, lawsuits, negative publicity, etc.)

3. Conclusions and Recommendations

4. References

5. Appendix (Optional)

Contents cont. Questions to consider as you research and write the body of your


I. Introduction

Please note that the brief introduction should preview upcoming

sections in the report.

II. Size and History (Establish this criterion by first

discussing your preference for size and age of a

firm. Explain your preference).

Is this a small, mid-sized, or large company? How many


How old is the company? Is it well established or is it a relatively

young firm?

Who started this company?

How (and why) did it get started?

What were some of the challenges this company faced in its early


What were some of the key events that greatly impacted the


III. Market Position/Growth Potential (Establish this

criterion by discussing your preference for

market position and growth potential in a firm).

How do the companies compare in terms of market position (leader

in the market; new entrant)?

How do the companies compare in terms of growth potential

(innovative products or services that give each company an

advantage in the market)?

IV. Ability to Compete (Establish this criterion by

discussing competitive factors you value).

Who are the top two or three competitors for each company?

Are the two companies direct or indirect competitors?

What products/services do the competitors offer and how are they

positioned in the market versus the two companies researched?

Are the competitors offering any innovative products/services that

give them an advantage?

What is the primary industry for these two companies and how is it

doing overall?

What are some industry trends?

V. Financial Analysis (Establish this criterion by discussing what financial factors you consider most important; use secondary data for this criterion).

What are the analysts saying about these two companies? How do they compare? How are the stocks currently valued for these two companies? How have the stocks performed over the past five years? How have the CEOs/CFOs for these companies responded to analysts’ comments/critiques? Are these companies profitable? Solvent? Liquid? Is either of these companies a potential takeover target?

VI. Company Culture (Discuss your “ideal” company culture in establishing this criterion).

How do the cultures of these two companies compare? How would you describe each company in terms of bureaucracy/structure, company values/mission statements, average employee working hours/flexibility, travel demands, employee participation, etc.? Are there any significant differences between these two companies? Are there any public “measurements” of employee satisfaction or recognition for employee benefits for this company? What are some of the unique employee benefits that one company offers to its employees that the other company does not? Are there any union issues that are impacting each company? Are there any pension/retirement issues impacting each company?

VII. Reasons NOT to work for each company (identify the company that has more reasons NOT to work for it)

Geographic location (headquarters located in high cost of living area; headquarters too far from your family, etc.) Recent layoffs? Major employee lawsuits (salary/wages, discrimination, harassment, etc.)? Major product recalls? Environmental issues? Community affairs issues? Negative publicity?


VIII. Conclusions/Recommendation

The conclusions should come from your findings and analysis of each company based on the criteria you established. Recommend the company that best meets your needs based on the criteria.

References: Use author/date method in the body of the report; use APA (American

Psychological Association) format for the reference page.

Sources: A variety of sources are permitted (internet, books, magazines, journals, analyst audio files). A minimum of five different sources must be used.

Format: Follow the informal business report example given in Moodle.

Type Format: Report must be typed using 12-point type and Times Roman or Arial font.

Spacing: The body of the report should be single spaced with double spaces between paragraphs.

Numbering: Please number all pages except for the first page (memo page).


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