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Case Study Write-up Questions: Sears, Roebuck and Co. vs. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The Sears/Wal-Mart case is a good opportunity for you to dive into financial

Case Study Write-up Questions:

Sears, Roebuck and Co. vs. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The Sears/Wal-Mart case is a good opportunity for you to dive into financial statements and begin looking closely at corporations. Put yourself in the shoes of Don Edwards, who we learn is a newly hired analyst at a big investment bank. His assignment, as is yours in this case, is to compare Sears and Wal-Mart using the materials that are included with the case study. The topics we will have covered in class will prepare you to effectively evaluate these companies.

My role in this exercise is as your supervisor at the investment bank. I will be reviewing your case write- up as a supervisor might review an analysis you’ve prepared for your job. Ultimately, for this assignment you will be evaluated based on how well you respond to the questions below as well as the thoughtfulness of your overall analysis of the case.

Please address the questions/considerations below in your write-up of the Sears/Wal-Mart case study.

1. How are the retailing strategies for Sears and Wal-Mart similar? How are they different? Be sure to also look at their financial statements when addressing this question, noting anything that might stand out.

2. You are told in the case introduction that Don Edwards conducted an ROE analysis and found that Sears’ ROE (22%) was greater than Wal-Mart’s (20%). How might Don/you probe deeper into the companies’ ROE results using any of the financial statement analysis tools from Chapter 4 of the textbook?

3. For any/all financial analyses you conduct in evaluating the companies, you should be prepared to explain why you choose to perform the particular analysis, what the results of the analysis suggest, and what limitations there might be in using the analysis. Remember, you are writing this to assist Don’s/your supervisor (that’s me!) in determining whether the firm should recommend a buy or sell for the companies.

4. When you perform the analysis/analyses, be sure to show your math so I can follow how you arrived at your result(s). For instance, if you were to use the Current Ratio in your analysis, and let’s say that current assets = $120 and current liabilities = $100, I would expect you to write your results as follows in the text of your assignment: “The Current Ratio is 1.2 ($120/$100).”

Additionally, I am expecting you to structure your case study assignment with the following sections:


Introduction/Background: Introduce the case and provide brief background details to help setup your analysis. This is also a good time to tell your reader how you plan to


Analysis: Provide data or other analysis to arrive at an informed recommendation or recommendations.


Recommendation(s): Provide the reader with your recommendation(s) based on your well- reasoned analysis from the prior section. Be sure that your recommendation(s) is/are supported by your Analysis section.

Your case study assignment must be formatted using standard font sizing (11), margin sizing (1 inch), and line spacing (not more than double spaced). Assignment length is 5-7 pages.

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