Part 1: Corporate Structure and Governance
Is this a company where there is a separation between management and ownership? If so, how responsive is management to stockholders?
What potential conflicts of interest appear to exist?
How does this firm interact with financial markets?
Part 2: Measuring Investment Returns
Is there a typical project for this firm? If so, what is its life (short term or long term)? What are its investment needs and cash flow patterns?
What current projects are underway?
What future projects are projected? How do they compare to current projects?
Part 3: Capital Structure Choices
What are the different kinds or types of financing that this company has used to raise funds? Where do they fall in the continuum between debt and equity?
How large, in qualitative or quantitative terms, are the advantages to this company from using debt?
How large, in qualitative or quantitative terms, are the disadvantages to this company from using debt?
From the qualitative standpoint, does it appear that this firm has too much or too little debt? Or does it appear to have an optimal level of debt?
Part 4: Dividend Policy
How has this company returned cash to its owners? Has it paid dividends or bought back stock?
How much cash has the firm accounted over time?
Given the firm?s current position, how would you recommend that it return cash to stockholders (assuming that excess cash exists)?
How much cash could this firm have returned to its stockholders over the past few years? How much did it actually return?
Part 5: Valuation
What growth pattern does this firm appear to be in (growth, stability, etc)? If growing, how long would you predict this growth to last?
What is your estimate of value of equity in this firm?
What is the key variable driving this value (risk, growth, leverage, profit margins, etc)?
If you were hired to enhance value at this firm, what path would you choose?