Comparing Capital Expenditures
Select a company and access the last three years’ annual reports. Next, select a company that is a direct competitor and download the previous three years’ annual reports.
Research Tip: The “Mergent” database in the Ashford Library contains company profiles and financial information for publicly traded companies and their competitors. To access this database enter the Ashford Library and select “Find Articles and More” in the top menu panel. Next, select “Databases A-Z” and go to section “M” for “Mergent”. For help with using Mergent use Mergent Online Quick Tips.
Tip: For help with reading an annual report access this handy guide from Moneychimp (http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/financials/fundamentals.htm)
Using the annual reports of both companies, complete the following in a three- to five-page paper, excluding title and reference page(s):
For each company, report the amount of capital spending for the past three years. Quantitatively determine whether the amount of capital spending has been consistent or if it has fluctuated. Be sure to provide the calculations used to determine your answer. Describe the capital expenditures of each firm and the factors that impacted the companies’ debt capacities and capital structures.
Next, compare the level of capital spending across the two firms. Point out how the spending was similar and/or different and speculate why the similarities or differences might exist. You must use at least three scholarly sources in addition to the text. Support your comparison with evidence from the text, external sources, and articles/reports from the Mergent database in the Ashford University Library