The name of the company analyzed in Stephen’s paper is Pittsburgh Plate Glass. They are a glass-making corporation that began with plate glass but have expanded to include many other kinds of glass production.
Pittsburgh Plate Glass is recommended highly to investors. Quantitatively they have proven to be profitable over the long run and have demonstrated an ability to grow responsibly. They are also qualitatively a very solid company. PPG has made an effort to provide an excellent product with excellent customer service and with organizational coaching they have also shown a great interest in taking care of their employees. Their history of financial and personal responsibility makes them a sound investment that promises steady returns and a company an investor can be proud to be involved with.
PPG is recommended as an investment based initially on their sound management methods and sense of responsibility to customers and employees. This is supported by citing PPG’s strong financial history and referencing the analysis of their liability and liquidity numbers. The introduction doesn’t discuss what the company actually does or even what it’s full name is which seems like something that should be in the introduction just to give a sense of context. The information provided does all apply to the paper that will follow, though it is perhaps not necessary to have included so many details. It could have been structured differently to more clearly indicate what his specific criteria are.
The qualitative analysis into leadership and employee motivation is more of a history and description of the company than an actual qualitative examination of its non-quantifiable qualities. There are also some components that would be more at home in a quantitative analysis. I would have liked to see more discussion of management and customer service methods. There is no clear identification of outside sources.
The quantitative analysis is much better developed. Stephen looks closely at several different aspects of PPG’s financials and discusses them in terms of investment recommendation. He used gross margin ratio, profit ratio, debt to equity ratio, and total liabilities to total assets ratio and also focused on gross profit and total revenue figures. He provides an objective analysis of their numbers and a comprehensive discussion of what those numbers mean to an investor.
The recommendation section is very brief and not very specific. It would be more effective if, like the introduction, it had more clearly defined criteria and explained the importance of those criteria. The recommendations are positive but vague and would have been better supported with a few detailed examples from earlier in the paper.
There is one graphic; it is used in the quantitative analysis section. It is a very basic table of margins and figures. Though it is easy to read and understand, it seems of little help to the discussion since all its date is already provided in the discussion and is more easily understand since it is presented in context. A line graph showing performance over time in various areas seems like it would be most helpful to the points made about the company’s reliability over time.
There are no clear citations. The only way to check his facts would be to do the research myself.
The paper wasn’t confusing at all, except a little bit at the beginning when the description of PPG didn’t come until the second section of the paper. Overall it flows smoothly. Including more general information in the introduction instead of in the Qualitative Analysis would help.
Some parts of the quantitative analysis seemed to be strangely worded. For instance, “The other profit ratios are all used to show the relationship between an aspect of the accounting equation with Net Income” (2) is awkward to read and kind of distracting because of it. There is also a typo in the Recommendation section: “care” instead of “are” (4), but that is minor. Overall it is clear.
The paper needs outside sources and more attention to the qualitative analysis.
Adding some outside sources will help with the authority of the paper. The qualitative analysis needs much more focused attention to actually be a qualitative analysis. The use of an over-time graphic in the quantitative section would really help illustrate Stephen’s argument that PPG’s history proves its quality as an investment.