Peer Review: Financial Analysis

The following sample Finance paper is 1084 words long, in unknown format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 102 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

1. What is the name of the company? What industry does it belong to?

The company is Wells Fargo and the industry is global financial services. 

2. Restate your partner’s recommendation in your own words: 

Based on fundamental metrics such as key ratios, Wells Fargo is a good long term investment. Also, it has a great management team and performs better than other financial sector companies (such as Bank of America and its subsequent bailout) in many key metrics. 

3. Is your partner’s introduction complete?

For the most part, the introduction is complete except for the inclusion of more details regarding why it is a good investment. A stronger thesis statement would have helped.

a. What are their criteria for a good investment? 

While there are no criteria listed for a good investment, the introduction does suggest that a good investment would have to be on a diversified company that has good cash flow, excellent management and an outstanding track record of delivering shareholder value.

b. Is there anything you need to know more about? 

I would like to know more about how investors have done in the past. Essentially, the stock's past performance and other indicators would have been good to know as background information.

c. Is there any extraneous information?

There is no extraneous information.

d. What could they do to improve this section? 

To improve this section, I would make the introduction into three separate paragraphs. First, a brief background on the company, followed by the thesis and finally, the plan of attack for the rest of the paper. 

4. Is your partner’s qualitative analysis complete? 

The qualitative portion of the paper is very well done and includes plenty of relevant information.

a. Is there anything else you want to know? 

All of the relevant information is covered thoroughly. However, I would like to know a bit more about the global competition that Wells Fargo is avoiding.

b. Will the material presented allow them to apply their criteria?

There were no criteria presented in the introduction, so no. 

c. Can you identify the 3 outside sources?

Yes: Jim Collins, Factiva, and the Wall Street Journal.

d. What should they do to improve this section? 

To improve this section, I would cite the sources more clearly and then format it to meet citation style requirements. Content-wise, this section is pretty good though. 

5. Is your partner’s quantitative analysis section complete? 

Yes, the quantitative section is also complete and filled with all of the important details.

a. What ratios did they choose? What other financial information did they include?

Financial information related to gross margins, their balance sheet, price/earnings, and many others were included. There was a table with a three-year comparison table for many different types of data.

b. Have they clearly explained what the numbers presented should mean to an investor?

The explanation for the numbers was well done because it laid it out in laymen’s terms to demonstrate how the company is fundamentally solid and a great investment for the long haul.

c. How can they improve this section?

I would just do some formatting and check the grammar on a few sentences and awkward phrases.

6. Is your partner’s recommendation section complete? 

The recommendation is a bit short and the main assertion is vague, despite the fact that plenty of concrete data was given.

a. What is the justification for their recommendation? 

The justification is that Wells Fargo is old, famous and the management team is very skilled.

b. Do they use their criteria to synthesize the analysis? 

There were no criteria listed so it’s hard to say. 

c. How could they improve this section? 

This section could be improved to break down the key reasons why the information listed above should entice investors. A breakdown of the time for a return would be a good idea. 

7. Are any included figures/tables/graph/Appendices clearly labeled? 

Some items are labeled but there could be more clarity there.

a. Is it clear why they are included? 

The graphs and tables are explained in terms of their data and it is related back to the main theme of why investors should consider it.

b. Is there any place a figure/table/graph/Appendix would help you as a reader? 

No, the included ones are enough.

c. What can be done to improve your partner’s use of figures/tables/graph/Appendices?

I would label them clearly and then include the source of the data so that the reader can do their own analysis or diligence if required. 

8. How well are citations used in this analysis? If you needed to check on your partner’s facts, could you easily locate the sources of facts and opinions in this paper?

Citations are not very clear and there is no works cited page. Especially for the graphs, there is a lack of citing sources for it.

9. Where did you become confused as a reader? What suggestions do you have or what questions can you ask your partner to help clarify those points? 

I became confused in instances where data was presented but it was not explained why this data should make me want to invest. There could be more synthesis or explanation of the graphs.

10. Were there any sections where problems with grammar or sentence structure made it difficult for you to understand? 

Yes, there were numerous sections where grammar and phrasing were awkward.

11. Any suggestions for overall improvement and/or adherence to the guidelines?

On the whole, I would expand on the introduction, make clear headings for different sections, add labels to the graphs and work on citing the sources better.

12. Identify and explain the two or three most important revisions that your partner should make for the final version of this paper. You may refer back to suggestions you’ve already made.

a. Citations: I would like to know where the sources came from links and/or other information. This is a problem throughout the paper and should be addressed. Also, there is no works cited page.

b. Synthesis: I would expand more on the data and relate back to the main idea of why I should invest. While there were graphs and charts, there needs to be a stronger analysis of what these numbers mean for me in terms of getting an ROI.

c. Recommendation and Criteria: The criteria for a good investment were not included and this negatively impacted the recommendation. These sections should be expanded on and included in the final draft.