NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Ohlson, James


(212) 998-0151

Tuesdays 3:45-5:00

KMC 10-85


Erik Johannesson


To be determined

KMC 10-177


Course Meetings

TR, 9:30am to 10:45am

KMC 4-80

Midterm date: Tentatively scheduled for the first class after the mid-semester break.

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course Description:

This course develops concepts and tools used to analyze financial statements for purposes of equity valuation. All four financial statements will be discussed extensively to extract information that assesses a firm’s performance. An appreciation of a firm’s current performance is essential to forecast future performance, which in turn affects the estimation of its value. Approximately half of your time will be spent learning how to implement, interpret, and manipulate spreadsheets. Case studies will serve as an important tool to appreciate core concepts. At the end of the course, you should be proficient in FSA, in terms of concepts as well as practice.

Learning Objectives:

·         Develop an understanding of how one integrates finance concepts like cost of capital in the analysis of financial statements.

·         Develop an understanding of how basic financial statements interact and differ in the information they provide.

·         Develop an understanding of how one uses financial statements to forecast future outcomes such as earnings, dividends, cash flows.

·         Develop an understanding of the conceptual and practical difference between enterprise and financial activities.

·         Develop an understanding of how one converts forecasts to estimate a firm's value.

·         Develop the skills to use spreadsheets (i.e., Excel) as a tool in financial analysis.


Course Outline

Lectures:  The first set of lectures will center on the framework for Financial Statement Analysis. Toward the end of this part of the course, there will be sessions aimed at providing you with the knowledge required to use the spreadsheets and how to apply these to cases. For these sessions there will be no “topic” schedule: there is too much uncertainty as to time requirements for each spreadsheet. To avoid any confusion as to what aspects of the spreadsheets we have completed, I will now and then post on Blackboard a summary: what we have discussed, what you are supposed to have spent time on, and how to prepare for the forthcoming class. The second set of lectures will center on forecasting financial statements and on equity valuation. Similar to the first part of the course, there will be a few weeks of theory followed by more practically oriented spreadsheet lectures at the end of the semester.


Required Course Materials


Course Textbook: Easton, McAnally, Sommers, Zhang, Financial Statement Analysis & Valuation, Cambridge Business Publisher, 3d Edition.

Additional Learning Documents: Financial Statement Analysis and Equity Valuation Spreadsheets. Dan Gode & Jim Ohlson. These documents can be downloaded on the web at godeohlson.com (They are free. The site will be updated throughout the semester.) In addition, throughout the course you will get documents with the heading UAR: Understand and Remember. These documents will list important points discussed in class. 


Assessment Components



Homework/Assignments  15%
Midterm 20%
Final 50%
Project 15%




Homework/Assignments  15%
Midterm 20%
Final 50%
Project 15%


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Rules related to assignments: Assignments are due before the class for which it has been assigned. They should be sent by email to the TA (details will be provided). Do not neglect the deadline; late emails will be rejected (zero score).While you may consult with your fellow students, what you hand in must reflect your own honest understanding.

Distribution of TBA case assignments:Assignments will be posted on Fridays, before 5:00 pm. They will be due Thursdays, with a 2:00 pm deadline. Assignments are essential; do not enroll in this course unless you are willing to spend at least 2 hours a week on these.

Rules related to exams:  You may bring 4 pages of notes, but nothing else. You should bring a regular calculator. There will be no makeup exams if you miss the exam or do poorly. (Exceptions: health or family reasons.)

Rules related to the project: You will join a self-selected group consisting of no more than 5 individuals. You cannot consult with any individuals except those in your group. Projects are due right before the last class; they should be sent by email to the TA.

Rules related to class attendance: Class attendance is not part of the grade. That said, you cannot ask the instructor or the TA what occurred in class unless you in fact attended (exception in obvious cases of health and family problems, religious observance, and civic obligations). You should also keep in mind that for this kind of class there is no way you can really make up by “reading the text”. When you attend class, all phones must be turned off. You should generally bring a laptop to class for the spreadsheet sessions, but these should be turned off unless relevant for class discussion. If you come late to class more than twice you will be given a warning that subsequent infractions will affect your course grade.

Rules related to communications: You are expected to consult NYU Classes at least every 12 hours throughout the week. I will post course notes etc. on a regular basis as the need arises. You will occasionally be told to download material which you have to bring to class.  You are of course free to email me, but you have to recognize that I will not provide out-of-class e-mail tutorials on topics covered in the text or in class. However, I do have office hours in order to discuss whatever concerns you.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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