NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

ACCT-UB.0030.001 (C10.0030): Advanced Financial Analysis

Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Ohlson, James


(212) 998-0151

Thursdays 11:00 – 2:00 or by appointment

KMC 10-85


Erik Johannesson


To be determined

KMC 10-117


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

KMC 5-80

Final Exam:

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


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course Description:The course addresses the following question: how can one implement financial statement analysis to assess whether or not a stock (firm) is over- or under- valued? To address this question requires a good understanding of the primary data, namely, a firm’s financial statements and related summary information available from websites (like Yahoo! Finance). Equally important, a good understanding of concepts is essential to organize the analysis into a coherent whole. In this regard the focus will be on the nature of forecasting and how forecasts are used to estimate a firm’s value. There are two parts to the course.

The first part discusses the spreadsheets necessary to organize the analysis. This discussion will also lead to an intensive discussion of core concepts, such as the role and measurement of cash flows, various earnings numbers, performance ratios, the centrality of a firm’s so-called forward P/E, and the difference between the wealth creating activities as opposed to the distribution of wealth etc. I expect this will take up about 50% of the semester. Exercises will be distributed.

The second part is dedicated to students’ case presentations. Presentations will be oral in addition to written documents. The nature of the presentations will be discussed in class, as well as the size of groups.


Course Pre-Requisites


The necessary background:it should be underscored that though this course is intensely practical, it also requires the development of concepts. A solid background in finance, accounting, and FSA helps significantly. If you have had problems with these subjects in the past, then you need to keep in mind that an extra effort will be necessary if you want to benefit from the course. That said, my approach will be one of reviewing concept as opposed to presume that you know these. Feel free to discuss the adequacy of your background after the first class. At any rate, at the end of the course you should be able to deal with the question posed above in a confident manner.


Course Outline

Lectures:The first half of the course, approximately, discusses and illustrates the spreadsheets. Cases will be applied extensively to reinforce concepts and their usefulness. It is not possible to outline the “speed” at which this will take place. It depends on the feedback I get. At any rate, after about five-six weeks we should have covered, in order, FSA1, VAL1, FSA2, and VAL2.


Required Course Materials

Main learning tool:Go to the web site godeohlson.com (it is for free); there you find the relevant material. This website provides 90% of what you will need for the course (setting aside the financial statements that will be analyzed). The first day of class will discuss the “big picture” of this website extensively.

Supplements: As the need arises, I will also hand out slides (and post on blackboard)


Assessment Components

Assignments: 25%

Project and class participation: 75%

No Final Exam



Assignments: 25%

Project and class participation: 75%

No Final Exam


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Rules related to communication:You are expected to consult Blackboard 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 class. However, I do have office hours which are there to discuss whatever concerns you.

Rules related to attendance:Though class attendance is not formally part of the grade, I will pay attention to class attendance. I reserve the right to lower the grade if someone misses more than 20% of the classes. More important, it must be underscored that for this kind of class you cannot make up what you miss by simply reading some assigned materials.


Academic Integrity:  Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all we do here at NYU Stern. All students are expected to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct. A student’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·         A duty to acknowledge the work and efforts of others when submitting work as one’s own. Ideas, data, direct quotations, paraphrasing, creative expression, or any other incorporation of the work of others must be clearly referenced.

·         A duty to exercise the utmost integrity when preparing for and completing assignments, including an obligation to report any observed violations.

Please see www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct for more information.


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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