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Comcast Corporation’s Attractiveness and Decision Making Report

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Introduction

Comcast Corporation is a massive global broadcasting company headquartered in Philadelphia. Founded in 1963 by Ralph Roberts, Julian Brodsky, and Daniel Aaron, this company has grown through mergers and acquisitions to become the leading broadcasting company in the world in terms of revenue. According to Gilson and Altman (97), this company became very successful in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. The firm has been able to expand its operations to Europe and some parts of Asia. The success of this firm has been associated with its team of skillful managers who understand the forces of the market and ways through which the needs of the employees can be met successfully.

The firm has been very innovative in the market, always struggling to come up with products that are beyond the expectations of the consumers. The prolonged economic prosperity in the United States always played a part in enhancing the success of this company. Currently, this firm is one of the most successful broadcasts and cable companies not only in the United States but also in the global market. When making an investment, it is always important to be careful in order to select a company that has a positive trend in its stock prices. An investor needs a company whose stock prices are rising or has the potential to rise in the near future so that the investment would yield attractive profits. Comcast Corporation is a very successful firm, but this does not automatically make it an attractive investment destination. It is important to analyze various parameters in order to determine its sustainability in the market. In this study, the researcher will analyze the attractiveness of this company using various parameters in order to guide investment decision making.

Statistical Findings from the Case

The successful performance of a firm in the current market does not guarantee that it will remain successful in the future. It is important to analyze various parameters that may help in determining the future of the firm. It is important to analyze the historical performance of a firm within a specific period in order to predict its future performance. In this study, the researcher will analyze six parameters that will help in determining the performance of this company for the last five years. The researcher considered a period of five years to be a true reflection of the performance track of the company that can be used to track the trends in its stock prices and other parameters that define the future success of the firm. The parameters that will be used at this stage will include the stock prices, revenue, earnings per share, and the number of employees, inventory, and the quality levels of the firm’s products in the market.

Stock prices

According to Beenhakker (56), one of the best ways of determining a company’s attractiveness in terms of investment destination is to look at the trends of its stock prices. Some companies, such as Apple Inc, have experienced a massive increase in their stock prices because of their rapid expansion and ability to meet the customers’ demands. It is always one of the ways of determining how successful a firm is in the market. It is important to evaluate how the stock prices of this company have changed from 2009 to 2014. The table below shows the stock prices of the company from January 2, 2009, to December 1, 2009.

Prices 2009
Date Open High Low Close Avg Vol Adj Close*
Dec 1, 2009 14.90 17.88 14.18 16.86 27,035,100 15.40
Nov 2, 2009 14.41 15.86 13.95 14.66 27,189,200 13.39
Oct 5, 2009 0.068 Dividend
Oct 1, 2009 16.39 16.80 14.40 14.50 27,111,100 13.24
Sep 1, 2009 15.22 17.68 15.05 16.88 25,541,200 15.35
Aug 3, 2009 14.90 15.86 14.13 15.32 24,014,500 13.93
Jul 6, 2009 0.068 Dividend
Jul 1, 2009 14.43 15.21 13.04 14.86 17,544,600 13.51
Jun 1, 2009 13.93 14.81 13.38 14.46 22,120,600 13.08
May 1, 2009 16.08 17.06 13.17 13.77 24,943,500 12.46
Apr 6, 2009 0.068 Dividend
Apr 1, 2009 13.43 16.30 13.25 15.46 25,254,400 13.99
Mar 2, 2009 12.81 14.63 11.10 13.64 25,755,100 12.28
Feb 2, 2009 14.55 14.89 11.95 13.06 30,079,300 11.76
Jan 5, 2009 0.063 Dividend
Jan 2, 2009 16.72 18.10 14.00 14.65 22,340,000 13.19

Source: (“Yahoo Finance: Historical Prices” par. 1).

It is important to calculate the quarterly price adjustments of the firm’s stock within the year 2009.

1st Quarter 2009

As shown in the table above, by the close of January 2, 2009, the stock of this firm was priced at 14.65. By the end of the first quarter, which was on March 2, 2009, the price of the stock was 13.64. This meant that there was a decrease in the stock price by 1.01.

2nd Quarter 2009

The table below shows that by the close of April 1, 2009, the stock price was 15.46. At the time this quarter was coming to an end on June 1, 2009, the price of the stock was 14.46. Within this quarter, there was another drop in the price of the stock by 1.0.

3rd Quarter 2009

The closing stock price of this company on July 1, 2009 was 14.68.By the end of this third quarter the prices were quoted at 16.88 by the close of September 1, 2009. This was an increase in price by 2.2.

4th Quarter 2009

The table shown above shows that by the close of the first day of the fourth quarter, the stock price was 14.50. By the end of the fourth quarter on December 1, 2009, the price was quoted at 16.86. This was an increase in the price by 2.36.

It is clear from the above analysis that within this year, the stock prices for the company’s shares were fluctuating. At times it would drop significantly, only to rise after a given period. However, the overall performance of the stock for this firm for the year 2009 was an increase by 2.21. The stock performance of this firm in the year 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 was impressive. The table below shows the stock prices in 2014.

Prices 2014
Date Open High Low Close Avg Vol Adj Close*
Sep 2, 2014 54.71 57.49 53.69 54.24 13,642,100 54.24
Aug 1, 2014 53.54 55.10 52.52 54.72 9,258,500 54.72
Jul 1, 2014 53.86 56.49 53.25 53.73 13,481,300 53.73
Jun 30, 2014 0.225 Dividend
Jun 2, 2014 52.11 54.26 51.94 53.68 11,512,700 53.68
May 1, 2014 51.82 52.48 49.16 52.20 14,220,800 51.98
Apr 1, 2014 50.34 52.00 47.74 51.76 19,358,600 51.54
Mar 31, 2014 0.225 Dividend
Mar 3, 2014 51.08 52.37 49.00 50.04 16,462,700 49.83
Feb 3, 2014 54.74 55.28 50.19 51.69 22,125,600 51.24
Jan 7, 2014 51.34 54.70 51.11 54.45 13,854,000 53.98
* Close price adjusted for dividends and splits

Source: (“Yahoo Finance: Historical Prices” par. 1)

1st Quarter 2014

The table above shows that the closing stock prices on January 7, 2014 was 54.45. The closing stock on March 31, 2014 was 50.04. This means that there was a drop in stock prices by 4.41 by the end of the first quarter.

2nd Quarter 2014

On April 1, 2014 which was the first day of the second quarter, the stock price was quoted at 51.76. By the end of the second quarter on June 30, 2014, the stock price was 53.68. There was an increase in price by 1.92.

3rd Quarter 2014

The first day of the third quarter, which was on July 1, 2014, the stock price was 53.73. On September 2, 2014, the stock price for this company was quoted at 54.24 by the end of the day. This means that there was an increase of 0.51. Within this year, there has been an overall drop in the stock prices by 0.21. However, within the last five years, the stock price for the firm has increased from 14.65 as of January 2, 2009 to 54.24 as of September 2, 2014. This is an increase of 39.59 in the stock prices.

When using this parameter to make an investment decision, a number of factors should be considered as revealed in the trend of the stock prices. Comcast Corporation may not be the right firm to invest in when one is planning to make a short-term investment of less than one year (Pogue 87). The possibility of making a net loss by the end of the period cannot be ruled out based on the determined values. However, the firm can be considered attractive when one is planning to make a long-term investment of two or more years. Despite the fluctuations, the trend shows that in the long term, the stock price will move upwards. However, it is also important to look at the impact of events such as mergers and acquisition on the stock prices when making an investment decision.

Revenue

When making an investment decision, sometimes it may be important to look at the revenues of the company in order to determine its performance in the market. According to Beenhakker (53), revenue stream is one of the parameters that people would use in order to determine the financial health of a company. Many people always avoid investing in companies with negative growth of the revenues. Below is the income statement of Comcast Corporation within the last three years.

Income Statement
View: Annual Data| Quarterly Data All numbers in thousands
Period Ending Dec 31, 2013 Dec 31, 2012 Dec 31, 2011
Total Revenue 64,657,000 62,570,000 55,842,000
Cost of Revenue 19,670,000 19,929,000 16,596,000
Gross Profit 44,987,000 42,641,000 39,246,000
Operating Expenses
Research Development
Selling General and Administrative 23,553,000 22,664,000 20,889,000
Non Recurring
Others 7,871,000 7,798,000 7,636,000
Total Operating Expenses
Operating Income or Loss 13,563,000 12,179,000 10,721,000
Income from Continuing Operations
Total Other Income/Expenses Net 212,000 992,000 26,000
Earnings Before Interest And Taxes 13,689,000 14,130,000 10,712,000
Interest Expense 2,574,000 2,521,000 2,505,000
Income Before Tax 11,115,000 11,609,000 8,207,000
Income Tax Expense 3,980,000 3,744,000 3,050,000
Minority Interest (319,000) (1,662,000) (997,000)
Net Income From Continuing Ops 6,730,000 7,162,000 4,125,000
Non-recurring Events
Discontinued Operations
Extraordinary Items
Effect Of Accounting Changes
Other Items
Net Income 6,816,000 6,203,000 4,160,000
Preferred Stock And Other Adjustments
Net Income Applicable To Common Shares 6,816,000 6,203,000 4,160,000

Source: (“Yahoo Finance: Income Statement” par. 1)

When using this parameter, an investor’s focus will be on the revenue flow based on the operations of the firm. The income statement above shows that there has been a consistent increase the total revenue of this firm for the last three years. In 2011, the total revenue was 55,842,000; in 2012 the revenue was 62,570,000, while in 2013 the revenue was 64,657,000. Although not a very popular parameter, it helps to determine the financial trend that has been taken by the firm based on the income it generates from its operational activities. The data reveals that this firm’s financial performance has been very attractive over the last three years.

Earnings per Share

Some investors would want to base their investment decision on the earnings per share of a given company. In this report, it was necessary to determine the earnings per share of Comcast Corporation in the recent years. This information will be needed by the investors to determine what to expect as earnings out of their investment. According to Götze, Northcott and Schuster (78), this information is particularly important for investors who want regular earnings out of their investment. Information from the income statement shown above and the balance sheet in the appendix below will be vital in the calculation of earnings per share.

The formula for calculating earnings per share is shown below.

Earnings per Share= Net Income/Number of Shares Outstanding

It will be necessary to determine the earnings per share in the last three years based on the formula above. To do this, the net income and number of shares outstanding for the last three years will need to be determined.

Year 2013

Net Income- 6,816,000

Number of shares outstanding- 30,000

Earnings per Share=6,816,000/ 30,000

=227.2

Year 2012

Net Income- 6,203,000

Number of shares outstanding- 31,000

Earnings per Share=6,203,000/ 31,000

= 200.1

Year 2011

Net Income- 4,160,000

Number of shares outstanding- 32,000

Earnings per Share=4,160,000/ 32,000

=130.0

The calculations above indicate that earnings per share in this company have been consistently on the rise over the past three years. The earnings per share in 2011 were 130, 200.1 in 2012, and 227.2 in 2013.

Inventory

Determining the inventory of a firm may be important in defining the investment decision. Inventory, as a parameter, helps in determining the value of stock that a firm is planning to release to the market. When a firm holds excess inventory, it may be a sign of trouble in the market. It may be an indication that a firm is facing challenges in the market that reduces the rate of its stock turnover. The financial documents of this company do not reveal the inventory of the firm. However, the analyses of the current assets show that this firm has been experiencing a healthy growth. In order to determine the confidence interval, the mathematical method below will be used.

Confidence interval = x̅ ± Za/2 * σ/√ (n) where

x̅ is the mean

Za/2 is the confidence level

σ is the standard deviation

n is the population size

Mean Standard Deviation Population Confidence level
4.5 1.7 50 95%

Confidence interval = 4.5± 0.95*(1.7/√50)

= 4.5± (0.95*0.24)

= 4.5+0.228

=4.728

It means that the upper bound for the confidence interval is 4.728. Given that the participants were asked to rank this parameter in the range of 1-5, this value means that most of the participants approved it.

Number of personnel

Another parameter that is commonly used by the by investors to determine the attractiveness of a firm is the number of personnel. According to Götze, Northcott and Schuster (19), although this parameter may be misleading at times, it is always important when determining the size of a company. However, the authors warn that this parameter must be used with a lot of caution because some companies are labor intensive, and the number of their employees may create a false impression that it is successful. Currently, Comcast Corporation has over 136,000 employees. This makes it one of the largest companies in the world. To calculate confidence interval, the formula below will be used.

Confidence interval = x̅ ± Za/2 * σ/√ (n) where

x̅ is the mean

Za/2 is the confidence level

σ is the standard deviation

n is the population size

Mean Standard Deviation Population Confidence level
4.8 1.3 50 99%

Confidence interval = 4.8± 0.99*(1.3/√50)

= 4.8± (0.99*0.184)

= 4.8+0.184

=4.984

This parameter was strongly supported by the respondents.

Quality levels of service products

According to Gilson and Altman (79), there were complaints from the customers about the products of Comcast Corporation, especially in 2005 and 2006 when it was expanding its market. However, the management responded to these complaints in time. Beenhakker (76) says that these products have received positive ratings from the customers in the recent past. The firm is currently meeting its customers’ needs, which means that it has a bright future. To determine confidence interval, the formula below will be used.

Confidence interval = x̅ ± Za/2 * σ/√ (n) where

x̅ is the mean

Za/2 is the confidence level

σ is the standard deviation

n is the population size

Mean Standard Deviation Population Confidence level
3.9 1.4 50 99%

Confidence interval = 3.9± 0.99*(1.4/√50)

= 3.9± (0.99*0.198)

= 3.9+0.198

=4.098

This parameter was fairly supported by the respondents.

Conclusions

Comcast Corporation is the largest broadcasting company in the world. The management of this company has been keen on expanding its market scope using the strategy of mergers and acquisition. The financial analysis conducted above reveals that although this company has been considered successful, investment decisions should be made with caution. An investor should know when to invest and how long the investment should last in order to yield the best results. The following are some of the recommendations that an investor should observe when making the investment decision concerning Comcast Corporation.

Recommendations

In order to achieve success, an investor should observe the following recommendations.

  • An investment decision should not be based only on one or two parameters. In order to make an informed decision, it is necessary to use as many parameters as possible to determine the attractiveness of a firm
  • An investor should consider making a long term investment into this company. The sporadic fall and rise of the stock prices make the short-term investment into this firm dangerous.
  • Very short term investments of a day or two may also be attractive because of the sporadic change in the stock prices.

Works Cited

Beenhakker, Henri. Investment Decision Making in the Private and Public Sectors. Westport: Quorum Books, 2007. Print.

Gilson, Stuart, and Edward Altman. Creating Value Through Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies for Bankruptcies, Buyouts, and Breakups. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2010. Print.

Götze, Uwe, Deryl Northcott, and Peter Schuster. Investment Appraisal: Methods and Models. Berlin: Springer, 2008. Print.

Pogue, Michael. Corporate Investment Decisions: Principles and Practice. New York: Business Expert Press, 2010. Print.

2014. Web.

2014. Web.

Appendix A: Balance Sheet

Balance Sheet
View: Annual Data| Quarterly Data All numbers in thousands
Period Ending Dec 31, 2013 Dec 31, 2012 Dec 31, 2011
Assets
Current Assets
Cash And Cash Equivalents 1,718,000 10,951,000 1,620,000
Short Term Investments 3,573,000 1,464,000 54,000
Net Receivables 6,376,000 5,521,000 4,652,000
Inventory
Other Current Assets 2,408,000 2,055,000 2,247,000
Total Current Assets 14,075,000 19,991,000 8,573,000
Long Term Investments 3,770,000 6,325,000 9,854,000
Property Plant and Equipment 29,840,000 27,232,000 27,559,000
Goodwill 27,098,000 26,985,000 26,874,000
Intangible Assets 76,693,000 77,204,000 77,541,000
Accumulated Amortization
Other Assets 7,337,000 7,234,000 7,417,000
Deferred Long Term Asset Charges
Total Assets 158,813,000 164,971,000 157,818,000
Liabilities
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable 14,734,000 13,487,000 11,084,000
Short/Current Long Term Debt 3,280,000 2,376,000 1,367,000
Other Current Liabilities 898,000 851,000 790,000
Total Current Liabilities 18,912,000 16,714,000 13,241,000
Long Term Debt 44,567,000 38,082,000 37,942,000
Other Liabilities 11,384,000 13,271,000 13,034,000
Deferred Long Term Liability Charges 31,935,000 30,110,000 29,932,000
Minority Interest 364,000 440,000 381,000
Negative Goodwill
Total Liabilities 107,162,000 98,617,000 94,530,000
Stockholders’ Equity
Misc Stocks Options Warrants 957,000 16,998,000 16,014,000
Redeemable Preferred Stock
Preferred Stock
Common Stock 30,000 31,000 32,000
Retained Earnings 19,235,000 16,280,000 13,971,000
Treasury Stock (7,517,000) (7,517,000) (7,517,000)
Capital Surplus 38,890,000 40,547,000 40,940,000
Other Stockholder Equity 56,000 15,000 (152,000)
Total Stockholder Equity 50,694,000 49,356,000 47,274,000
Net Tangible Assets (53,097,000) (54,833,000) (57,141,000)
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