Ashford University Week 1 & 2 Contents of An Annual Report Memo

Contents of an Annual Report

Discuss the following scenario: Staff members from the marketing department of your firm are doing a splendid job selling products to customers. Many of the customers are so pleased that they are also buying shares in the company’s stock, which means that they receive a copy of the firm’s annual report. Unfortunately, questions sometimes arise that the marketing staff members are woefully inadequate at answering. Technical questions about the firm’s financial condition and performance are referred to the chief financial officer, but the director of marketing has asked you to write a memo in which you explain the key elements in an annual report so that marketing representatives are better prepared to respond to questions of a more general nature.

For your initial post, write a clear, concise memo (no more than 250 words) that describes the contents of an annual report so marketing personnel can understand the basic requirements of an annual report. Reference this week’s readings and lecture to help organize and explain your thoughts. In addition, answer the following questions:

  • Do you think all marketing staff members should be equipped to speak with the public about the firm’s financial matters?
  • What are some of the benefits of improving employee financial literacy?
Financial Statement Analysis

The financial statement analysis is due in Week Six. To help you begin your preparation of this work, select a company that you will do the analysis of. Write at least a 200 word summary identifying the firm that you selected, summarizing why you selected it, and explaining the items that a financial analyst might find useful within its Annual Report.

Additionally, read the Forbes article: “12 Lessons from the Warby Parkers Annual Report (Links to an external site.)” and explain which of these 12 lessons may apply to your company selection.

Understanding the Notes to the Balance Sheet

Your friend, Liz, loves to shop at Target and is now interested in investing in the company. Tom, another friend, has told her that Target’s debt structure is risky with obligations of nearly 74% of total assets. Liz sees that debt on the balance sheet is 65% of total assets and is confused by Tom’s comment. Write an explanation to Liz discussing the debt structure of Target and why Tom thinks Target is risky. Be sure to explain clearly what information appears on financial statements, as well as what information does not appear directly on the financial statements. Use the information below in your discussion.

At fiscal year-end February 2, 2008, Target Corporation had the following assets and liabilities on its balance sheet (in millions):

Current liabilities $11,782
Long-term debt 15,126
Other liabilities 2,345
Total assets 44,560

Target reported the following information on leases in the notes to the financial statements:

Total rent expense was $165 million in 2007, $158 million in 2006, and $154 million in 2005, including percentage rent expense of $5 million in 2007, 2006, and 2005. Most long-term leases include one or more options to renew, with renewal terms that can extend the lease term to more than 50 years. Certain leases also include options to purchase the leased property.

Future minimum lease payments required under non-cancellable lease agreements existing at February 2, 2008, were:

Future Minimum Lease Payments (in Millions) Operating Leases Capital Leases
2008 $ 239 $ 12
2009 187 16
2010 173 16
2011 129 16
2010 123 17
After 2010 2, 843 155
Total future minimum lease payments $3694 (a) $232
Less: Interest (b) (105)
Present value of minimum capital lease payments $127 (c)

(a) Total contractual lease payments include $1,721 million related to options to extend lease terms that are reasonably assured of being exercised, and also include $98 million of legally binding minimum lease payments for stores that will open in 2008 or later.
(b) Calculated using the interest rate at inception of each lease.
(c) Includes current portion of $4 million.


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