The tasks require excellent Finance knowledge and analysis.
Task 1. Futures and forwards trading
1 Find a futures contract. You can find many contracts through the CME website: https://www.cmegroup.com/markets.html
As an alternative, you can find many contracts through the ICE website: https://www.theice.com/futures-us
2 Determine a contract that you are most interested in. For example, I am very interested in the Cocoa futures contract here: https://www.theice.com/products/7/Cocoa-Futures
3 Please describe the contract. Please provide details regarding the contracts. For example, you will list the underlying commodity, the exchange (Chicago or ICE), the contract months or series, the contract size, the quality, the delivery option (physical or cash), the details of the delivery if available, margin requirements, and any other interesting features that are worth mentioning, etc.
4 Many commodity prices vary a lot recently. Can you propose an idea to take advantage of the recent commodities cycle using derivatives? What would be the potential reward and risks associated with your proposal?
References in APA style.
Task 2 Financial Statements analysis(excel)
1. Please collect the company’s most recent Annual Reports (10K). You can find the information from Yahoo finance or from the SEC-Edgar. (Follow same format as the sample provided).
2. (http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html ). You need at least two years’ worth of data, sometimes you need more years.
3. Please provide brief overview of the company’s business (such as its business segments/ products/ services, its revenue decomposition, its general business strategy—how to make money and how to compete with other firms, and etc.).
4. Please choose 3-4 competitors for the company, generally from the same industry. (Follow same format as the sample provided for each company).
5. Using the information on financial statements, please calculate the financial ratios for the company and its competitors.
6. Please provide an overall assessment of your company’s performance. Please discuss your company’s strength and weakness in terms of its efficiency of utilizing assets, financial risks (liquidity and solvency), profitability and other criteria, relative to its competitors. You can refer to the chapters regarding Financial Statement Analysis and online resources, such as: http://educ.jmu.edu/~drakepp/principles/module2/fin_rat.pdf.
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