For this assignment, the student chooses one listed company in any Stock Exchange in the world as far as the documentation filed on the company’s website is in English as well.
Below there is an indicative guidance of information that could be collected in order to analyse your company from the point of view of its legal disclosure and liabilities:
The main points to cover when analysing your company:
- Brief introduction to your company: you could include information related to the sector it operates, some financial indicators, where it is listed, its marketcap and its marketshare on its sector.
- Static analysis: this is the legal picture of the company and basically it looks at the disclosure provided to investors on its website. There are two main players in the company: shareholders and directors:
- Shareholders: Free float and whether there are core or dominant shareholders, type of shareholders (ordinary and/or preference), AGM (Annual General Meeting) agenda and type of items that are included over the last five years. Please note that in the US this tends to be under the heading “proxy statement”.
- Directors: Board of Directors and composition including both executive and non-executive directors together with the Auditing and Compensation Committee. Regarding auditors: how are auditors appointed? Are they changing every certain number of years? Please consider any changes over the last 5 years auditors’ letters. Look at the compensation committee and investigate how the directors’ remuneration is devised. Note that there is no need to include directors’ CVs or even names, just look at a qualitative analysis unless there is other type of relevant information that needs to be included.
- Dynamic analysis: Look at the litigation in which your company has been involved (probably by carrying out internet searches as companies are not very keen to disclose details on their own litigation unless they have a substantial impact on their accounts). You need to include a brief characterisation of the cases (criminal, tort, contractual) explaining whether the cases are due to the sector on which the company operates or they are indifferent for that matter. Pick up one or two examples to explain to the class in your oral presentation. If possible try to find out the outcome of the case (was it settled?)
- Critical conclusion: Based on your findings, what is your view of the company regarding its corporate disclosure? Would you invest on it based on its degree of transparency and functioning? Why?