These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thomas Thorley Final Project

Thomas Thorley
December 9, 2011
Isys 520

Identifying Star Investors

Executive Summary
My project is designed to assist me with data collection for a research article that I am currently working on. The intent of the article is to determine how much, if any, benefit is gained by acquisitions, through interaction with a star investor. The theory in principle is
that a company is more likely to be successful if it is acquired by a star investor than if some unknown company had acquired it. This Information Systems project is designed
to help me quickly gather data on multiple companies and assess whether or not
they qualify as star investors.

I will identify thirty companies to be designated as star investors and used in my study. I begin
with Forbes list of the top 100 businesses in the United States as these are all companies that are well known and thus carry a strong brand name. Using those company names I proceed to use web queries to retrieve the company’s stock ticker symbols, as well as measures of the financial performance of each company. I use the following three measures to assess financial performance and the ability to be a star investor:
1. Total Cash - represents the company’s ability to invest
2. Operating Margin - represents the company’s profitability
3. Return on Assets (ROA) - represents managerial effectiveness

These are arbitrary measures that may change in the future if I deem other measures to be more indicative of star investors, but regardless, for the purposes of this project a framework will be in place that allows for such changes in the future. I next manipulate the data and rank the companies in regards to their performance in each area. An aggregate of these rankings is used to determine the thirty star investors. An interface is then developed that allows the user to interact with the data and compare the results from each company. Initially, I thought it would be necessary to calculate measures such as ROA but as they were available, I deemed it redundant to repeat the calculation. This project will draw deeply on principles learned this
semester such as the use of arrays, loops, range manipulation, and web queries
among others.

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