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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


case studies for financial analyst

Finance Case Studies

Featured finance case studies:.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf: Financing and Placemaking


Fondaco dei Tedeschi: A New Luxury Shopping Destination for Venice

Nathan Cummings Foundation

Nathan Cummings Foundation: Mission-Driven Investing


The Decline of Malls

Expand the sections below to read more about each case study:, nathan cummings foundation, ellie campion, dwayne edwards, brad wayman, anna williams, william goetzmann, and jean rosenthal.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Social Enterprise, Sourcing/Managing Funds

The Nathan Cummings Foundation Investment Committee and Board of Trustees had studied the decision to go “all in” on a mission-related investment approach. The Board voted 100% to support this new direction and new goals for financial investments, but many questions remained. How could NCF operationalize and integrate this new strategy? What changes would it need to make to support the investment strategies' long-term success? How could NCF measure and track its progress and success with this new strategy?

William Goetzmann, Jean Rosenthal, Jaan Elias, Edoardo Pasinato, Lukas Cejnar, Ellie Campion

Business History, Competitor/Strategy, Customer/Marketing, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds, State & Society

The renovation of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice represented a grand experiment. Should an ancient building in the midst of a world heritage site be transformed into a modern mall for luxury goods? How best to achieve the transformation and make it economically sustainable? Would tourists walk to the mall? And would they buy or just look? What could each stakeholder learn from their experiences with the Fondaco dei Tedeschi?

Gardner Denver

James quinn, adam blumenthal, and jaan elias.

Asset Management, Employee/HR, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork

As KKR, a private equity firm, prepared to take Gardner-Denver, one of its portfolio companies, public in mid-2017, a discussion arose on the Gardner-Denver board about the implications of granting approximately $110 million in equity to its global employee base as part of its innovative "broad-based employee ownership program." Was the generous equity package that Pete Stavros proposed be allotted to 6,100 employees the wisest move and the right timing for Gardner Denver and its new shareholders?

Home Health Care

Jean rosenthal, jaan elias, adam blumenthal, and jeremy kogler.

Asset Management, Competitor/Strategy, Healthcare, Investor/Finance

Blue Wolf Capital Partners was making major investments in the home health care sector. The private equity fund had purchased two U.S. regional companies in the space. The plan was to merge the two organizations, creating opportunities for shared expertise and synergies in reducing management costs. Two years later, the management team was considering adding a third company. Projected revenues for the combined organization would top $1 billion annually. What was the likelihood that this opportunity would succeed?

Suwanee Lumber Company

Jaan elias, adam blumenthal, james shovlin, and heather e. tookes.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Sustainability

In 2016, Blue Wolf, a private equity firm headquartered in New York City, confronted a number of options when it came to its lumber business. They could put their holdings in the Suwanee Lumber Company (SLC), a sawmill they had purchased in 2013, up for sale. Or they could continue to hold onto SLC and run it as a standalone business. Or they could double down on the lumber business by buying an idle mill in Arkansas to run along with SLC.

Alternative Meat Industry: How Should Beyond Meat be Valued?

Nikki springer, leon van wyk, jacob thomas, k. geert rouwenhorst and jaan elias.

Competitor/Strategy, Customer/Marketing, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds, Sustainability

In 2009, when experienced entrepreneur Ethan Brown decided to build a better veggie burger, he set his sights on an exceptional goal – create a plant-based McDonald’s equally beloved by the American appetite. To do this, he knew he needed to transform the idea of plant-based meat alternatives from the sleepy few veggie burger options in the grocer’s freezer case into a fundamentally different product. Would further investments in research and development help give Beyond Meat an edge? Would Americans continue to embrace meat alternatives, or would the initial fanfare subside below investor expectations?

Hertz Global Holdings (A): Uses of Debt and Equity

Jean rosenthal, geert rouwenhorst, jacob thomas, allen xu.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Sourcing/Managing Funds

By 2019, Hertz CEO Kathyrn Marinello and CFO Jamere Jackson had managed to streamline the venerable car rental firm's operations. Their next steps were to consider ways to fine-tune Hertz's capital structure. Would it make sense for Marinello and Jackson to lead Hertz to issue more equity to re-balance the structure? One possibility was a stock rights offering, but an established company issuing equity was not generally well-received by investors. How well would the market respond to an attempt by Hertz management to increase shareholder equity?

Twining-Hadley Incorporated

Jaan elias, k geert rouwenhorst, jacob thomas.

Employee/HR, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, Sourcing/Managing Funds

Jessica Austin has been asked to compute THI's Weighted Average Cost of Capital, a key measure for making investments and deciding executive compensation. What should she consider in making her calculation?

Shake Shack IPO

Vero bourg-meyer, jaan elias, jake thomas and geert rouwenhorst.

Competitor/Strategy, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Sourcing/Managing Funds, Sustainability

Shake Shack's long lines of devoted fans made investors salivate when the company went public in 2015 and shares soared above expectations. Was the enthusiasm justified? Could the company maintain its edge in the long run?

Strategy for Norway's Pension Fund Global

Jean rosenthal, william n. goetzmann, olav sorenson, andrew ang, and jaan elias.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds

Norway's Pension Fund Global was the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. With questions in 2014 on policies, ethical investment, and other concerns, what was the appropriate investment strategy for the Fund?

Factor Investing for Retirement

Jean rosenthal, jaan elias and william goetzmann.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance

Should this investor look for a portfolio of factor funds to meet his goals for his 401(k) Retirement Plan?

Bank of Ireland

Jean w. rosenthal, eamonn walsh, matt spiegel, will goetzmann, david bach, damien p. mcloughlin, fernando fernandez, gayle allard, and jaan elias.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Macroeconomics, State & Society

In August 2011, Wilbur Ross, an American investor specializing in distressed and bankrupt companies, purchased 35% of the stock of Bank of Ireland. Even for Ross, investing in an Irish bank seemed risky. Observers wondered if the investment made sense.

Commonfund ESG

Jaan elias, sarah friedman hersh, maggie chau, logan ashcraft, and pamela jao.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, Social Enterprise

ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) investing had become an increasingly hot topic in the financial community. Could Commonfund offer its endowment clients some investment vehicle that would satisfy ESG concerns while producing sufficient returns?

Glory, Glory Man United!

Charles euvhner, jacob thomas, k. geert rouwenhorst, and jaan elias.

Competitor/Strategy, Employee/HR, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Sourcing/Managing Funds

Manchester United might be the greatest English sports dynasty of all time. But valuation poses unique challenges. How much should a team's success on the pitch count toward its net worth?

Walmart de México: Investing in Renewable Energy

Jean rosenthal, k. geert rouwenhorst, isabel studer, jaan elias, and juan carlos rivera.

Investor/Finance, Operations, State & Society, Sustainability

Walmart de México y Centroamérica contracted for power from EVM's wind farm, saving energy costs and improving sustainability. What should the company's next steps be to advance its goals?

Voltaire, Casanova, and 18th-Century Lotteries

Jean rosenthal and william n. goetzmann.

Business History, State & Society

Gambling has been a part of human activity since earliest recorded history, and governments have often attempted to turn that impulse to benefit the state.  The development of lotteries in the 18th century helped to develop the study of probabilities and enabled the financial success of some of the leading figures of that era.

Alexander Hamilton and the Origin of American Finance

Andrea nagy smith, william goetzmann, and jeffrey levick.

Business History, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance

Alexander Hamilton is said to have invented the future. At a time when the young United States of America was disorganized and bankrupt, Hamilton could see that the nation would become a powerful economy.

Kmart Bankruptcy

Jean rosenthal, heather tookes, henry s. miller, and jaan elias.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance

Less than 18 months after Kmart entered Chapter 11, the company emerged and its stocked soared. Why had the chain entered Chapter 11 in the first place and how had the bankruptcy process allowed the company to right itself?

Oil, ETFs, and Speculation

So alex roelof, k. geert rouwenhorst, and jaan elias.

Since the markets' origins, traders sought standardized wares to increase market liquidity. In the 1960s and later, they sought assets uncorrelated to traditional bonds and equities. By late 2004, commodity-based exchange-traded securities emerged.

Newhall Ranch Land Parcel

Acquired by a partnership of two closely intertwined homebuilders, Newhall Ranch was the last major tract of undeveloped land in Los Angeles County in 2003.

Brandeis and the Rose Museum

Arts Management, Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Social Enterprise, Sourcing/Managing Funds

The question of the role museums should play in university life became urgent for Brandeis in early 2009. Standard portfolios of investments had just taken a beating. Given that environment, should Brandeis sell art in order to save its other programs?

Taking EOP Private

Allison mitkowski, william goetzmann, and jaan elias.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork

With 594 properties nationwide, EOP was the nation’s largest office landlord.  Despite EOP's dominance of the REIT market, analysts had historically undervalued EOP. However, Blackstone saw something in EOP that the analysts didn’t, and in November, Blackstone offered to buy EOP for $48.50 per share. What did Blackstone and Vornado see that the market didn’t?

Subprime Lending Crisis

Jaan elias and william n. goetzmann.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, State & Society

To understand the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, we look at a failing Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) and then drill down to look at a single loan that has gone bad.

William N. Goetzmann, Jean Rosenthal, and Jaan Elias

Asset Management, Business History, Customer/Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds, State & Society

The financial engineering of London's Canary Wharf was as impressive as the structural engineering. However, Brexit and the rise of fintech represented new challenges. Would financial firms leave the U.K.? Would fintech firms seek new kinds of space? How should the Canary Wharf Group respond?

The Future of Malls: Was Decline Inevitable?

Jean rosenthal, anna williams, brandon colon, robert park, william goetzmann, jessica helfand  .

Business History, Customer/Marketing, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance

Shopping malls became the "Main Street" of US suburbs beginning in the mid-20th century. But will they persist into the 21st?

Hirtle Callaghan & Co

James quinn, jaan elias, and adam blumenthal.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork

In August 2019, Stephen Vaccaro, Yale MBA ‘03, became the director of private equity at Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., LLC (HC), a leading investment management firm associated with pioneering the outsourced chief investment office (OCIO) model for college endowments, foundations, and wealthy families. Vaccaro was tasked with spearheading efforts to grow HC’s private equity (PE) market value from $1 billion to a new target of roughly $3 billion in order to contribute to the effort of generating higher long-term returns for clients. Would investment committees overseeing endowments typically in the 10s or 100s of millions embrace this shift, and, more pointedly, was this the best move for client portfolios?

The Federal Reserve Response to 9-11

Jean rosenthal, william b. english, jaan elias.

Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, State & Society

The attacks on New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, shocked the nation and the world. The attacks crippled the nerve center of the U.S. financial system. Information flow among banks, traders in multiple markets, and regulators was interrupted. Under Roger Ferguson's leadership, the Federal Reserve made a series of decisions designed to provide confidence and increase liquidity in a severely damaged financial system. In hindsight, were these the best approaches? Were there other options that could have taken place?

Suwanee Lumber Company (B)

In early 2018, Blue Wolf Capital Management received an offer to sell both its mill in Arkansas (Caddo) and its mill in Florida (Suwanee) to Conifex, an upstart Canadian lumber company. Blue Wolf hadn’t planned to put both mills up for sale yet, but was the deal too good to pass up? Blue Wolf had invested nearly $36.5 million into rehabilitating the Suwanee and Caddo mills. However, neither was fully operational yet. Did the offer price fairly value the prospects of the mills? How should Blue Wolf consider the Conifex stock? Should Blue Wolf conduct a more extensive sales process rather than settle for this somewhat unexpected offer?

Occidental Petroleum's Acquisition of Anadarko

Jaan elias, piyush kabra, jacob thomas, k. geert rouwenhorst.

Asset Management, Competitor/Strategy, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds

In May of 2019, Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), pulled off a blockbuster. Bidding against Chevron, one of the world's largest oil firms, she had managed to buy Anadarko, another oil company that was roughly the size of Oxy. Hollub believed that the combination of the two firms brought the possibility for billions of dollars in synergies, more than offsetting the cost of the acquisition. Had Hollub hurt shareholder value with Oxy's ambitious deal, or had she bolstered a mid-size oil firm and made it a major player in the petroleum industry? Why didn't investors see the tremendous synergies in which Hollub fervently believed?

Hertz Global Holdings (B): Uses of Debt and Equity 2020

In 2019, Hertz held a successful rights offering and restructured some of its debt. CEO Kathyrn Marinello and CFO Jamere Jackson were moving the company toward what seemed to be sustainable profitability, having implemented major structural and financial reforms. Analysts predicted a rosy future. Travel, particularly corporate travel, was increasing as the economy grew. With all the creativity that the company had shown in its financial arrangements, did it have any options remaining, even while under the court-led reorganization?

Prodigy Finance

Vero bourg-meyer, javier gimeno, jaan elias, florian ederer.

Competitor/Strategy, Investor/Finance, Social Enterprise, State & Society, Sustainability

Having pioneered a successful financing model for student loans, Prodigy also was considering other financial services that could make use of the company’s risk model. What new products could Prodigy offer to support its student borrowers? What strategy should guide the company’s new product development? Or should the company stick to the educational loans it pioneered and knew best?

tronc: Valuing the Future of Newspapers

Jean rosenthal, heather e. tookes, and jaan elias.

Business History, Competitor/Strategy, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork

Gannet offered Tribune Publishing an all-cash buyout offer. Tribune then made a strategic pivot: new stock listing, new name "tronc," and a goal of posting 1,000 videos/day. Should the Tribune board take the buyout opportunity? What was the right price?

Role of Hedge Funds in Institutional Portfolios: Florida Retirement System

Jaan elias, william goetzmann and lloyd baskin.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, State & Society

The Florida Retirement System, one of the country’s largest state pensions, had been slow to embrace hedge funds, but by 2015, they had 7% of their assets in the category. How should they manage their program?

Social Security 1935

Jean rosenthal, william n. goetzmann, and jaan elias.

Business History, Financial Regulation, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, State & Society

Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, shaped the Social Security Act of 1935, changing America’s pension landscape. What might she have done differently?

Ant Financial: Flourishing Farmer Loans at MYbank

Jingyue xu, jean rosenthal, k. sudhir, hua song, xia zhang, yuanfang song, xiaoxi liu, and jaan elias.

Competitor/Strategy, Customer/Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Operations, State & Society

In 2015 Ant Financial's MYbank (an offshoot of Jack Ma’s Alibaba company) created the Flourishing Farmer Loan program, an all-internet banking service for China's rural areas. Could MYbank use financial technology to create a program with competitive costs and risk management?

Low-Carbon Investing: Commonfund & GPSU

Jaan elias, william goetzmann, and k. geert rouwenhorst.

Asset Management, Ethics & Religion, Investor/Finance, Social Enterprise, State & Society, Sustainability

In August of 2014, the movement to divest fossil fuel investments from endowment portfolios was sweeping campuses across the United States, including Gifford Pinchot State University (GPSU). How should GPSU and its investment partner Commonfund react?

360 State Street: Real Options

Andrea nagy smith and mathew spiegel.

Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, Sourcing/Managing Funds

360 State Street proved successful, but what could Bruce Becker construct on the 6,000-square-foot vacant lot at the southwest corner of the project? Under what set of circumstances and at what time would it be most advantageous to proceed? Or should he build anything at all?


Jean rosenthal and olav sorensen.

When Jeffrey Aronson and Mark Gallogly founded Centerbridge, they hoped to grow the firm, but not to a point that it would lose its culture. Having added an office in London, could the firm add more locations and maintain its collegial character?

George Hudson and the 1840s Railway Mania

Andrea nagy smith, james chanos, and james spellman.

Business History, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data

Railways were one of the original disruptive technologies: they transformed England from an island of slow, agricultural villages into a fast, urban, industrialized nation.  George Hudson was the central figure in the mania for railroad shares in England. After the share value crashed, some analysts blamed Hudson, others pointed to irrational investors and still others maintained the crash was due to macroeconomic factors.

Demosthenes and Athenian Finance

Andrea nagy smith and william goetzmann.

Business History, Financial Regulation, Law & Contracts

Demosthenes' Oration 35, "Against Lacritus," contains the only surviving maritime loan contract from the fourth century B.C., proving that the ancient Greeks had devised a commercial code to link the economic lives of people from all over the Greek world.   Athenians and non-Athenians alike came to the port of Piraeus to trade freely.

South Sea Bubble

Frank newman and william goetzmann.

Business History, Financial Regulation

The story of the South Sea Company and its seemingly absurd stock price levels always enters into conversations about modern valuation bubbles.  Because of its modern application, discerning what was at the root of the world's first stock market crash merits considerable attention. What about the South Sea Company and the political, economic and social context in which it operated led to its stunning collapse?

Jean W. Rosenthal, Jaan Elias, William N. Goetzmann, Stanley Garstka, and Jacob Thomas

Asset Management, Healthcare, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds, State & Society

A centerpiece of the 2007 contract negotiations between the UAW and GM - and later with Chrysler and Ford - was establishing a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to provide for retiree healthcare costs. The implications were substantial.

Northern Pulp: A Private Equity Firm Resurrects a Troubled Paper Company

Heather tookes, peter schott, francesco bova, jaan elias and andrea nagy smith.

Investor/Finance, Macroeconomics, State & Society, Sustainability

In 2008, the lumber industry was in a severe recession, yet Blue Wolf Capital Management was considering investment in a paper mill in Nova Scotia. How should they proceed?

Lahey Clinic: North Shore Expansion

Jaan elias, andrea r. nagy, jessica p. strauss, and william n. goetzmann.

Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Healthcare, Investor/Finance

In early 2007 the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts believed that expansion of its North Shore facility was not only a smart strategy but also a business necessity.  The two years of turmoil in the Massachusetts health care market prompted observers to question Lahey's 2007 decisions. Did the expansion strategy still make sense?

Carry Trade ETF

K. geert rouwenhorst, jean w. rosenthal, and jaan elias.

Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Macroeconomics, Sourcing/Managing Funds

In 2006 Deutsche Bank (DB) brought a new product to market – an exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the carry trade, a strategy of buying and selling currency futures. The offering received the William F. Sharpe Indexing Achievement Award for “Most Innovative Index Fund or ETF” at the 2006 Sharpe Awards. These awards are presented annually by and Information Management Network for innovative advances in the indexing industry. The carry trade ETF shared the award with another DB/PowerShares offering, a Commodity Index Tracking Fund. Jim Wiandt, publisher of, said, "These innovators are shaping the course of the index industry, creating new tools and providing new insights for the benefit of all investors." What was it that made this financial innovation successful?

William Goetzmann and Jaan Elias

Asset Management, Business History

Hawara is the site of the massive pyramid of Amenemhat III, a XII Dynasty [Middle Kingdom, 1204 – 1604 B.C.E.] pharaoh.  The Hawara Labyrinth and Pyramid Complex present a wealth of information about the Middle Kingdom.  Among its treasures are papyri covering property rights and transfers of ownership.

Financial Statements Examples – Amazon Case Study

An in-depth look at Amazon's financial statements

What are Financial Statements?

Financial statements are the records of a company’s financial condition and activities during a period of time. Financial statements show the financial performance and strength of a company . The three core financial statements are the income statement , balance sheet , and cash flow statement . These three statements are linked together to create the three statement financial model . Analyzing financial statements can help an analyst assess the profitability and liquidity of a company. Financial statements are complex. It is best to become familiar with them by looking at financial statements examples.

In this article, we will take a look at some financial statement examples from, Inc. for a more in-depth look at the accounts and line items presented on financial statements.

Learn to analyze financial statements with Corporate Finance Institute’s Reading Financial Statements course!

Financial Statements Examples

#1 Financial Statements Example – Cash Flow Statement

The first of our financial statements examples is the cash flow statement. The cash flow statement shows the changes in a company’s cash position during a fiscal period. The cash flow statement uses the net income figure from the income statement and adjusts it for non-cash expenses. This is done to find the change in cash from the beginning of the period to the end of the period.

Most companies begin their financial statements with the income statement. However, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) begins their financial statements section in their  annual 10-K report with their cash flow statement.

Financial Statements Examples - Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement begins with the net income and adjusts it for non-cash expenses, changes to balance sheet accounts, and other usages and receipts of cash. The adjustments are grouped under operating activities , investing activities , and financing activities . 

The following are explanations for the line items listed in Amazon’s cash flow statement. Please note that certain items such as “Other operating expenses, net” are often defined differently by different companies:

Operating Activities:

Financial Statements Examples - Operating Activities

Depreciation of property and equipment (…) :  a non-cash expense representing the deterioration of an asset (e.g. factory equipment).

Stock-based compensation :  a non-cash expense as a company awards stock options or other stock-based forms of compensation to employees as part of their compensation and wage agreements.

Other operating expense, net:  a non-cash expense primarily relating to the amortization of Amazon’s intangible assets .

Other expense (income), net: a non-cash expense relating to foreign currency and equity warrant valuations.

Deferred income taxes : temporary differences between book tax and actual income tax. The amount of tax the company pays may be different from what it shows on its financial statements.

Changes in operating assets and liabilities :  non-cash changes in operating assets or liabilities. For example, an increase in accounts receivable is a sale or a source of income where no actual cash was received, thus resulting in a deduction. Conversely, an increase in accounts payable is a purchase or expense where no actual cash was used, resulting in an addition to net cash.

Investing Activities:

Financial Statements Examples - Investing Activities

Purchases of property and equipment (…):  purchases of plants, property, and equipment are usages of cash. A deduction from net cash.

Proceeds from property and equipment incentives: this line is added for additional detail on Amazon’s property and equipment purchases. Incentives received from property and equipment vendors are recorded as a reduction in Amazon’s costs and thus a reduction in cash usage.

Acquisitions , net of cash acquired, and other: cash used towards acquisitions of other companies, net of cash acquired as a result of the acquisition. A deduction from net cash.

Sales and maturities of marketable securities :  the sale or proceeds obtained from holding marketable securities (short-term financial instruments that mature within a year) to maturity. An addition to net cash.

Purchases of marketable securities:  the purchase of marketable securities. A deduction from net cash.

Financing Activities:

Financial Statements Examples - Financing Activities

Proceeds from long-term debt and other: cash obtained from raising capital by issuing long-term debt. An addition to net cash.

Repayments of long-term debt and other: cash used to repay long-term debt obligations. A deduction from net cash.

Principal repayments of capital lease obligations: cash used to repay the principal amount of capital lease obligations. A deduction from net cash.

Principal repayments of finance lease obligations: cash used to repay the principal amount of finance lease obligations. A deduction from net cash.

Foreign currency effect on cash and cash equivalents : the effect of foreign exchange rates on cash held in foreign currencies.

Supplemental Cash Flow Information:

Financial Statements Examples - Supplemental Cash Flow Information

Cash paid for interest on long-term debt: cash usages to pay accumulated interest from long-term debt.

Cash paid for interest on capital and finance lease obligations:  cash usages to pay accumulated interest from capital and finance lease obligations.

Cash paid for income taxes , net of refunds:  cash usages to pay income taxes.

Property and equipment acquired under capital leases:  the value of property and equipment acquired under new capital leases in the fiscal period.

Property and equipment acquired under build-to-suit leases: the value of property and equipment acquired under new build-to-suit leases in the fiscal period.

#2 Financial Statements Example – Income Statement

The next statement in our financial statements examples is the income statement. The income statement is the first place for an analyst to look at if they want to assess a company’s profitability .

Want to learn more about financial analysis and assessing a company’s profitability?  Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification Program  will teach you everything you need to know to become a world-class financial analyst!

Financial Statements Examples - Income Statement

The income statement provides a look at a company’s financial performance throughout a certain period, usually a fiscal quarter or year. This period is usually denoted at the top of the statement, as can be seen above. The income statement contains information regarding sales , costs of sales , operating expenses, and other expenses.

The following are explanations for the line items listed in Amazon’s income statement:

Operating Income (EBIT):

Financial Statements Examples - Operating Income

Net product sales: revenue derived from Amazon’s product sales such as Amazon’s first-party retail sales and proprietary products (e.g., Amazon Echo)

Net services sales: revenue generated from the sale of Amazon’s services. This includes proceeds from Amazon Web Services (AWS) , subscription services, etc.

Cost of sales: costs directly associated with the sale of Amazon products and services. For example, the cost of raw materials used to manufacture Amazon products is a cost of sales.

Fulfillment: expenses relating to Amazon’s fulfillment process. Amazon’s fulfillment process includes storing, picking, packing, shipping, and handling customer service for products.

Marketing : expenses pertaining to advertising and marketing for Amazon and its products and services. Marketing expense is often grouped with selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) but Amazon has chosen to break it out as its own line item.

Technology and content:  costs relating to operating Amazon’s AWS segment.

General and administrative :  operating expenses that are not directly related to producing Amazon’s products or services. These expenses are sometimes referred to as non-manufacturing costs or overhead costs. These include rent, insurance, managerial salaries, utilities, and other similar expenses.

Other operating expenses, net:  expenses primarily relating to the amortization of Amazon’s intangible assets.

Operating income :  the income left over after all operating expenses (expenses directly related to the operation of the business) are deducted. Also known as EBIT .

Net Income:

Financial Statements Examples - Net Income

Interest income:  income generated by Amazon from investing excess cash. Amazon typically invests excess cash in investment-grade , short to intermediate-term fixed income securities , and AAA-rated money market funds.

Interest expense : expenses relating to accumulated interest from capital and finance lease obligations and long-term debt.

Other income (expense), net:  income or expenses relating to foreign currency and equity warrant valuations.

Income before income taxes : Amazon’s income after operating and non-operating expenses have been deducted.

Provision for income taxes: the expense relating to the amount of income tax Amazon must pay within the fiscal year .

Equity-method investment activity, net of tax:  proportionate losses or earnings from companies where Amazon owns a minority stake .

Net income: the amount of income left over after Amazon has paid off all its expenses.

Earnings per Share (EPS):

Financial Statements Examples - Earnings per Share

Basic earnings per share :  earnings per share calculated using the basic number of shares outstanding.

Diluted earnings per share: earnings per share calculated using the diluted number of shares outstanding.

earnings per share formula

Weighted-average shares used in the computation of earnings per share: a weighted average number of shares to account for new stock issuances throughout the year. The way the calculation works is by taking the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the fiscal period covered.

For example, a company has 100 shares outstanding at the beginning of the year. At the end of the first quarter, the company issues another 50 shares, bringing the total number of shares outstanding to 150. The calculation for the weighted average number of shares would look like below:

100*0.25 + 150*0.75 = 131.25

Basic: the number of shares outstanding in the market at the date of the financial statement.

Diluted : the number of shares outstanding if all convertible securities (e.g. convertible preferred stock, convertible bonds ) are exercised.

#3 Financial Statements Example  – Balance Sheet

The last statement we will look at with our financial statements examples is the balance sheet. The balance sheet shows the company’s assets , liabilities , and stockholders’ equity at a specific point in time.

Learn how a world-class financial analyst uses these three financial statements with CFI’s  Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification Program !

Financial Statements Examples - Balance Sheet

Unlike the income statement and the cash flow statement, which display financial information for the company during a fiscal period, the balance sheet is a snapshot of the company’s finances at a specific point in time. It can be seen above in the line regarding the date.

Compared to the Cash Flow Statement and Statement of Income, it states ‘December 31, 2017’ as opposed to ‘Year Ended December 31, 2017’. By displaying snapshots from different periods, the balance sheet shows changes in the accounts of a company.

The following are explanations for the line items listed in Amazon’s balance sheet:

Financial Statements Examples - Assets

Cash and cash equivalents : cash or highly liquid assets and short-term commitments that can be quickly converted into cash.

Marketable securities:  short-term financial instruments that mature within a year.

Inventories :  goods currently held in stock for sale, in-process goods, and materials to be used in the production of goods or services.

Accounts receivable , net and other: credit sales of a business that have not yet been fully paid by customers.

Goodwill :  the difference between the price paid in an acquisition of a company and the fair market value of the target company’s net assets.

Other assets: Amazon’s acquired intangible assets, net of amortization. This includes items such as video, music content, and long-term deferred tax assets.


Financial Statements Examples - Liabilities

Accounts payable : short-term liabilities incurred when Amazon purchases goods from suppliers on credit.

Accrued expenses and other: liabilities primarily related to Amazon’s unredeemed gift cards, leases and asset retirement obligations, current debt, acquired digital media content, etc.

Unearned revenue : revenue generated when payment is received for goods or services that have not yet been delivered or fulfilled. Unearned revenue is a result of revenue recognition principles outlined by U.S. GAAP and IFRS .

Long-term debt: the amount of outstanding debt a company holds that has a maturity of 12 months or longer.

Other long-term liabilities: Amazon’s other long-term liabilities, which include long-term capital and finance lease obligations, construction liabilities, tax contingencies, long-term deferred tax liabilities, etc. (Note 6 of Amazon’s 2017 annual report).

Stockholders’ Equity:

Financial Statements Examples - Stockholder's Equity

Preferred stock : stock issued by a corporation that represents ownership in the corporation. Preferred stockholders have a priority claim on the company’s assets and earnings over common stockholders. Preferred stockholders are prioritized with regards to dividends but do not have any voting rights in the corporation.

Common stock : stock issued by a corporation that represents ownership in the corporation. Common stockholders can participate in corporate decisions through voting.

Treasury stock , at cost: also known as reacquired stock, treasury stock represents outstanding shares that have been repurchased from the stockholder by the company.

Additional paid-in capital :  the value of share capital above its stated par value in the above line item for common stock ($0.01 in the case of Amazon). In Amazon’s case, the value of its issued share capital is $17,186 million more than the par value of its common stock, which is worth $5 million.

Accumulated other comprehensive loss:  accounts for foreign currency translation adjustments and unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale/marketable securities.

Retained earnings :  the portion of a company’s profits that is held for reinvestment back into the business, as opposed to being distributed as dividends to stockholders.

As you can see with the above financial statements examples, financial statements are complex and closely linked. There are many accounts in financial statements that can be used to represent amounts regarding different business activities. Many of these accounts are typically labeled “other” type accounts, such as “Other operating expenses, net”. In our financial statements examples, we examined how these accounts functioned for Amazon.

Additional Resources

Now that you have become more proficient in reading the financial statements examples, round out your skills with some of our other resources. Corporate Finance Institute has resources that will help you expand your knowledge and advance your career! Check out the links below:

case studies for financial analyst

Flatworld Solutions

Case Study for Financial Research and Analysis

Asset Management

The client is a global asset management firm that uses a proprietary investment strategy to manage investment portfolios spread across 45 countries. It employs a result-driven methodology by deploying a highly effective equity allocation model to make funds perform better than the market average. It manages portfolios by investing in highly diversified and liquidated funds to consistently provide better value to its clients.

Situation - Business Need

In keeping with its business strategies and equity allocation methodologies, the client's requirement was focused on deriving knowledge necessary to exploit key market indicators and indices from across 45 nations after accounting for financial regulations and policies prevalent in those countries. It relied on regular updates on monetary and fiscal policy changes to frame its investment policies.

The client decided to engage our services for research and analysis of financial data in conformance with pre-defined formats, as well as to derive economic report summaries in a phased manner.

The challenges that the business situation presented were:

Solution - The Flatworld Solutions Approach

The Flatworld Solutions' approach comprised of the following components:

Products and Service used

Flatworld Solutions followed a very strict procedure for conducting research, especially when working on the fiscal and monetary policies prevalent in different countries. The analysts were instructed to use only sources that are authoritative, for instance, the Official IMF site and other country-specific government sites.

The duration of the assignment was 3 months. Flatworld Solutions formed a team consisting of a senior analyst and 3 analysts to work full-time. A plan was formulated to attend to any contingency and make sure there were no disruptions during the course of the project.

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case studies for financial analyst

Investment banking case studies are a ritual followed by almost every bulge bracket Investment Bank (IB) hiring process. Is it a tough nut to crack? The answer is yes, but only if you have not prepared well. I am not here to frighten you, but let us clarify that preparing for case studies is as important as personal interviews. Not clearing this round could endanger your dream of getting into an investment bank.

But you have nothing to worry about. With this article on investment banking case studies, we shall see what they are and how they are used to judge IB aspirants like you. Also, you will find out how to prepare and answer case studies confidently and get your dream job. There, I already see you beaming with that bright smile, rejoicing your entry into  investment banking Investment Banking Investment banking is a specialized banking stream that facilitates the business entities, government and other organizations in generating capital through debts and equity, reorganization, mergers and acquisition, etc. read more .

The case studies can be seen when you interview for Senior Analyst or Associate-level positions at an investment bank. Also, they are common when you appear for lateral interviews, i.e., while moving to another investment bank.

Pre-judging your inhibitions regarding investment banking case studies, I have listed a few  investment banking questions Investment Banking Questions The purpose of this Investment Banking Interview Questions and Answers is simply to help you learn about the investment banking interview topics. read more  below. Hopefully, my answers will help you learn about this exciting round at the IB assessment center.

Table of contents

Why investment banking case studies, what are the types of investment banking case studies, decision-making case study example:, modeling case study example, how to prepare for investment banking case studies.

While presenting your Investment Banking Case study

While answering the questions, investment banking case study – situation:, what you have to do:, the solution to the investment banking case study, presentation of investment banking case study, recommended articles.


You are free to use this image on your website, templates, etc., Please provide us with an attribution link How to Provide Attribution? Article Link to be Hyperlinked For eg: Source: Investment Banking Case Studies (

What are investment banking case studies?

I am sure you must have solved case studies, particularly if you have been to a business school. The case studies at investment banks are similar, wherein you would be given a business situation to analyze and provide detailed recommendations.

You would be given all the required information and enough time to study general case studies. It would typically be a business problem that asks for your opinion. Your job is to: –

While the case study round would happen most of the time on the day of your interview, some recruiters also provide the material beforehand for the candidates to prepare well at home. You are then expected to discuss the case study during your interview.

A typical case study would have the following features: –

Recommended Courses

Broadly, you can expect two types of case studies at the IB assessment center: the decision-making case studies and  financial modeling Financial Modeling Financial modeling refers to the use of excel-based models to reflect a company's projected financial performance. Such models represent the financial situation by taking into account risks and future assumptions, which are critical for making significant decisions in the future, such as raising capital or valuing a business, and interpreting their impact. read more  case studies.

Investment banking case studies

Decision-making Investment Banking Case Studies

One of your clients is a global corporation that manufactures and distributes a wide range of perfumes. They are contemplating ways to expand their business. There are two ways to either introduce a new range of fragrances with the current distribution channels or start a completely new company with different stores.

You are supposed to find out which would be a better solution for the business. To solve this, you need to compare the returns of the investments and decide on the solution with supportive reasons.

Modeling Investment Banking Case Studies

A pharmaceutical company has decided to make an acquisition . It has identified the company and has approached you to advise how much they should pay. In addition, you are provided with the  necessary financial information Necessary Financial Information Financial Information refers to the summarized data of monetary transactions that is helpful to investors in understanding company’s profitability, their assets, and growth prospects. Financial Data about individuals like past Months Bank Statement, Tax return receipts helps banks to understand customer’s credit quality, repayment capacity etc. read more , metrics and multiples, and the buyer and seller company overview.

To solve this, first, you need to find out if the acquisition is possible. Then, how would the deal structure and synergies be if the buyer has sources to finance the deal? After this, you need to use multiple valuation metrics to decide the price range of the agreement.

To practice more on case studies and tests at the assessment center, check out

Tips for Performing Well at Investment Banking Case Studies

While working on the investment banking case studies.

Investment Banking Case Study- Sample

You must be wondering how we apply all this in a case study. Let us understand investment banking case studies through an example discussed below: –

Simons Ltd., a software company, wants to maximize its shareholder value. It has three options to look forward to selling the company, i.e., making small acquisitions or growing organically. Argus Ltd. requests advice from your bank on the right course of action.

The answer to this case study is somewhat subjective. You could take a stand and support it with reasons. However, here, we assume to sell the company for understanding purposes. Let us now see how you could sell as the suggested option.

We recommend selling because of the following reasons: –

Since investment banking case studies are an important element in the interview process, messing it up will mean missing the offer. So instead, consider investment banking case studies as an opportunity to showcase your skills and talent to investment bankers. Those minutes could change your career, so make them count and give your best.

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Financial Analysis And Forecasting Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Home >> Finance Case Studies Analysis >> Financial Analysis And Forecasting


In early October 2002, when the interest rates were low, housing market was strong, unemployment was increasing, and customer confidence was uncertain, thus, the economic growth was very slow. The Retail Building – Supply Industry sustains to be going resilient. The industry was so strong that it was anticipated that the industry size will grow from $175 billion to $194 billion in five years.

This industry is called a consolidated industry because it is divided into three retail layouts, namely, hardware stores, lumberyards, larger format home centers, covering the share of 15%, 34%, and 51% of sales respectively. There are two market leaders dominating in this consolidated industry namely Home Depot and Lowe’s holding market share of 29% and 10.8% respectively.

Both market leaders have a well reputed strong brand name. They have earned their customers satisfaction and customer’s loyalty over the time period by providing its customers with best quality and exceptional customer care services.

Currently, both are making their back breaking efforts to rally their financial reports by enhancing up their top and bottom lines. They are making different strategies to compete more strongly by capturing more market share; they are penetrating into new markets, bringing innovations, offering excellent customer care services in order to attract more customers towards themselves. Not only they are offering traditional home centers, but also they are offering one-stop design shops and decorating shops as well as online stores.

Both the companies are also competing with each other by making heavy acquisitions. Home Depot, keeping in view of becoming the prevalent flooring supplier to domestic construction market, recently acquired three leading flooring enterprises. On the other hand, Lowe’s had made a billion transaction in acquiring a 38 store, warehouse-format chain Eagle Hardware.

Currently, Lowe is performing more efficiently than Home Depot, its growth rate is expected to increase in future as depicted in its forecast, which is attracting potential shareholders in the market towards Lowe’s. The new CEO of Home Depot is making new strategies in order to enhance overall efficiency and cost effectiveness by setting ongoing systems on inventory as well as working on their customer services in order to make them better.


Carrie Galeotafiore, financial analyst at value line publishing has been analyzing the financial performance of Lowe’s and Home Depot. She has to present the 3 rd quarterly report in which she also has to present the five years forecasted financial statements of Lowe’s and Home Depot separately. She has forecasted the financial performance of Home Depot and she is now looking forward to forecast the financial performance of Lowe’s

She is keen to know that currently which company is at the better position, which company will be the market trailblazer in future and as to what assumptions did she take to forecast the financial information of both key-players.


In exhibit 1 the financial ratios of Home Depot have been calculated which shows that the return on capital was high in 1999 which is 17.3%, whereas due to decrease in profitability currently it has a ratio of 15.20%. On the other hand, return on equity is decreasing continuously and currently it is 16.8%.

On the other hand, gross profit margin and net profit margin of Home Depot are increasing as compared to previous years, which show that the company is making more profits as compared to previous years. It also indicates that the company is able to control its costs more efficiently than previous years.

Moreover, the total growth rate of the company is diminishing. Exhibit 1 shows that the total growth rate of the company in years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 is 25.1%, 27.2%, 19.0%, and 17.10%. This is an alarming sign to the company which shows that if the company does not take any major preventive steps, then the company might lose its competitiveness because the growth rate is continuously declining which needs to be controlled.

Financial Analysis And Forecasting Case Solution

In exhibit 2, the financial ratios of Lowe’s have been calculated, which depicts the historic trends of the financial performance. Shareholders are attracted towards the company because the return on capital and equity are increasing and currently the return rate on capital and on equity are 10.4% and 15.3% respectively.

The company seems profitable because the gross profit margin and the net profit margin of the company are increasing robustly. On the other hand, the operating expense ratio is decreasing as compared to last 2 years, which shows that the company has good system of cost controlling and maintaining their operations cost effective..............

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Case Studies

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