An annual report is a comprehensive statement describing a company’s activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested stakeholders information about the company’s activities and financial performance. All public corporations must provide shareholders with a financial report every year so that shareholders understand and are able to assess overall performance.

The front part of the report often contains an impressive combination of graphics, photos and an accompanying narrative, all of which chronicle the company’s activities over the past year. The back part of the report contains detailed financial and operational information.

In this assignment, you will read and assess the financial performance of IBM, Inc. over the past couple of years. Begin by downloading the 2013 IBM annual report from the IBM website:

Read pages 1 – 28 and then find the financial data (i.e., income statements, balance sheets and statements of cash flows) on pages 78 – 81.

Using the IBM income statement data on page 78 in the annual report, create a common size income statement (similar to the table on page 27 in Grossman & Livingstone, 2009) by filling in the following format:


Then, using the income statement data and the balance sheet data on page 80 in the IBM annual report, create a table of ratios like the table on page 31 in Grossman & Livingstone, 2009 (include all of the ratios defined in the page 31 table for both 2013 and 2012.


To create the required common size income statements for IBM, see the following links:


Use total revenue for sales to construct these values.


Your book provides guidance on how to compute and interpret financial ratios. However, if you find the book difficult to follow, there are many websites that discuss how to compute, report and interpret financial ratios for a company.


Write a four-part analysis of IBM. In the first section of your paper, summarize what you learned and/or found particularly interesting about IBM in your reading of the first 28 pages of the annual report. Then insert the tables you created (either cut and paste from Excel or create tables in Word) in section two. In section three, evaluate IBM by discussing the numbers in your common size income statement and balance sheet ratios. Look for trends that identify areas of strength, stability or possible concern. Finally, find two scholarly reports that discuss IBM’s financial performance during this period and discuss how those professional reports correlate with what you found in your analysis.

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