This needs to be done for two companies; Avatar Adventures Corporation and TNT Designs Incorporated ticker symbol TNTD.
1. Make a distinction between the stock and the company
The purpose of a stock pitch is to provide an investment recommendation (buy or sell) on a given stock, so a fund manager can take action! It is important to remember that the stock is not the same as the company. A very good sound company can be a rotten investment (e.g. because it is fully priced or over priced), and a company in bad shape can be a good stock to hold (e.g. because it has been unfairly punished and they aren't really doing that badly).
Hence, a good company is not necessarily a good stock investment. Every pitch based on arguments of the type: experienced management, good competitive positions, sound strategy, sophisticated products, etc, need something more to justify the investment thesis.
A company in a profitable, fast growing industry may also be a bad investment. A rising tide lifts all boats. The important thing is the differential with respect to other competitors.
From this, it follows that although you need to cover the specifics of the company and the industry in which it operates, it is not enough. You must also address the question of whether the stock is a currently good buy, it is fairly priced (you get what you pay for, i.e., a regular return), or it is too expensive and therefore should be sold.
2. Provide a brief description of the firm
The purpose of your introduction to the firm and the stock is to help your listener place them mentally within their knowledge and previous experiences, for instance to decide what valuation method to use, what ratios to look at or what industry to compare it with.
Quick, one-line explanation of the firm and sector: e.g. Family-dinner restaurant operator in the Mid Atlantic region; Manufacturer of components for the automobile industry.
Basic info on the stock: current price, target price, investment recommendation (BUY/HOLD/SELL), market cap, ticker. This is the type of information contained in the first page of an equity report in big bold letters. This gives the PM an indication of the upside/downside, how big the stock is (large cap, small cap), a quick reference point in Bloomberg/ Reuters (they might be more familiar with the topic, perhaps because it is part of the comparables or because they see it every day in the list of stocks in the sector, than with the name itself), and where your argument is leading;
Basic financials: revenues, net income, PE and/or EBITDA multiples, EPS, margins, consensus estimates for next couples quarters/years. Two or three years of historic data and two years of projections are enough. Always provide forward-looking ratios. While some look at historic and current ratios (TTM), most want to know where the stock is going!
3. Articulate your investment thesis around three bullet points
Guide the listener. Use the golden rule: tell 'em what your gonna tell 'em; tell 'em; and then tell 'em what you told 'em. Lists and bullet points are very useful in that they provide the listener with milestones or signaling points they can remember, and on to which they can hang the rest of the argument.
Start by giving three bullet points on why to invest in the company in a very summarized way and then elaborate a bit longer into a full fledged sentence. Then, you can go on to discuss each point at length, especially if you are questioned.
It is a good idea to have one point for each of the following:
Company economics/competitive landscape; (how does it make money)
Financials/financial performance; (this is your opportunity to drop numbers in the conversation)
Catalyst (this is the most difficult point to find on a company, if you don't find it, then drop it, if you do-- that's great!)
Valuation (P/E, EV/EBIDTA, DCF)
Summarized point- Strong Demand
Full fledged sentence- Tax stimulus package creates demand for new, updated tax preparation software.
Long argument- The government has introduced a range of investment incentives and tax breaks in the latest budget. These require complex calculations and a thorough update of the way in which tax returns are prepared. The issues are complex and require lots of technical assistance. Virtually every company affected by this change needs external help. This bodes well for sales of tax preparation software (+25.7% forecast in Q4 FY01 Revs, +12.7% FY01)
4. Why is the price going to change? How and when can we exploit this?
4.1 New information
You CANNOT just rely on everything that has been published about the firm. If the markets are efficient, all that information will have already been incorporated into the price and nothing you do or say is going to make it move. Therefore, you have to contribute some new piece of information. The typical objection a PM can raise to your story is: What do you know that the stock market doesn't already know? And, what implications does that have for the stock price?
This can be something that you have genuinely discovered, e.g. "In speaking with H&R Block and Quicken customers, it seems that Quicken is a better product- hence, demand will rise, as customers switch to Quicken, and hence we will see INTU beat numbers.
Alternatively, at the very least, provide a different interpretation of the known facts and the reason you are right and the rest of the Street are wrong, "The market thinks Quicken can only meet 350,000 software units. However, I know they are just-in-time delivery systems will allow them to meet demand of 500,000 units of software. Therefore, they will sell more software, beat estimates, and the stock will move up."
Not only must you add some piece of information, you also have to know when and how it will be incorporated into the stock price and thus, validate your thesis. You need a catalyst. E.g.:
Competitors are reporting next week. Once everybody sees that they are doing poorly because they lack an entry level product, it will become clear that our company (the only producer of cheap entry-level products) will be assessed differently.
The FDA is ruling on a new drug from XYZ Corp. this Thursday. If it is approved, this will be great news for our company, because its new blockbuster is based on the same compound, should be approved, and we are ready to start production in three months.
Nokia is the major cornerstone of the demand for low-consumption memory chips. Nokia publishes a quarterly forecast for the number of mobile phones handsets globally. If in its forthcoming estimates Nokia lowers its forecast, widens the range or makes any comments that it is becoming more difficult to predict that the demand will be, this highlights growing uncertainty for semiconductor manufacturers. Therefore, an upward adjustment to the discount rate for Infineon would be warranted, and lower stock price should follow.
5. Some final remarks
It is not necessary to list the investment risks/ downside of the stock (unless you are pitching a sell). It is a PM's job to be skeptic and find objections to your recommendation. If the objective is to get them to buy the stock, you don't want to make their task easier.
Having said this, think about the objects they can raise and try to counter them even before they are uttered. Think ahead. Moreover, do know the downside of your stock. If the stock is currently at 14x and you forecast it to go to 20x, know what the lower limit is (can it to go 10x?). You should be ready to overcome obstacles, and counter with logical arguments. Writing down the risks on your handout is a personal preference- some analysts do it, some do not.
Use numbers! Spinning a good story is great, but virtually everybody is able to spin a story. Hard facts and figures add credibility. MOST IMPORTANT: You job as an Analyst is to ANALYZE, not report. If you see a sell-side report that is 35 pages long, your buyside report should be a page or two, and should analyze why this company is good or bad, and the implications on the stock price, and then conclude when we should be in or out of the stock.
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