Stock Market Report

5.1.1 Interim Individual Share Performance Review (40%)
5.1.2 Final Individual Share Performance Review (60%)

This assessment runs all the way through phases 1 to 5 (with an interim submission during Phase 3). The final hand in is during Phase 5, and is worth 10% of your Phase 5 grade.

The vast majority of the world’s largest companies are “publicly listed” companies (in the UK called a PLC or Public Limited Company). That means that their shares are traded through one of the stock exchanges such as London, New York or Shanghai and investors can purchase shares in those businesses. Individuals such as you and I can invest alongside institutional investors such as pension fund management businesses which own huge investments in companies.

In this task you will each have £12,000 to invest in a publicly listed company of your choice. You will monitor the performance of your investment. It is only a fictional £12,000 unfortunately but will the value of your investment increase or will you lose money?

At the end of this assessment you should be able to:-

Better understand an organisation’s published financial results;
Construct clear charts and diagrams and interpret them;
Use published share price data and articles from the business pages of newspapers and other credible sources to evaluate the performance of a portfolio of shares;
Present your analysis effectively in writing.

Learning Objectives

This assessment will help you to:

recognise the concept of the business organisation operating within the parameters of a changing external environment
demonstrate an awareness of current issues, facts and events in the national and international business world
identify different legal forms of company
interpret data presented in various forms
write an academic report with appropriate referencing
maintain your interest and application to a long term project
manage your time to meet academic deadlines that are some way off

The Task
You have a nominal £12,000 with which to buy shares of a company that MUST be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Try to invest in a company that you think will do well over the next six months and give you a good return on your investment, even though making a profit is not a key objective of this assessment.

You need to be able to justify your choice of company. In order to do this you should carry out some research on a range of companies using PEST analysis. You will need this information for your interim report.

Every Friday you must keep a record of the closing price of your share on the previous evening (or the closest trading day) along with the total current value of your share using an Excel spreadsheet. You should record the share prices and create chart/s to show the values graphically. Experiment with the sorts of chart that you can produce to find the best one for this task.

Every Friday you will be expected to check on the performance of your chosen share, keeping your spreadsheet updated. In Phase 3 you will also have an opportunity to sell your share and use the proceeds to invest in a different company. You have to decide whether that will give you better growth over the period of your investment.

The assessment is concerned with how you arrived at your choice of initial share, your analysis of the progress of your share/s, your judgement for keeping – or selling – the share/s and how well you justify your decisions. In order to do this, you should try to include more pieces of information than just the closing share price each Thursday. What other information might be relevant?

What are we looking for?
In order to complete this assessment you will need to use a variety of sources. These MUST be referenced in both reports. Submissions that do not indicate their sources throughout can only be awarded a maximum mark of 35%.

Interim Stock Market Report – maximum 1,300 words
To pass this assessment you MUST:
Submit an interim report that maps the price of your chosen share up to Friday 8 January 2016 using a table and a chart
From your mapping, select a minimum of one and a maximum of three significant price movements in your chosen share and analyse the cause(s). Provide evidence to support your analysis

To achieve a higher grade in this assessment you SHOULD:
Provide information on why you chose to invest in this particular share
Provide a PEST analysis for your chosen company

To achieve a grade at the highest level you COULD:
Provide information on other companies that you considered, and why you rejected them
Provide information on key competitors and market factors using Porter’s Five Forces model
Identify a second choice of share to use for comparisons in your final report
Identify the sector index and one other financial index which you will use for your main report

Final Stock Market Report – maximum 1,500 words
To pass this assessment you MUST:
Submit a final report that analyses the performance of your chosen share(s) throughout the entire time period finishing with the closing price on Thursday 17 March 2016, paying particular attention to significant changes in the share price

To achieve a higher grade in this assessment you SHOULD:
Analyse the performance of your share(s) in detail, providing credible evidence to support your analysis and considering factors that affected the sector as a whole
Discuss your decision on whether or not to change shares and the factors that influenced you in your choice

To achieve a grade at the highest level you COULD:
Analyse recent market factors that have affected the sector of the share that you monitored after the share trading window
Discuss how well your share(s) performed compared to the sector index or indices such as the FTSE 100. Use appropriate charts and tables to illustrate your arguments
Compare the performance of your share(s) with that of key competitors
Compare the performance of your chosen share(s) with a second choice of share

To achieve higher marks in either report you will analyse the reasons for what happened, comparing your company with other relevant businesses, the sector and the economy in general, and taking into account any newsworthy events that affected the share price.

Help and Support
You had a lecture on Financial Markets in Phase 1 Week 1. The lecture slides are also available in the Weekly Learning Block for Phase 1 Week 1. You will also find various links to information about the Financial Markets in this Weekly Learning Block. Remember that news about your company and others in the same sector is very relevant to the performance of the shares. Do you read the business news of a good newspaper or website? Could you set up an alert on your phone for news on your chosen company? Have you located investor information on the website of your chosen company?

Submit your interim report (5.1.1) as a word document via the submission button on your Learning Community BREO site by 11.59pm on Friday 29 January 2016. Students who miss this interim submission will not be given an opportunity to make up this grade.

Submit your final report (5.1.2) as a word document via the submission button on your Learning Community BREO site by 11.59pm on Friday 8 April 2016.

Feedback on 5.1.1 Interim Stock Market Report will be provided by Friday 20th February 2016.

Feedback on 5.1.2 Final Stock Market Report will be provided by Friday 24th April 2016.

Mitigating Circumstances
If you are going to have difficulty submitting this assessment on time due to exceptional circumstances you should contact the Student Engagement Team as soon as possible. You can phone them on 01582 489622 or visit the team in the Campus Centre Level 2. Alternatively you can complete an online application for mitigating circumstances at: