Dr. P.V. Viswanath



Economics/Finance on the Web
Student Interest

  Courses/FIN 648  

Results of In-class Surveys




Student Comments from January 30, 2006

1. Based on this class, what were your two most important learning points or ideas?
· Reasons for mergers, benefits and shortcomings
· Actual real-life M&A discussions
· Porter and Shapiro frameworks so I could use them to start working on my presentation
· How to make evaluations using the two frameworks explained in class – Porter and Shapiro models
· M&A and how it works in markets; recent M&A examples helpful
· Presentations helpful
· Different types of mergers and acquisitions
· Organic versus inorganic growth

· Winner’s curse
http://biz.yahoo.com/ms/060206/155720.html ; http://webpage.pace.edu/pviswanath/articles/aeg4e43/securities_trading/winnerscurse.html

· Types of synergy
· Evaluation of M&S – agency costs, overpayments
· What is involved in evaluating potential mergers – what can be learned from failed mergers.
· Less presentation; more class discussion to application
· Why it should be good for the CEO to acquire large firms.
· Why does the acquirer lose out?
· Case studies; practical data and resources that support or complement the class.
· Do mergers help management to increase value?
· Hostage situation in business and how to avoid it.
· Why mergers are good for CEOs.
· Equity is a call option on the assets of the firm.

2. What is the most significant question remaining in your mind from this class?

· How do we value or calculate the value of joint firms?
We'll get to it when we come to synergies.

· Lack of investigation behind CEO compensations
Good question!

· How to use Porter and Shapiro models in an actual M&A deal
· How companies go about deciding to merge
· How to differentiate between lateral and conglomerate mergers
· How to bring about an M&A
· The “after-deal.” How companies think and value the consequences of an M&A.
· Are Porter’s and Shapiro’s models really applicable?
· Are there some guidelines to allow the board of directors to prevent CEO from getting into bad mergers?
· Acquirer’s value/ stock goes down, while target’s value goes up.
· How does the acquiring firm make sure that the value of the target company in the future will be greater than the price they paid for it today?
· The flow of information
· Could be more elaborated
· More on organic versus inorganic
· Too much stuff to read!
· Why do we need mergers and acquisitions? Why can’t the two companies simply sign a contract?
· Will knowing more about mergers help us to get jobs in Finance?
· Definitely have to go over the frameworks more and read about them in the textbook.

3. Any suggestions, and wishes for future classes?

· Concrete method of evaluating M&A
· What industry is suitable for merging/acquiring what industry
· When the system is down, please provide slides in advance
· Use of slides on the computer
· More visual aids
· More concise laid out points before going on. For example, you laid out Winner’s Curse and didn’t get back to it for another 20 minutes; makes it hard to take notes.
· Want to learn more about material that is suitable for presentation
· Continue like the first two classes – I like the approach of the Professor to the material and excellent presentation.
· So far been great; hopefully numerical examples would help; maybe an evaluation of an actual deal.
· More structure in the deal process for most companies.
· I am looking forward to the valuation class and I really hope we can spend more than three hours on that.
· More straightforward, more structured.
· Give PowerPoint presentation or some handouts; I need notes but do not like to take notes in class.
· Highlights of whole class and points.
· Quantitative Analysis of an M&A
· Clearer flow of information
· Going good
· Talk more about doing M&A deals and the process involved.
· Structure the discussion to build up to a climax – seemed sort of back and forth at times.
· Learn how to think and evaluate mergers; more points of view and less calculation.
· Slow down the speed
· Class notes should be distributed ahead of time.
· More interesting examples that reflect the content of the lecture. This really makes understanding of the concepts a lot easier.