Writing a Research Report

 Produce a research report consisting of no more than five pages of textual analysis plus supporting documents.  Supporting documents, such as tables may include no more than five more pages.  The research report itself should have the following components, or other subheadings that include similar information:  (You may include a cover page in addition to the page limits described above. )

 Note: Indicate where your data came from. There are many sources of information about companies, and you are free to use any of them as long as you properly indicate what you have used.  However, passing off the work of others as your own is plagiarism and is unacceptable in this competition.  You are expected to do your own analysis.

I suggest that you should be looking at the NYSSA template for guidance (http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~aim/) as well as the James Morris research report on General Mills.

Here is an outline of a complete business plan (from http://www.inc.com/articles/write_biz_plan/18470.html; originally from BusinessTown.com, April 18, 2000 issue).  This may be something that it may be worthwhile for the analyst to go through in order to be better able to write a report.
Business concept
Current situation
Key success factors
Financial situation/needs
Vision statement
Market analysis
The overall market
Changes in the market
Market segments
Target market and customers
Customer characteristics
Customer needs
Customer buying decisions
Competitive analysis
Industry overview
Nature of competition
Changes in the industry
Primary competitors
Competitive products/services
Threats and risks
Key competitive capabilities
Key competitive weaknesses
Implementing strategy
Product/service description
Positioning of products/services
Competitive evaluation of products/services
Future products/services
Marketing and sales
Marketing strategy
Sales tactics
Trade shows
Key personnel
Organizational structure
Human resources plan
Product/service delivery
Customer service/support
Creating the financials of the business plan
Assumptions and comments
Starting balance sheet
Profit-and-loss projection
Cash flow projection
Balance sheet projection
Ratios and analyses

Suggestions for a Research Report (from New York Times, November 24, 2002, Sunday, Late Edition - Final, Section 3; Page 1; Column 2; Money and Business/Financial Desk)

Preparing a Valuation Spreadsheet

Decide which of Damodaran's spreadsheets you want to use.

For each entry, add a comment that indicates where you got it from, and/or supporting arguments for your choice.  Using the comment feature in Excel allows you to write as much as you wish without running out of space.  If you decide to write your comment in a spreadsheet cell, then make sure you write it in a different color, so that it stands out from the other material.