Use the following case in answering Problems 26 – 28:
Institutional Advisors for All Inc., or IAAI, is a consulting firm that primarily advises all types of institutions such as foundations, endowments, pension plans, and insurance companies. IAAI also provides advice to a select group of individual investors with large portfolios. One of the claims the firm makes in its advertising is that IAAI devotes considerable resources to forecasting and determining long-term trends; then it uses commonly accepted investment models to determine how these trends should affect the performance of various investments. The members of the research department
of IAAI recently reached some conclusions concerning some important macroeconomic trends. For instance, they have seen an upward trend in job creation and consumer confidence and predict that this should continue for the next few years. Other domestic leading indicators that the research department at IAAI wishes to consider are industrial production, average weekly hours in manufacturing, S&P 500 stock prices, M2 money supply, and the index of consumer expectations.
In light of the predictions for job creation and consumer confidence, the investment advisers at IAAI want to make recommendations for their clients. They use established theories that relate job creation and consumer confidence to inflation and interest rates and then incorporate the forecast movements in inflation and interest rates into established models for explaining asset prices. Their primary concern is to forecast how the trends in job creation and consumer confidence should affect bond prices and how those trends should affect stock prices.
The members of the research department at IAAI also note that stocks have been trending up in the past year, and this information is factored into the forecasts of the overall economy than they deliver. The researchers consider an upward-trending stock market a positive economic indicator in itself; however, they disagree as to the reason this should be the case.
Which of the domestic series that the IAAI research department listed for use as leading indicators is least appropriate?
a. Industrial production
b. Manufacturing average weekly hours
c. M2 money supply
The correct answer is ‘a’
In order to read the trends, economists and investors rely upon leading indicators and consider the favorable ones as a thumbs-up sign for investment.
Other than industrial production (which is a coincidental indicator) all are leading indicators. Hence option A would be the correct answer.
a. Computer stocks currently provide an expected rate of return of 16%. MBI, a large computer company, will pay a year-end dividend of $2 per share. If the stock is selling at $50 per share, what must be the market’s expectation of the growth rate of MBI dividends?
b. If dividend growth forecasts for MBI are revised downward to 5% per year, what will happen to the price of MBI stock? What (qualitatively) will happen to the company’s price–earnings ratio?.
The MoMi Corporation’s cash flow from operations before interest and taxes was $2 million in the year just ended, and it expects that this will grow by 5% per year forever.
To make this happen, the firm will have to invest an amount equal to 20% of pretax cash flow each year. The tax rate is 35%. Depreciation was $200,000 in the year just ended and is expected to grow at the same rate as the operating cash flow. The appropriate market capitalization rate for the unleveraged cash flow is 12% per year, and the firm currently has debt of $4 million outstanding. Use the free cash flow approach to value the firm’s equity.
General Weed killers dominate the chemical weed control market with its patented product Weed-ex. The patent is about to expire, however. What are your forecasts for changes in the industry? Specifically, what will happen to industry prices, sales, the profit prospects of General Weedkillers, and the profit prospects of its competitors?
What stage of the industry life cycle do you think is relevant for the analysis of this market?
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