Students regularly face the necessity to compare financial statements and annual reports of two big corporations in order to identify the level of professionalism in creation of these reports, to analyze the fundamental principles of building statements, and to develop thinking skills. In the current paper, you are welcome to check the comparison between Walmart Stores Inc and Target Corporation.
The definition of the annual report
The annual report is a specific document released by companies, who participate in business activities at the end of their fiscal year. A close look on the data, illustrates that this report usually includes almost everything an investor or analytics needs to know about the business and economical state of the company. Generally, it contains pictures and description of branch offices, employees, facilities, and products, all of which could be important to making investing decision. Evidently, they are normally followed by a special letter from the CEO and senior management, which discusses the goals of the past year, the realization of these goals, and goals for the future decade. Data analysis shows that any person is able to either download the annual report in text or PDF form or find information on how it is possible to contact shareholder services and then request a copy of the report in the mail. Without any doubts, it is important for analytics to understand the basic principles of report making, in order to find some mistakes or even hidden lie (Drake, 2009). The purpose of this paper is to examine two annual reports released by two organizations in the same industry in order to evaluate the quality of reports and make some accurate conclusions about the influence of the text of the report on its aims and results.
Comparison of the financial statements of Walmart Stores and Target Corporation
This paper examines the financial statements of two of the American major companies in the retail industry. They are Walmart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT). It means that the report seeks to contrast and compare how two companies reflect their performances in the economic activities using their financial ratio (Beattie, 2004). In order to achieve this aim, it is important to examine their annual reports dated 2013.
It should be mentioned that Walmart is the world’s largest company and the world’s largest retailer with more than four hundred billion dollars in sales annually. Evidently, Walmart employs 1.5 million associates in the U.S. and more than four hundred thousand internationally (Walmart 2013 Annual Report, 2013).
Target Corporation is the America’s second discount chain, which now operates about 1,650 Super-Target and Target stores in forty-seven states, as well as an internet business called Target.com (Target Corporation 2013 Annual Report, 2013). Evidently, Target and its close cousins, including Super-Target, and Target-Greatland, have carved out a specific niche by offering more fashion-forward, upscale merchandise than rivals Walmart.
Obviously, all this information is hidden in the text of 2017 annual reports made by Walmart and Target Corporation. In their reports, they try to show that they do not have any problems and are extremely perspective in economic aspect. They both try to achieve it with a big amount of graphics and statistical information. However, some of this information is quite hard to check for average reader, such as ghg emissions or other environmental data. It is important to mention that Target Corporation pays much more attention to the aspect of environmental problems than Walmart, which is more concentrated on financial analysis, does. Undoubtedly, it is important for Walmart to change their politics at this aspect.
Obviously, in their discussions and plans both companies try to show that their financial statement is excellent and that they have extremely big possibilities for further development. It is proved by management letters, where the plans for further decades are shown. They both argue that talented crew is the key for their success and that their main politics will be concentrated in the sphere of good recruiting management. Target Corporation is a bit different in an aspect of the attitude towards design and reutilization problems. However, both reports are quite similar in their core.
Analysis of the financial reports
A close look on the data indicates that both reports are made by professionals, because of their structure and presentation of the data. Both reports are filled with psychologically positive pictures, or pictures that show the economic power of companies. Obviously, such type of information makes report bigger, but it provides a friendly mood for readers. Target Corporation tries to show their statistical data in more visualized style, while Walmart provides balance sheets as they are. Researches show that such kind of statistical data can be useful for the influence of the stock prices, especially, when the financial results are good.
Taking everything into account, it should be concluded that both reports of Target Corporation and Walmart Stores are made professionally and show the huge amount of data, which is important in analysis of their business activities. However, these reports also use many doubtful paragraphs, where they try to show that their aim is to help people, and not to earn money. Without any doubts, it is made in order to show the strategic plan of the company, and to attract public opinion, but it is quite understandable that this information distracts from real indicators. Thus, both companies have much to do in order to improve their reports in 2018.
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Beattie, V. (2004).A Methodology for Analyzing and Evaluating Narratives in Annual Reports. University of Glasgow. Retrieved July 14, 2014 from http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/407/1/Beattieaccforum28.pdf
Drake, Pamela. (2009).Financial ratio analysis. Retrieved July 14, 2014 from http://educ.jmu.edu/~drakepp/principles/module2/fin_rat.pdf
Target Corporation 2013 Annual Report. (2013). Retrieved July 14, 2014 from http://www.targetcorporate.com/_media/TargetCorp/csr/pdf/2013-corporate-responsibility-report.pdf
Walmart 2013 Annual Report. (2013). Retrieved July 14, 2014 from http://talk1.org/download/1197