Hey all!

We have a Equity Research competition coming up in our school where we have to pick on one of the following four companies to work on: Wal-Mart (WMT), Ford Motor (F), Boeing (BA), and McDonalds (MCD).

Any inputs on which company is worth looking at? I've never done proper equity research before, but my guess is that the choice of the company is the first important step. Would love you guys' advice and inputs on this!


Comments (13)


well you need to know what company but then a lot of the companies can be 'good', do you want a heavy industriallike boeing or a retail consumer staple like walmart or what? very different stories and effect from things on all these companies

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McDonald's might be a good idea -- you can wrap your head around that business model and how they make money. Not that you can't with the other ones, but it might help you understanding the ER process if you at least know what in the world you're looking at.


I'd take boeing, there is a lot going on in that space with boeing vs airbus right now


Mcdonalds would be the easiest it is my opinion an outperform is easier to write about and sell than a MP or UP stock. Staples are boring (WMT) and F and BA are kind of a nightmare.


Are you more interested in winning or learning? If winning, do you know how it's being judged? Depending on how it's being judged, McDonalds may be a hell of a lot easier than the rest of them but you need to make sure you do a rock solid job.


Call me crazy but I picked Ford when I did my Equity Research project in my class. I was curious to learn how they survive, so I picked it.

But since this is a competition go with what interests you first. It's easier to sell something you like than something you don't.

By the way, Boeing was going to be my 2nd choice if not for Ford...I think the Airbus v. Boeing competition is pretty cool.


Thanks for all the input guys!

Not to sound overly prudent here, but I really want to win this because it will be judged in part by a very large bank with possible internship offers at the end. It will also be judged by the prof who has made it clear that she is looking for technical accuracy in the analysis. I want to stay away from WMT because I guess everyone will do it, because it's easy.

I've been looking at BA and I've access to their past three years earnings conference calls, so that should be a plus. I honestly don't know much about Ford to comment either way.

But do you guys think technically BA is a bad choice? Too hard? I'd have to get the comparables and accounting stuff spot on to get my foot through the door.


There is no bad choice here. Go with what you are most interested in, because then you will be willing to work harder at learning the company.

I would recommend contacting the IR person right away, explain your project, and ask if they have any sell side ER they can share (they get it all and they read it). If they aren't willing to share any of the research, ask which sell side analysts they'd recommend contacting to further discuss their company. By going to the IR person first, you might be able to bypass the headache of contacting 20 different analysts (unless you already have access to sell side research, in which case just start there).


I feel like Boeing will require a ton of fin stmt adjustments- especially when it comes to dealing with operating/finance leases. Just my 2c.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."


With Boeing, just realize that half the company is commercial aerospace and the other half is defense. With that said, it's a company I like a lot and I think they're well-positioned in both markets.


I picked Boeing - still looks like a good challenge!

Question: If you're intuitively leaning on a buy, do you leave out some of the negative information which may make the buy seem technically shaky?


Don't leave out information that makes the buy shaky -- that's the opposite of why ER is written.

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