Corporate Financial Ratio Insights in a Department of Defense Context

5 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2019

See all articles by Mark E. Haskins

Mark E. Haskins

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This case asks students to review 10 columns of financial data drawn from 10 different companies and to match each with an industry in a list of 10 industries.



Jun. 6, 2019

Corporate Financial Ratio Insights in a Department of Defense Context

Corporate annual reports provide a timely, useful, and robust overview of a company. Those reports present highlights pertaining to a company's operations-related priorities, market initiatives, business segments, customer concentration, major enterprise risks, and financial performance/condition. In fact, it may be accurately opined that a corporate annual report is one of the most succinct, and yet most comprehensive, documents for gaining an understanding of the major aspects of issues pertaining to, and accomplishments of a company.

Consider for a moment that there are a number of ways we make sense of the world around us. One way is via the measures and quantifications of key features of those aspects of our settings that we are curious about or need to know. For example, we often ask: What is that town's population? How far is it to the lake? How many kids tried out for the soccer team? How many pounds did he lose? What is the square footage of the house you bought? And of course, regarding our health, we periodically obtain a numerical reading on our blood pressure, cholesterol level, and body mass (ugh!).

In the corporate financial world, there are parallels. For example, on a basic level, the Fortune 500 list merely ranks companies based on their total sales. Moreover, business headlines for high-profile mergers and acquisitions often proclaim the purchase price, which is linked to a financial valuation of the acquired company. Growth rates for a company are often expressed as percentage change in sales, total assets, and/or earnings. And hints of financial hardship are often observed in trends and levels of debt, operating cash flows, and earnings per share.

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Keywords: DuPont ratio model, common-size balance sheets, financial profiles

Suggested Citation

Haskins, Mark E., Corporate Financial Ratio Insights in a Department of Defense Context. Darden Case No. UVA-C-2424, Available at SSRN:

Mark E. Haskins (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924 -4826 (Phone)


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