Course Syllabus (FIN341)
Fin 341. A study of the financial problems encountered in the operation and organization of
Prerequisites: ACC 201, 202
Rationale for Course
Fin 341 is a core course in the School of Business. As such, it is designed to provide students with
their first exposure to the principles of finance. In this context, business administration majors
will learn the fundamental financial concepts that dominate the operations of businesses.
Upon completion of Fin 341, each student should thoroughly understand
1. the concept of time value of money and its applications to business and personal financial
2. the capital budgeting process and its application in financial decision making.
3. financial statements and how to conduct a financial statement analysis to determine an
organization’s financial strengths and weaknesses.
4. the risk-return relationship and its implications within a portfolio context.
5. how to calculate bond prices and rates of return for fixed income securities.
6. equity security pricing and the markets in which equity securities trade.
7. selected spreadsheet applications to solutions of financial management problems.
Students who have a disability should contact the Counseling and Career Development Center to
determine the nature of accommodations needed for the course. All actions and information in
this regard will remain confidential.
Text Fundamentals of Financial Managemen, Concise Edition, 6th ed. by Brigham and Houston
(Mason, Ohio: South-Western, 2004) (ISBN: 10: 0324664559 13: 9780324664553)
Recommended Calculator: BAIIPlus
In-class calculator instruction in time-value and other applications will be limited to the
recommended calculator. Any student who chooses to use another calculator will ultimately
be responsible for consulting that calculator’s manual to determine its use in time-value and
other necessary applications. The instructor may be able to provide assistance to students
with other calculators (to the extent of the instructor’s knowledge).
The passing or sharing of memory aides during any exam is not permitted.
Attend all classes in a punctual manner.
Commit sufficient out-of-class time to working and understanding all assigned end-of-chapter
All relevant Powerpoint lecture files and Word syllabus files may be downloaded from:
http://cosmo.mc.edu/moodle/course/category.php?id=20 Use your MC account number and
password to log in. Your first time to use the site you will be required to register for the course
and use the enrollment key: snickers
The instructor will typically conduct class lectures using Power-Point presentations. Students are
expected to download the presentations from the class web site and bring a hard-copy of chapter
slides to class in sequence with the coverage of material from the text. In Powerpoint, choose the
“handouts” option under “Print what” and choose “3” under “Slides per page.” (NOTE: These
slides have been prepared by the instructor, and are not the Power-Point slides on the CD that
accompany the text).
Note that the Undergraduate Catalogue indicates that:
o A student who misses as much as 25% of the class meetings (excused or unexcused,
including university functions) will receive an automatic “F” in the course
o For lesser number of absences, the student should expect a lowered grade in the course
Attendance is an important element of class participation, and is directly factored into the
student grade. Borderline grades will be influenced by class attendance, which is viewed
as a primary element of class participation.
Roll will be taken at the start of each class meeting by means of a seating chart that will be
established during the first week of class.
Exams (300 points)
Two semester exams and a final exam will be administered during the semester. Each exam is
valued at 100 points. The final exam is merely the third exam, and is not comprehensive in scope.
Each semester exam and the final exam will consist of multiple-choice questions and multiple-
choice problems based on the materials covered in class and assigned for outside work. Although
the problems are multiple-choice in format, students will be required to show all work (i.e.,
calculations and calculator time-value inputs) to receive credit. Correct “guesses” on multiple-
choice problems without supporting work will be treated as incorrect.
Missed Exams. If a student knows in advance that a scheduled exam will be missed, a make-up
exam may be administered prior to the scheduled day of the exam. Otherwise, all make-up exams
will be administered at the end of the semester. Unlike the semester exams that follow a multiple-
choice format, make-up exams will consist of a mixture of short questions, essay questions, and
Memory Aides. For each exam, each student will be permitted to prepare a standard-sized (8.5” x
11”) sheet of paper containing any definitions, formulas, or other notes (front and back). The
student may use the notes page as a memory aide during the exam. The passing or sharing of
memory aides during any exam is not permitted.
Graduating seniors. Any graduating senior with at least a “B” average in the course will be
exempt from the final exam if all class meetings after the 2nd exam are attended, and all
assignments (including the financial analysis report) are completed satisfactorily. In the event an
otherwise exempted student misses a class meeting after the 2nd exam, whether or not the absence
is deemed “unavoidable” will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Financial Analysis Report (30 points)
Teams of two students each must select one company from the attached list (see last page of
syllabus) and conduct a basic financial analysis. No two teams will be permitted to use the same
company, and companies will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Financial statements
for each company are readily available through: http://cosmo.mc.edu/moodle/ , and other web
sites. Due date: one week after the date of the second semester exam. Late reports will be
penalized 5 points for each day of tardiness.
As a first step, the financial ratios must be calculated for the two most recently available years of
financial statements, as well as the Du Pont components for each year. The report then consists of
a reporting of the findings observed in the ratio trends.
Each report should be typed and have a maximum length of three pages for text and discussion.
Additional pages should be added in the form of appendices to display supporting financial
statements, calculations, and other supporting documents. Each report should contain the
following sections (in this order):
1. Title page (course name and number, student names, company name, date)
2. Executive summary (a discussion of the ratio findings by group, with references to
specific appendices where appropriate, ending with a summary paragraph of the
financial strength of the company and its weaknesses, if any)
3. Table of ratio results for each year
4. Appendix showing the ratio calculations
5. Clean copies of the balance sheet and income statement
6. Any added graphics (optional)
Each report will be graded on the following criteria:
Adherence to the above guidelines
Professional overall appearance (hint: clean up financial statements from the web)
Proper use of subheadings and ease of navigation (hint: group by ratio groups)
Quality of supporting discussion and conclusions
Use of proper grammar, flow of discussion, and ease of reading
Use of visual aids (e.g., charts, tables, spreadsheets, etc.)
Quality/professional appearance of tables, charts, spreadsheets (labels, headings, etc.)
Clean copies of the original financial statements (i.e., balance sheets, income statements)
used must be attached to the report in the form of appendices.
All calculations should be provided in an attached appendix.
Chapter Problem Assignments (bonus points)
Students are expected to work all assigned problems from each chapter. At the start of the class
meeting following a chapter’s coverage, students may submit their work of the assigned problems
for bonus points credit for the chapter just covered by dropping off the assignment in the box
labeled “Fin341” just outside the instructor’s office (SELF200C). One problem from the list will
be randomly selected for effort and grading (1 bonus point per assignment).
Problem assignments are to be hand-written (not typed) and performed individually; not in teams.
All multi-page problem assignments must be stapled. Assignments that are secured by notched
edges, paperclips, or folders will be returned to the student with a grade of zero. Any work that is
sloppy or illegible will be returned with a grade of zero. Late assignments are unacceptable.
Mississippi College students are expected to be scrupulously honest. Dishonesty, such as cheating
or plagiarism, will be regarded as a serious offense subject to severe penalty including, but not
limited to, loss of credit and possible dismissal. See the MC Tomahawk or University Policy 2.19
for specific information. You are expected to work your assignments and exams individually,
performing your own writing. I am available to you for any questions and for help. Come see me.
Evaluation and Grading
Exam #1 100 90 - 100% A
Exam #2 100 80 - 89% B
Exam #3 (Final Exam) 100 70 - 79% C
Financial Analysis Report 30 60 - 69% D
Total Possible 330 points > 60% F
The School of Business provides a finance/accounting lab to help you with these two subjects.
The lab is staffed by graduate students who have taken this course, and who also have access to
the problem solutions. The lab is located in Self 101 (basement) and the lab hours will be posted
on the door. Please consider making use of this resource.
Additional Instructor Support
Beyond the classroom lectures, the instructor will be available to provide student assistance during
office hours in SELF200C and all hours via Moodle (on-line at: http://cosmo.mc.edu/moodle/ ).
The instructor will be available to:
answer student questions concerning the chapter or lecture material.
provide corrective assistance to students who have attempted an assigned problem and
failed to reach the correct answer (i.e., help with identifying the mistake).
provide hints in how to start a solution to an assigned problem (when the student is stuck
on how to begin).
While the instructor will have posted office hours, any time the instructor is in his office you are
welcomed to come in for help.
Recommended Text Estimated Number
Text Chapter: Topic Problems of Class Meetings
1: Overview of Fin Mgmt None 1
3: Financial Statements,
Cash Flow, and Taxes 1-8, 10-11 2
4: Analysis of Financial
Statements 1-13, 17-19, 22-23 3
5: The Time Value of
Money 1-12, 16-20, 22-25, 27, 29-37 3
7: Bonds and Their
Valuation 1-14, 17 2
8: Risk and Rates of Return 1-12, 14, 16-17 3
9: Stocks and Their
Valuation 1-13, 15, 19, 20 3
10: The Cost of Capital 1-9, 11-13, 15-19 3
11: The Basics of Capital
Budgeting 1-4, 6, 8-14 3
12: Cash Flow Estimation
and Risk 1-4, 6, 8-9 3
Final Exam (T.B.A.)