CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, STANISLAUS
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
BUS 5200 Strategic Finance for Executives
EMBA, 2011 (Turlock Cohort #6)
Instructor: Sophie Zong, Ph.D
Office: Demergasso-Bava Hall #239
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please specify “BUS5200” in the subject line.)
Office hours: by appointments
Class Time: Saturdays 1:00 am – 5:00 pm in S104
• Analysis for Financial Management, 9th Edition, by Robert C. Higgins, 2009.
• Case Studies in Finance, 6th Edition, by Robert F. Bruner, Kenneth M. Eades, and
Michael J. Schill, 2010.
Recommended Financial Press: The Wall Street Journal
This course prepares students for a comprehensive understanding of financial information
and financial performance of various institutions. The purpose of the course is to give
students a thorough introduction regarding financial management, which blends relevant
theories with practical applications. Attention will be focused on financial management of
business enterprises and its relation to other management areas. Topics to be covered
include Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Performance Evaluation and Forecast,
Financing Decisions, Capital Budgeting, Cost of Capital, and Financial Markets.
This course attempts to help develop a "financial way of thinking." Through this
eleven-week study, we hope to “equip you to participate fully and creatively in the
resolution of the many financial issues facing your organization. Most of you will not be
ready to replace the chief financial officer or the treasurer after this class, but all of you
should be able to work productively with these individuals and to assess the financial
implications of your own decisions.” (Robert C. Higgins – the author of one of our
This course will be a blended learning process that uses a combination of online sessions
and face-to-face lectures, discussion, group and individual assignments. One feature is the
extensive use of case problems and exercises that provide applications of theories to
financial decisions involving ratio analysis, capital structure planning, cost of capital,
capital budgeting, dividend policy, and valuation of enterprises. During each class meeting
time, one or two cases will be analyzed/presented. It is extremely important that students
participate in the class discussions.
• Course Participation
Students will be evaluated by the participation in the case discussions and the contributions
to enhance the understanding of the topic covered. Participation accounts for 20% of each
student’s overall performance. Students are expected to be prepared for every class and
participate in class discussions. Students should have thoroughly prepared for the assigned
case, reviewed previous lectures notes, and been ready to answer and ask questions during
classes. A necessary (but not sufficient) requirement for participation is presence.
Conditional on presence, participation is determined by the quality, not quantity, of
• Self-Evaluation Journal
Every student is required to write a personal learning journal to document one’s
self-evaluation of the learning process. The journal could include (but not limited to):
Short (less than one page) summaries of each reading
Key concepts from each session
Issues and concepts carrying forward to future sessions
A conclusion of the entire course (this should include expectations, actual learning,
ideas on applying concepts/skills to your future work, and future interests)
Your journal should be between 10 and 20 pages in length (double-spaced). The journal
will be due on March 19, 2011 (one week after the last class) via email (send to
• Group Case Study
The class will be divided into 7 groups (4 students in each group). Each group is
responsible for one case study and presentation. Here are responsibilities for presenting
group and audience groups for each case.
1. Assign one discussion question to each audience group.
2. Conduct an oral presentation; lead the class discussion on key issues, and answer
challenging questions from the audience.
3. Submit a written report of the case
1. Submit a written answer to the assigned discussion question as a group.
2. Participate in discussions, be responsible specifically for the question assigned
3. Evaluate the presentation as a group.
The presentation will be evaluated by both the instructor and the audience. Each group will
receive a group grade 1 for the case, which combines the presentation grade and the written
report grade. The case report is due on the day of presentation. The audience groups
submit a written answer to the assigned questions and receive credit towards case study
In case of potential free riders, peer evaluation will be conducted via emails if the need arises. Each group
member will evaluate other members’ contributions to the case preparation in the same group. The individual
grade is then determined by the group grade and the peer evaluation results.
• On-line Sessions
On-line sessions are designed to transfer control of learning process to students. In this
course, two online sessions are included where students are expected to read relevant
chapters, explore the topics, and complete individual projects. At the same time, we will
utilize the discussion forum on Blackboard to collaborate, exchanging ideas and discussing
relevant issues. Students are encouraged to initiate discussions in the forum and respond to
During each on-line session, one individual project is assigned. Details are as follows:
1. Individual Project on Financial Crisis
Students are required to conduct an on-line individual project (3-5 pages) during the first
on-line session on Feb. 5. The topic is to review the financial crisis since the sub-prime
mortgage loan crisis in 2007. The purpose of this project is for students to understand what
has happened and its implications to the economy. Students are encouraged to review the
financial crisis from a personal perspective. A timeline of the financial crisis is required to
attach to your report. A hard copy of the project report is due on Feb. 12.
2. Individual Case Study on Investment Decisions
Capital budgeting skills are essential to financial managers. Case #17 (The Investment
Detective) is therefore assigned as an Individual Case Study. Students are encouraged to
discuss this case with classmates and with the instructor in the on-line forum. However,
every student needs to complete the case study individually by answering the four
questions in the case with relevant calculations demonstrated to support the arguments. A
hard copy of the Individual Case Study is due on Mar. 5.
• Grading Policy
The final grade will be determined as follows:
Course Participation 20%
Self-evaluation Journal 30%
Group Case Study & Presentation 30%
Online Individual Project 10%
Online Individual Case Study 10%
Note: Course Participation includes participation in regular class discussions, participation
in case studies, and participation in the on-line sessions.
Grades will be assigned as follows:
93 to 100 points A
90 to 92.9 points A-
87 to 89.9 points B+
83 to 86.9 points B
80 to 82.9 points B-
77 to 79.9 points C+
73 to 76.9 points C
70 to 72.9 points C-
60 to 69.9 points D
59.9 or fewer points F
• Special Needs: Students desiring a reasonable accommodation under the disabilities must
contact the instructor immediately to discuss their needs.
• Academic Dishonesty: Personal integrity and adherence to university policies on
academic honesty are crucial. Though discussions are strongly encouraged, all
assignments (except for the Group Case Study) have to be completed individually.
Tentative Class Schedule* – BUS 5200 Turlock Cohort#6 2011
Date Topic and Assignment
Jan. 15 The Introduction of Corporate Finance and Discounted Cash Flow Evaluations
Reading: CH7 (p.252-257, Higgins) and Lecture Notes
Jan. 22 Financial Statement, Evaluating Performance, and Forecasting
Reading: CH1&2 (Higgins)
Case Presentation: #7 Crispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
Jan. 29 Financial Planning and Growth
Reading: CH3&4 (Higgins)
Case Presentation: #12 Value Line Publishing, Oct.2002
Feb. 5 Online Session - A Special Topic about Financial Markets
Individual Project: 2007-2009 Financial Crisis
Reading: CH5 (Higgins)
Feb.12 Financing Decisions
Reading: CH6 (Higgins)
Case Presentation: #33 California Pizza Kitchen
Online Individual Project Due
Feb. 19 Investment Decisions
Reading: CH7 (Higgins)
Case Presentation: #20 Aurora Textile Company
Feb. 26 Online Session – Investment Decisions
Individual Case Study: #17 The Investment Detective Capital Budgeting
Mar. 5 Decisions and Risk Analysis
Reading: CH8 (Higgins)
Case Presentation: #14 Nike, Inc: Cost of Capital
# 24 Euroland Foods S.A.
Online Individual Case Study Due
Mar. 12 Business Valuation and Reconstruction
Reading: CH9 (Higgins)
Case Presentations: #42 Arcadian microarray Technologies, Inc.
Mar. 19 Self-evaluation Journal Due via email
*The instructor reserves the right of changing the schedule when it is necessary.