Week 5 Discussion Forum
With no less than 300 words, post an initial reply to the question below by Thursday at 11:55 p.m. Central Time. Then please respond to at least two classmates’ post with a sentence or two about their post by Sunday at 11:55 p.m. CT. In most cases responding to the instructor posts will also count. Please note that you will not see your classmates’ messages until you create your initial post.
Online Forum Discussion:
Staci Sutter works as an analyst for Independent Investment Bank Shares (IIBS), which is a large investment banking organization. She has been evaluating an initial public offering (IPO) that IIBS is handling for a technology company named ProTech Incorporated. Staci is essentially finished with her analysis, and she is ready to estimate the price for which the stock should be offered when it is issued next week. According to her analysis, Staci has concluded that ProTech is financially strong and is expected to remain financially strong long into the future. In fact, the figures provided by ProTech suggest that the firm’s growth will exceed 30% during the next 5 years. For these reasons, Staci is considering assigning a value of $35 per share to ProTech’s stock.
Staci, however, has an uneasy feeling about the validity of the financial figures she has been evaluating. She believes that Protech’s CFO has given her what he believes are “quality financial statements”. Yesterday Staci received an email from a friend, who was an executive at ProTech until he was fired a few months ago, that suggests that the company has been artificially inflating its sales by selling products to an affiliate company and then repurchasing the same items a few months later. At the same time, Staci received a memo from her boss, Mr. Baker, who has made it clear that he thinks the ProTech IPO can be extremely profitable to top management “if it is handled correctly.” In his memo, Mr. Baker indicates that the issue price of ProTech’s stock must be at least $34 per share for the IPO to be considered successful by IIBS.
Part of Staci’s uneasiness stems from the fact that a coworker confided that she had seen the CEO of ProTech and his wife at an amusement park with Mr. Baker and his wife last month. If she discovers that ProTech’s sales figures are inflated, Staci surely would assign a different value to the company’s stock for the IPO. But it will take her at least two weeks to completely reevaluate the company using different data. Staci knows that if she stays with her current analysis and she is wrong, the consequences can destroy IIBS because reputation is important in the investment banking business.
If you were in Staci’s situation, what would you do? (Please address in your initial post the following: (1) What is the ethical dilemma? (2) Should IIBS delay the Protech’s IPO until more information can be gathered about “information” Staci received recently and (3) What action do you think Staci, IIBS, or both should take?
Susanne Craig, “As Investors Win Arbitrations, Brokerage Houses Keep Paying,” The Wall Street Journal Online, March 17, 2004. (http://online.wsj.com/)
Week 5 Discussion Forum