Sappi Ltd.: International Competitive Benchmarks and Financial Gap Analysis

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Icon Group International, Incorporated, Oct 1, 2000 - 24 pages
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SAPPI LTD., is it financially competitive? There is no absolute answer to such a question. How does this firm's asset structure vary compared to global benchmarks? Does it hold more cash and other short term assets, or does it concentrate its assets in physical plant and equipment? On the liability side, does it have a higher percent of payables compared to the benchmarks, or does it hold a higher concentration of long term debt? The structure of the income statement is more telling. Does the firm have a relatively higher costs of goods sold, operating costs, or income taxes compared to its global benchmarks? Are their returns on equity higher? Are profit margins greater? Are inventories held longer? The report does so by going beyond traditional analyses by considering companies competing in the same or similar industrial classification at a global level. The goal of this report, therefore, is to assist consultants, financial managers, strategic planners, and corporate officers in gauging indicators of a company's financial structure compared to firms competing or participating in the same economic sector, at the global level. This report is not about whether a particular company or industry has performed well or poorly in the past or will do so in the future. With the globalization of markets, greater foreign competition, and the reduction of entry barriers, it becomes all the more important to benchmark a company's financial indicators against other firms on a worldwide basis. Doing so, however, is not an obvious task. First, one needs to find firms competing in the same sector, but not necessarily competing directly with the company in local markets. These firmsshould not be perceived, therefore, to be direct competitors to the company in question, but simply those that have been classified by various sources (e.g. EDGAR or similar foreign filings), as competing to serve customers in the same link of the value chain, or broad industrial classific

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