EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Measuring Performance with Public Information


  1. Read:/Review as needed to analyze Cisco (CSCO)
    1. Cisco investor relations*
    2. Yahoo! Finance page
    3. Bing Finance page
  2. Read:/Review as needed to analyze Oracle (ORCL)
    1. Oracle investor relations*
    2. Yahoo! Finance page
    3. Bing Finance page

    * - review links to Stock Info, Earnings Releases, SEC Filings, 10-K, 10-Q, etc.


In this class, we use publicly available information to analyze and compare company strategy and performance. The goal here is to dig into and understand the relative performance of these two key companies, Cisco and Oracle.

Cisco and Oracle filings contain background financial data on Cisco and Oracle from their 10K filing for the fiscal year end 2012. This public information provides a detailed raw look at the financial results of a company and its products using generally accepted Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards.

The annual financial results are reported to investors and the government in a 10-K document summarizing the entire year, as well as 10-Q documents for every other quarter throughout the year.

Discussion Questions

  1. What types of information do the following items provide?
    1. Proxy statement
    2. Annual report
    3. 10-K
    4. 10-Q
  2. Using data from the sources listed above, and other public documents or websites if necessary, analyze and compare the performance of the two companies along the following metrics:
    1. Risk Factors (10-K). How significant are the risks? Are these statements really describing the real risks the companies are facing?
    2. Financial Performance (Yahoo! Finance, Bing Finance). Consider performance metrics like revenue growth, income, balance sheet strength, R&D spending, and stock price.
    3. Company Mission Statements ("Business" section of 10-K). Do these mission statements articulate what business each company is actually in? Which company's mission statement is more compelling, and why?
    4. Success. How successful have Cisco and Oracle been from the perspectives of employees, shareholders, and customers?
    5. Investment Potential. As an investor, which company would you recommend for investment, and why?