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1.1Background of the study

Financial statement analysis is a process which examines past and current financial data for the purpose of evaluating performance and estimating future risks and potential. Financial statement analysis is used by investors creditors, security analysts, bank leading officers, manager, taxing authorities, regulatory agencies, labor unions, customers and many other parties who rely on financial data for making economic decision about a company. Emphasis of this course is placed on the need of investors, especially shareholder and bond holders.

Analysis of financial statements focuses primarily on data provided in external reports plus supplementary information provided by management. The analysis should identify major changes or turning point in trends, amounts, and relationships. Financial statements are merely summaries of detailed financial information. Many different groups are interested in getting inside financial statement, especially investors and creditors. Their objectives are sometimes different but often related. However, the basic tool and techniques of financial statement only can be effectively applied by all of the interested groups.

Financial statement analysis can assist investor and creditor in finding the type of information they require for making decisions relating to their interests in a particular company.

Investment analysts and financial advisor have a major interest in the tools and techniques of financial statement analysis. Such person has the same basic information needs as investors and creditors as it relates to their clients and potential clients. Analysts frequency adjust the financial statements prepared by accountants for items they do not consider significant or for items they consider significant but which do not appear on the statement.


Servant factors point toward the importance of “comparability” of financial statement information across firms in financial analysis. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (2000), when investors judge the merits of investments and comparability of investment, efficient allocation of capital is facilitated and investor confidence nurtured. The usefulness of comparable financial statement is under cored in the financial accounting standard board (FASB) accounting concepts statement specially, the FASB (2000) states that “investing and lending decision essentially involve evaluations of alternative opportunities and they cannot be made rationally is comparative information is not available” (our emphasis). Financial statement analysis text books almost invariable stress the importance of comparability across financial statements in judging a fir’s performance using financial ratios for instance, Stickney and Weil (2006) conclude that “ratios, by themselves out of context, provide little information”. Despite the importance of comparability, a measure of financial statement comparability is not specified and there is little evidence on its benefits to financial statement users.

The financial communication process is vital in the economic life. Research carried out on the financial communication procedures of the first 100 largest  industrial and trade company groups has shown that financial accounting information is the main element of a company’s financial communication policy. Both the amount of information published and especially its quality are important, which has been continuously improving due to the harmonization of international accounting standards and which therefore enabled the companies to engage in an information competition with other companies operating at national or international level.

At the beginning, financial statement only allowed a better accounting data organization their synthesis and they were not involved in the economic decision-making process, as accounting was considered a more tool used for company assets preservation.

Corporate annual reports and financial statements in a particular are expected to be produced by all business entities in regular interval. The statements are considered on important means not only for gauging the performance of the entity but also for understanding how money invested in the entities to make pertinent decisions.

Much earlier studies confirm that financial statements have information content (Brown and Kennelly, 2003) that has value to the users of use statement. This value includes the ability to use financial statement to predict performance of entities (Abdel-Khalik and Espejo, 2007, Coates 2001, Reilly et al 2007).

Decision making is not the core of every investment activity. A decision is a choice between two or more alternatives. The implementation of meaningful decision gives way for achievement of investment goals and objectives while implementation of wrong decision positively gives rise to investment failure.

The ultimate objective for investments are profit maximization and growth thus it becomes necessary that capital decision have to be made implemented so as achieve the aforementioned objectives.

For a meaningful decision that will be used in these objectives for an investment to be made available analyzed and studied through what is derived, decision is made an implemented whether for action execution or corrective measures where necessary.

One of the important information needed about investment is concerned with financial aspect and the record that contains the financial aspect of an investment is what is referred to as analysis of financial statement.

This research work is based on financial statement as a tool for evaluating performance of companies investment decision the researcher will base her analysis on Nigerian Breweries Plc 9th mile Conner Enugu.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many investors are known to have entered into investment ventures without property understanding such investment opportunity, thus making and implementing wrong decision thereby ending up in folding up when the going proved impossible.  At times when the investment activities go on, the aim for such action not realized. Many investment are carried out without emphasis laid on those investments that would generate profitable returns in the future, the risk involved and the benefits to be derived if embarked upon given the scare financial resources and the resultant effect of failure.  Such set back is the life of an investor and in the case of brewery firms, liquidation.

All the above stated problem arises as a result of wrong decision making hence, this study will therefore, identify the means through which meaningful decision can be derived as to enhances the changes available for investment entities or firms through analyzing information concerning such investment opportunities.

The following problems led to the formation of this research work:

  1. Breweries firms in Nigeria have been recognizing the importance of financial statement in decision making.
  2. Nigerian breweries have not been observing the impacts of financial statement in business decision making.
  3. There are so many problems associated with the analysis of financial statement in an organization and proffer solutions to the problems.

1.3  Research Objectives

The general objective of this study is to ascertain the role of financial statement in investment decision making in Nigeria , Nigerian Breweries Plc in particular.

The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To examine how financial statement as a set of analytical tools aid prospective investors in assessing the financial position of the corporate business.
  2. To evaluate the performance of a company for investment decision making from a financial statement perspective.

iii.     To appraise the fundamental use of financial statement information, this is to provide information for investment decision making.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How does financial statement as analytical tools aid prospective investors in assessing the financial position of the corporate business?
  2. Are financial statements useful for forecasting company’s performance?

iii.     To what extent does the financial statement information enable users to get the required information for investment decision making?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will enhance benefit to different types of stakeholders by improving their organisation performance, such stakeholders are financial analysts, investors and other financial organisation by widening their knowledge on the use of the financial statement in decision making process

The study will make organisation (Nigerian Breweries Plc to appreciate the importance of sound financial statement in provision of information necessary for decision making.

Finally this research will equally serve as reference to students in this noble institution and other school who may be interested to embark on further research study.

1.6  Scope of the Study

This study was limited to Nigerian Breweries Plc specifically 9th mile Conner Enugu.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

  1. Limited timelines. The researcher was not able to extend the frontiers of his study to capture many issues in regard to the role of financial statements in investments decision making. This is because the researcher needs to meet the University specified deadline.
  2. Financial Limitation. The researcher had to minimize cost by utilizing little time in the field by being very specific so as to have study done under the limited financial resources.

iii.     Furthermore, the scope of this study aims at investigating the role of financial statements in investments decision making. Researcher depended on findings obtained from respondents in the selected samples. This limited generalization of findings.

  1. There are limited literature sources to explain all is needed in regard to the role of financial statements in investments decision making in the context of Nigeria.

1.8 Definitions of terms

Financial Statements: Represent a formal record of the financial activities of an entity. These are written reports that quantify the financial strength, performance and liquidity of a company. Financial Statements reflect the financial effects of business transactions and events on the entity

Financial Information: Data such as credit card numbers, credit ratings, account balances, and other monetary facts about a person or organization that are used in billing, credit assessment, loan transactions, and other financial activities. Financial information must be processed in order for business to be conducted, but it must also be carefully handled by businesses in order to ensure security for customers and to avoid the litigation and bad publicity that can stem from negligent or improper use.  Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/financialinformation.html#ixzz3Pl9ahB00  obtained on 20.02.2015.

Investment: There are two main classes of investment are (1) Fixed income investment such as bonds, fixed deposits, preference shares, and (2) Variable income investment such as business ownership (equities), or property ownership. In economics, investment means creation of capital or goods capable of producing other goods or services. Expenditure on education and health is recognized as an investment in human capital, and research and development in intellectual capital. Return on investment (ROI) is a key measure of an organizational performance. Read more:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/investment.html#ixzz3PlBpAYTt  Obtained on 20.02.2015.

Financial Ratios: A financial analysis comparison in which certain financial statement items are divided by one another to reveal their logical  interrelationships. Some financial ratios (such as net sales to net worth  ratio and net income to net sales ratio) are called primary because they indicate the fundamental causes underlying a company’s strengths. Others (such as current assets to current liabilities ratio, and current liabilities to net worth ratio) are called secondary because they depict the company’s competitive position and financial structure as effects of the causes identified by the primary ratios. See also activity ratios, efficiency ratios, investment ratios, leverage ratios, liquidity ratios, and profitability ratios


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