AC444      Half Unit
Valuation and Security Analysis

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Peter Pope OLD 5.04 and Dr Xi Li OLD 3.34


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, IMEX Exchange, MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Law and Accounting, MSc in Management and Regulation of Risk, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Risk and Finance and MiM Exchange. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Other students may be admitted to the course if they have a reasonable knowledge of financial accounting or finance acquired at undergraduate or equivalent level, and only with the agreement, in writing, of the MSc (Accounting) Course Tutor.


There are no formal prerequisites. However, students will be assumed to have a solid understanding of financial accounting principles, techniques and methods. Completion of AC416 is highly recommended for this course.

Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce students to security analysis and valuation from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Students are furthermore provided with an opportunity to apply their skills by valuing, in small groups, from the point of view of a "sell-side analyst", a firm's equity of their choice using technologies based on the present values of free cash flows and economic value added. The course should appeal to students interested in investment analysis and fund management.

The course is presented in three parts. The first part, financial analysis, focuses on past and present performance evaluation, which is used by financial analysts to generate expectations about future performance (prospective analysis). The second part, security valuation, focuses on the determination of intrinsic security prices, which, in efficient markets, reflect prospective performance. The third part, returns to fundamental and technical analysis, provides empirical evidence on returns to trading strategies based on either financial analysis or past stock returns.


30 hours of seminars in the LT.

Teaching is delivered in three hour sessions each week. Each session is conducted in groups of about 55 students, often involving case study analyses, individual or group presentations and discussions. This mode of teaching requires good advance preparation by the students; hence, every student should be ready to contribute to the discussion when called upon. Active participation is expected and encouraged.

Indicative reading

Lectures are based on Beccalli E and  Frantz, P, Valuation and Securities Analysis, 2012. Other books recommended include Penman S, Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation, McGraw-Hill, 2012,  as well as Palepu K, Healy B &  Bernard V, Business Analysis and Valuation, South-Western College Publishing, 2012. For background reading for the corporate valuation project: Koller T, Goedhart M & Wessels D, Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, Wiley, 2010, The course also relies on journal articles published in the financial analysis and financial markets literatures.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Project (30%) in the lent term.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 7.2
Merit 51.7
Pass 32.5
Fail 8.6

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2015/16: 130

Average class size 2015/16: 25

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills