The focus of your analysis should be to help senior management to make an informed decision about how to address the problem or challenge they are currently facing. Be focused and concise, and make sure your Analysis is free of any spelling or grammatical errors and is professional and polished.
The case analysis should begin with a Title that specifies the type of document, the company, and the financial issue you are addressing. It should begin with an Executive Summary that states in the first paragraph the key problem(s) and your suggested solution(s) to the problem(about one page). Refrain from reviewing company history as the target audience of your analysis is Ceres senior management.
You will need to include around two additional pages of analysis which explain and defend your definition of the problem and your recommended solution to the problem. Any quantitative results or analysis should be presented in plain language directed to a non-technical reader and should be justified in attached appendices which derive and document the figures. In this case, at a minimum you must attach your completed forecasted financial statements to your analysis. Remember that the tables and appendices must be explained in the document; you must not require the reader to interpret any tables or formulas for themselves. They should fully understand those tables and appendices by reading your written explanation in the body of the analysis. The tables and appendices are there for reference only, if the reader would like to confirm or further explore the derivation or assumptions.
The analysis of Ceres Gardening should focus on forecasting the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows for years 2007-2009, as indicated on the Student Spreadsheet accompanying the case in your Coursepack. You will need to make, specify and explain your assumptions about sales growth, and the relationship between sales and Cost of Goods Sold and other relevant variables in the three financial statements. Use these forecasts to develop and explain the problem(s) Ceres Gardening management is facing, and to support and document your recommended solutions to the problem. To guide your analysis consider these questions:
How has the company grown through 2006? (e.g., What role did their marketing strategy play in its recent growth? What are its growth prospects in 2007 through 2009?
Is Ceres financially healthy? What parts of the financial statements might be a reason for confidence or a cause of concern? Focus on the most important of each of these.
Is their current Marketing Strategy sustainable? Define the strategy and explain. What role do the Inventory (including the leftover inventory of seeds held by the Garden Centers that did n