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Course Syllabus

Course Information

FIN 6305-501
Corporate Finance and Policy
Fall 2006
Room Number – SOM 1.508 (1.502 on September 5th and 1.517 on November 14th)
Time – Tuesdays 4-6:45 PM

Professor Contact Information

INSTRUCTOR: David Springate

SM 1.708
(972) 883-2647
Fax (972) 883-6381

SUPPORT: Cindi Godwin

SM 1.701
(972) 883-5941

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions

Finance 6301and MECO 6201, or their equivalents, are required first courses. These, in turn,
require ACCT 6305 and OPRE 6301 as pre-requisites. You must have the basics.

Course Description

FIN 6305 Corporate Finance and Policy (3 semester hours) Cases involving financial situations
encountered in general management and financial management. Special emphasis is placed on

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes

My aims in this course are to:

1. Have you appreciate the power of financial markets to guide corporate actions in a
market-based, capitalistic economy. We have all entrusted our well-being to a system
that, in large measure, rewards those actions expected to result in greater wealth creation.
We should better understand how the system works, especially in that we are students of

2. Give you increased understanding and appreciation of many of the models, analytical
tools and financial concepts introduced in FIN 6301. I want you to better understand
their power and their limitations. We will do this, in part, by examining corporate and
financial policies in non-financial corporations while simultaneously using the models
and concepts.

Course Syllabus Page 1

3. Make you more comfortable with the necessity to use judgments and live with
uncertainty in applying financial models, analytical tools and financial concepts. Finance
is a discipline with developed theory. Often, however, we must estimate a parameter or
work around the fact that we do not know its exact value. Furthermore, the results of any
analysis must be interpreted for usefulness to the corporation and the individual. In most
cases, judgments are called for. Said another way, we will address real world ambiguity
in this course.

4. Increase your ability to manage risk and decide on an appropriate level of corporate risk.

5. Have you better comprehend the role of a corporate chief financial officer as he/she
works to measure results, enhance value, manage risk and finance
operations/opportunities in non-financial corporations. We will continually work with
some major aspects of the role.

6. Have you internalize that financial and corporate policies come together in an important
way. Increasingly, financial officers are involved in improving corporate operations and
organizations. They have always been involved in making strategic decisions. This is, in
part, because financial officers think in terms of value. It is also because financial
officers are regarded as the executives responsible for either reducing proposed actions to
the level of numbers or verifying numbers produced by others. To regard corporate
finance and corporate policy as being mutually supportive is logical. I aim to increase
your capacity to make the necessary links.

In short, I hope to increase your professional capability and have you become a better
manager or executive.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Your finance textbook will serve well as a reference text. In addition, you will need the book,
sixteen required cases and two notes listed below. They can be obtained from the Off-campus
Bookstore or the On-campus Bookstore. In several instances readings may be distributed to you.

Harvard Business School - Baker:

Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES 9-204-109
Radio One, Inc. 9-201-025
The Continuing Transformation of Asahi Glass: Implementing EVA 9-205-030
Arundel Partners: The Sequel Project 9-292-140
A Real World Way to Manage Real Options R-04403G
Investment Opportunities as Real Options:
Getting Started on the Numbers 98404
The Sealed Air Corporation’s Leveraged Recapitalization (A) 9-294-122
Dividend Policy at Linear Technology 9-204-066
Nelson Paper Products 9-294-129
United Parcel Services IPO 9-103-015
Diageo plc 9-201-033
MW Petroleum (A) 9-295-029
CNW Corporation 9-295-077
Bankruptcy and Restructuring at Marvel Entertainment Group 9-298-059
Wells Fargo Convertible Bonds 9-206-022
Liability Management at General Motors 9-293-123

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University of Virginia- Darden
Empirical Chemicals (A): The Merseyside Project UVA-F-1020

Northwestern University - Kellogg

Bed Bath and Beyond: The Capital Structure Decision KEL082

Finance for Strategic Decision Making by M. Narayanan and V. Nanda, Wiley, 2003.

Assignments & Academic Calendar

Start of Section of Improving Value through Investment Choices, Acquisitions and

Risk Management

1. Class 1 – August 22
We will start with discussion of class objectives. I will introduce the course more
generally and encourage group formation. Later, we will use the Radio One, Inc, case to
start our case discussions and to learn to better work together. We will concentrate on
examining the basic corporate valuation model: identifying the free cash flows,
appropriate discount rates, growth rates and terminal values. We will calculate NPV.
We will also consider comparisons with trading and transactions multiplier values.

2. Class 2 – August 29
We will move to a consideration of measuring improved value of a proposed project for a
multi-divisional company. In the Empirical Chemicals (A) case we will consider some
tricky issues such as sales erosion and allocation of corporate overhead costs as well as
the choice of criteria by which to judge projects (NPV vs. Earnings). These represent
important policy issues.

3. Class 3 – September 5
The case will be CNW Corporation. Topics to be discussed as we consider this leveraged
acquisition include: the reliability of projections that assume operating improvements,
the valuation of a company and the assessment of a complicated capital structure. Risk
management will also be considered.

First Written Assignment – September 5

It is my intention to assign Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES.
More details on the assignment, due on September 19th, will follow.

4. Class 4 – September 12
The case is The Continuing Transformation of Asahi Glass: Implementing EVA. It will
allow us to investigate the use of a new management system for resource allocation and
performance measurement and consider how this system relates to improved corporate
value. We will compare NPV to EVA. (Class will end at 6:00 PM this day.)

5. Class 5 – September 19
We will continue to work together on the value of real options and how to measure their
value. We will compare option values to expected NPV. The case considered will be
Arundel Partners: The Sequel Project. Two readings will also be discussed. They
include A Real World Way to Manage Real Options and Investment Opportunities as
Real Options: Getting Started on the Numbers.

6. Class 6 – September 26
The case will be MW Petroleum (A). This is a comprehensive valuation case involving
discounted cash flows and option pricing.
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Start of Section on Improving Value Through Financial Structure and Risk

7. Class 7 – October 3
Bed Bath and Beyond: The Capital Structure Decision case will be considered. BBB had
no debt on its balance sheet. We will examine the merits of such a policy and trade-offs
between risks and flexibility.

8. Class 8 – October 10
On this date we will consider the Diageo plc case. It continues our consideration of
leverage and gearing and risk management. Financial distress and tax benefits will be
part of the discussion. Group presentations will be utilized. (Class will end at 6 PM this

9. Class 9 – October 17
We will move to the Wells Fargo Convertible Bonds case. This will allow us to consider
the influence of investor demand and market conditions on corporate financial strategy.

10. Class 10 – October 24

The Nelson Paper Products case will involve us with question of whether or not an
acquisition makes strategic sense, how much it is worth, and how it should be financed as
part of an on-going financing program.

11. Class 11 – October 31

The Sealed Air Corporation’s Leveraged Recapitalization (A) case will provide a context
to explore how financing decisions affect organizational structure, management decision
making, firm value and risk.

12. Class 12 – November 7

The case will be Liability Management at General Motors. It is important that we
consider derivatives in the active management of a debt portfolio. Group presentations
will be used. Considerations of risk pervade the case.

13. Class 13 – November 14

We will take up the case Dividend Policy at Linear Technology. The session will give us
the chance to review our understanding of how best to make choices within dividend
policy. (Class will end at 6 PM this day.)

Second Written Assignment – November 14

It is my plan to assign Bankruptcy and Restructuring at Marvel Entertainment Group, due
November 28. More details will follow.

14. Class 14 – November 21

We will discuss United Parcel Services IPO. In judging the worth of the company,
consideration of its performance and strength relative to other firms will be explored.

15. Class 15 – November 28

The paper assigned on November 14 will be due in lieu of an examination.

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Grading Policy

Class participation: depth of analysis, effort, frequency 40%

Group presentations: content and effectiveness of two cases 20%
Individual written work: two cases expected 40%
Grades considered will include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- and F.

Course & Instructor Policies

To pursue the course objectives we must, I believe, often put ourselves in the shoes of a financial
officer. This will frequently involve revisiting decisions to be taken in a corporate context using
a published case. If you do not like case analysis, please reconsider your enrollment in this
course. In addition to case analysis we will use instructor lectures, individual papers and two
group presentations in the course. Also, we will be visited, I hope, by two active financial

Class preparation is important for our sessions as well as class attendance and disciplined
behavior. I encourage you to form small groups to hold preliminary group discussions. Formal
roles will occasionally be assigned to your groups. Each will conduct a presentation making up
part of a week’s class.

There will be no make-up exam. There will be no extra-credit given for assignment. Late work
will be accepted.

Field Trip Policies


Student Conduct & Discipline

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and
regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility
of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and
regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student
conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is
provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of
recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the
Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, Part 1,
Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the
university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations
are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are
available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-

A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of
citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the
Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to
discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or
off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
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Academic Integrity

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.
Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work
done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high
standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related
to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s
own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty
involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying
academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from
any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on
plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of
turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.

Email Use

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication
between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises
some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange.
The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a
student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from
students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the
university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual
corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each
student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university
personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method
for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.

Withdrawal from Class

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level
courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog.
Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle
withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any
student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final
grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.

Student Grievance Procedures

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other

fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a
serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or
committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).
Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and
evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be
submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If
the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student
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may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the
School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate
or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic
Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the
academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of
Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and

Incomplete Grade Policy

As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably
missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An
incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the
subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the
incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is
changed automatically to a grade of F.

Disability Services

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational

opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in
room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to
6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22
PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable
adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example,
it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals
(in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment
requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation
for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students with mobility
impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or
university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or
mobility assistance.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an
accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty
members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.
Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or
during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required
activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose
places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas
Code Annotated.

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The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible
regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused,
will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time
after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one
week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or
assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the
exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that
exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose
of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the
student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or
examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief
executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or
designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student
and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities

Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law
and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities.
Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address
given below. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean.
(http://www.utdallas.edu/Business Affairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm)

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.

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