, 2005; Biddle et al., 2009). Companies with more accurate financial reporting and greater control over reporting activities tend to perform better and demonstrate greater cohesion in their operations, as well, and also tend to lean towards more consistent profitability and stability, in addition (Graham et al., 2005; Doyle et al., 2007; Doyle et al., 2007a). Investment levels in firms with more consistent and accurate financial reports were also found to be more in keeping with expected results, signifying that models being used to make investment decisions were more well-founded and themselves more consistent, stable and reliable (Graham et al., 2005). While it is not exactly revolutionary to suggest that greater consistency in knowledge leads to a greater consistency in analysis and projection, the fact that this has been empirically evidenced argues quite strongly for the development of a more concrete and cohesive model of valuation.
Any such model must also take into account the effects that reporting standardization has on firm performance, and it is in this factor that a real problem of future projection and valuation can occur. Direct evidence from surveys and interviews with those in a position to have direct knowledge and influence on such decisions shows that executive and managers regularly make decisions that they know will lead to long-term losses (or diminished gains) for their firms in order to even out earnings reports and present an image of stable and sustained revenue to investors, in order to protect the value of current shareholders' ownership stakes in the company (Biddle et al., 2009). How this impacts competition and industries as a whole has yet to be thoroughly examined, though it seems clear that such behaviors make for complications in projecting based on current financial reports (Biddle et al., 2009). Though smaller companies tend to be more volatile and have weaker controls over their operations and their financial reporting, larger firms are more capable of manipulating both operations and financial reporting in attempts to increase stock value at the expense of real company value (Doyle et al., 2007a; Biddle et al., 2009). This type of activity is not likely to change without a fundamental change in the nature of publicly traded corporations however accounting for this trend in competitive industries such as the fast food industry is something that is both practically achievable and beneficial.
At the same time, research has shown a lack of correlation between accounting-specific weaknesses and overall firm weakness (Doyle et al., 2007). While weakness in accounting controls and reporting are often exploited to hide company-wide or operational weaknesses, and while reporting weaknesses can be the result of operational inefficiencies, the reverse relationship is not necessarily true (Doyle et al., 2007). Developing a model to determine more completely the connection between accounting and operational performance, and to equate this with competitive forces and realities in a specific industry, would assist analysts from all manner of perspectives and backgrounds in achieving more accurate and reliable results. By accounting for the factors in reporting and performance found in this literature review, it is hoped that this research will be able to yield such a model.
A mixed-methodology approach will be utilized in this research, with both qualitative and quantitative aspects of company performance, industry performance, economic indicators, and financial reporting accounted for. Data collection will include detailed recording of all relevant financial reports from the three identified fast-food companies (McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's) over the past decade, including both the numeric figures provided in company balance sheets, earnings reports, and the like, as well as qualitative assessments and projections made in the textual portions of annual reports and other company-issued statements or publications. Recording of stock prices over the same period will be made, with monthly averages recorded as the initial means of assessment but with weekly and even daily averages included around the time of financial reporting or statement releases from each of the companies, in order to more directly and minutely ascertain the impact that such reporting has on stock fluctuations, investor assessment, and market performance. Additional information will be collected from outside analysts that produced assessments of current strength and projections of future performance for each of these companies over the period examined, and large institutional buying and selling trends will also be examined to determine how well such assessments and analyses matched actual practical changes in behavior.
In order to determine any correlations found between the various data examined, extensive statistical analysis will need to be carried out. The current SPSS software will be more than capable of handling the statistical needs of this research, which will include regression analysis on many sets of variables identified from the information above. Attempts to quantify certain qualitative data in order to facilitate further analysis will also be made, depending on the regularity and the specificity of the qualitative information obtained, leading to a more comprehensive and nuanced view of how reporting, performance, and value creation are related. Any initial statistical correlations suggested by a first round of analysis will be used to guide further data collection and more rigorous and multi-faceted statistical analysis, eventually yielding a model of influence and correlation that will enable investors and other analysts to determine real company value and future profitability with greater confidence and reliability. By taking into account not simply the information reported by companies such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's, but also the range of information described above and as further determined in a more extensive literature review, it will be possible to develop such a model and to describe its expected relevance and reliability in making practical and applicable decisions. After initial development of the model, testing will need to occur; it is not yet clear whether this will be achievable as a part of the proposed research or if subsequent research will be needed to fully ascertain the validity of the model once created. Certainly other researchers will be encouraged to utilize and test the model developed in addition to any testing completed as a portion of this research, and areas for further examination and clarification will also be identified.
The aim of the proposed research is to develop a more accurate and comprehensive model for the valuation of publicly traded corporations than can currently be achieved through standard examination of financial reports and other internally produced figures and publications. While this goal might be considered quite lofty by many standards, it is one that is certainly within the practical limits of achievability given sufficient time and resources, and the benefits of such a model to both the academic and the practical worlds would be substantial. Careful analysis and review of financial reports and of company performance has been conducted in the past, and efforts to establish appropriate models have met with a fair amount of success, however as ongoing scandals and problems have demonstrated current understandings and controls of financial reporting and valuations are not adequate to meet the needs of modern investors or the global interconnectedness of the modern economy. Ongoing research in this area continues to identify discrepancies and breakdowns in current theories and models, yet no research has attempted a comprehensive assessment of these identified problems and their underlying factors. It is with an eye towards this level of comprehensiveness and the increased reliability and validity that it will bring to the assessment of corporation value and performance essential that this research is proposed.
The McDonalds corporation began as a drive-through in 1948 by two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald. Businessman and entrepreneur, Raymond Albert Kroc, a salesman, sought a great opportunity in this market and advised Dick and Mac to expand their operation and open new restaurants. In 1961 Ray Kroc bought out McDonalds. Within 6 years, in 1967 this restaurant expanded its operations to countries outside the United States. Kroc permitted anyone to open a franchise, and took 1.9% of each franchise as profits. He pays 0.5% to the McDonald's brothers. In 1961, when Kroc purchased McDonald's from the brothers, he did so for the hefty sum of 2.7 million dollars. In 1968 the Ray Kroc expanded the McDonalds appeal and introduced a show to attract the children, named "Bozo the Clown." This was a hit for many decades and in 1990, McDonalds was one of the most profitable years ever. In this year Mcdonald's franchises expanded all over the world and has become the standard to which many other food chains aspire to achieve.
1940: In 1940 Dick and Mac McDonald opened BBQ restaurant
1948: McDonalds became a self-service drive in restaurant and added 9 more items.
1949: McDonalds introduced world famous french fries and Triple Thick Milkshakes. 1955: On 15th April Kroc opened the first franchise of McDonalds