Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter

What a week.

Had to write an Accounting WAC this week. (WAC stands for "Written Analysis of Case.") My task was compute key performance ratios from the annual statements of Ryanair and easyJet and decide which was a better midterm investment.

Accounting has been a difficult subject for me. In theory, I should be fine at this. I have always been a math person, and I am good at questioning and analyzing. But I'm so not used to doing things like this. Let's just say it's been a struggle.

So I spent a lot of time on it. Others on my team did the ratios, and I then did them on my own to check my work. (I did fine.) I read the annual reports and pulled all sorts of interesting info out of them. Basically, the Ryanair CEO is an aggressive guy who's out there pissing people off and making enemies and doing anything to make a buck. (As anyone who's flown Ryanair will tell you.) The easyJet CEO is new...he did a turn-around for the RAC recently, and now he's joined easyJet to do the same. He's compensated by significant stock options, and the more their profits grow the more he gets. And he's a Cranfield grad, so I can network with him through the alumni organization. Plus, management aside, easyJet is nicer, they invest in their people, and they are doing more to improve the environment.

You can tell from the paragraph above that I lean towards easyJet. Which goes totally against the numbers, as Ryanair's performance is really good (18% growth in earnings per share last year) and easyJet's are not (just 3%). The only saving grace was that their profit:earnings ratio indicates they're in a growth mode. My team thought I was crazy. Numbers say Ryanair...so you recommend Ryanair. I say no risk no payoff...bet the longshot and hope that the promise is realized.

Luckily this was an independent project, so I was able to write what I wanted and they did what they believed. I guarantee that less than 15% of the class will come to the same conclusion, but I stick by my recommendation. easyJet is the one to watch.

So when I finished the homework, it was already the Easter weekend. Easter is a four-day event here...Good Friday and Easter Monday are both bank holidays. I had work to do, so I did a bit of that. I had taxes to do, so I finished them. (Don't have tax liability in the US now, so I was quite please with my refund.) Finished my 40 at 40 and burned a sample to test for flow. Have identified a couple of tweaks, but we're almost there. Studied Statistics, the other vexing subject, as I have a WAC coming on Friday for that one. Mowed the lawn for the first time of the season.

OH! And I got a new refrigerator. The one I had was tiny, didn't shut well, and was probably built in about 1970. The new one is larger, auto-defrosting, and clean, new, and shiny. Very pleased.

This is a short week at work, but looks to be long as I have two major projects to finish in three days since I'm out Friday for school. And then Sunday I fly to Africa. I'm going to Botswana and Zambia for work. Will take lots of pictures.

2 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

Ryanair is cooking their books. The CEO that pisses everyone off will be in jail before the decade is out.

Coaster Punchman said...

To prevent any potential liability for slander, the gentle readers of Melinda June are hereby advised that the comment above is a JOKE. Satire does not equal slander.