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Good business

February 8, 2016

MSU Denver students competed at the CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual event that provides university students with intensive training in financial analysis.
MSU Denver students competed at the CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual event that provides university students with intensive training in financial analysis.

Through a competitive process, the Department of Finance selected students Scott Alvarez, Kaylyn Swank and Evan Stathopulos to represent MSU Denver at the seventh annual CFA Institute Research Challenge, a competition that provides university students with intensive training in financial analysis.

“While the students placed third in the overall state competition, they secured the top score for the research paper submitted,” said Adrian Shopp, lecturer of Finance and the student advisor for the competition. “I was very impressed with how the students performed and more importantly how they finished during crunch time.”

This is the fourth year MSU Denver students have participated in the competition, in which students from six Colorado universities present investment research and recommendations to a panel of judges who are Chartered Financial Analysts. This year, DaVita, a Fortune 500 company and leading provider of dialysis services in the United States, agreed to serve as the subject company.

“The valuation report that the students created will be a unique portfolio item for them to utilize and speak about during their job search interviews,” Shopp added.

During the competition students work to establish a base line or intrinsic stock price valuation and develop a model to determine whether a company is undervalued or overvalued based on opportunities and threats, and historical and future revenue projections.

“I was thrilled to hear that our paper took first place. We are very proud of what we accomplished in the competition,” said Stathopulos, a double major senior in accounting and finance. “It provided great experience and networking opportunities with CFA members and other students.”

The students put in more than 100 hours of research to develop a paper and 10-minute presentation to illustrate their findings and defend their perspectives during a question and answer session. Students are required to produce an equity research report with a buy/sell/hold recommendation and a 12-month stock price target. Students are evaluated on industry analysis, valuation and financial analysis.

Based on their performance at the state competition, students from Colorado State University were selected to represent Colorado at the Americas Regional Competition. Other participating universities included: University of Colorado Boulder, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado and University of Colorado Denver.

Judges included industry professionals from DaVita, Janus Capital and CFA leadership. With over 1,100 members, CFA Society Colorado is the largest organization of investment professionals in the state.

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