Sears, Roebuck and Co. vs. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
This case is designed to familiarize students with the use of financial ratios. Two retailers, Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., have a very similar value for return on equity (ROE) in the 1997 fiscal year. Students use the information in the case and the accompanying exhibits, which include financial statements as well as disclosures regarding corporate strategies and accounting policies for each company, to analyze the value creation process for each firm. This case provides a good introduction regarding the combination of such information to create a powerful tool for financial statement analysis. A rewritten version of an earlier case.