This section is from the book "Problems In Private Finance", by Charles W. Gerstenberg. See also: The Private Equity Edge: How Private Equity Players and the World's Top Companies Build Value and Wealth.
1. Can you tell from the income statement and balance sheets of the May Department Stores (pp. 767-768) what disposition was made of the profits of 1918?
2. Are the reports of this and other companies usually written up on an "accrual,"or "cash," basis? Why?
3. The Midwest Refining Company furnishes no income account. By comparing its balance sheets (p. 766), show its annual net income, amount reserved for depreciation and for war taxes, and the balance available for dividends in 1915, 1916 and 1917. The dividends paid during these years were as follows: 1915, $720,000; 1916, $1,353,520; 1917, $1,711,167.
4. Show by a series of balance sheets how depreciation of an asset worth $10,000 is provided for in five equal installments and' how, at the end of the life of the asset, the reserve is used to replace it.
5. Explain very briefly what the Chicago Telephone Companies did to maintain their property (pp. 799-811.)
6. Does Mr. Bemis conclude that the provisions made for maintenance - present and deferred - were sufficient to maintain the value of the company's investment? (pp. 799-858.)
7. Can you see any fallacies in Mr. Byllesby's argument? (pp. 899-901.)
8. Suggest kinds of companies for which, respectively, each method of calculating depreciation referred to in the Syllabus would he preferable. Give reasons for each example.