2021-2022 / FINA0050-1

Corporate Finance - Lectures and Seminars


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management, professional focus in law and management5 crédits 
 Master in management, professional focus in law5 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS) (Management of Transitional Organizational Systems (MOST))5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS) (Digital Business)5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS) (Industrial Business Engineering)5 crédits 
 Master in management (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...)5 crédits 


Marie Lambert

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course of "Corporate Finance" lays the theoretical and practical foundations for valuing firms and corporate investment projects as well as for dealing with short-term and long-term financing decisions.

The course starts with a general introduction about Corporate Finance. With the objective of maximizing firm value, the course will address the following key questions:

  • In what long-lived assets should the firm invest? Capital budgeting/Investing decisions
  • How can the firm raise cash for its required capital expenditures? Financing decisions and capital structure
  • How should short-term operating cash flows be managed? Timing of cash flows and short-term financing decisions

The course is structured into nine blocks. For each block, we organize lectures, exercises sessions and seminars (see "Planned learning activities").

Block 1: Introduction to Corporate Finance (Fundamentals)
Basics of discounting and valuation (time value of money, effective/nominal/proportional interest rates) 

Block 2: Financial analysis

  • Financial statement analysis
  • Financial statements and applicable adjustments 
  • Horizontal/vertical common-size statements 
  • Financial ratios (liquidity, solvability, profitability, efficiency)

Block 3: Free Cash Flows to the Firm
Cash flows available for both providers of capital

Block 4: Cost of capital

  • Review of financial market theory: CAPM, Yield curve, business vs. financial risk

  • Cost of equity, cost of debt
  • Capital structure
  • Debt tax shield

 Block 5: Discounted Cash flow
  Income approach: Finite and infinite life

Block 6: Firm valuation
DCF : Infinite life analysis

  • Effect of leverage and capital structure 
  • Weighted average cost of capital 
  • Determination of the Free Cash Flows to the Firm and forecasts 
Market approach

  • Introduction to multiple analysis (relative valuation)

Block 7: Capital Budgeting

  • Finite and infinite life analysis 
  • Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Determination of the Free Cash Flows to the Firm and forecasts 
  • Weighted average cost of capital 
  • Effect of leverage and capital structure

Block 8: Alternative investment rules
  Alternative investment rules: the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Payback, Accounting Rate of Return, Profitability ratio 

Block 9: Corporate finance at work in a company
Block 9 integrates theory, exercises and a practical case during the lecture


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Consistently with the Key Learning Outcomes (KLO), students will develop the following individual capacities:
(1) Students will be able to execute the financial management of a company.
(1.1) They will acquire the fundamental knowledge and understanding in financial management to perform a rigorous analysis of a management problem such as an investment project, a firm valuation or (short-term, long-term) financing decisions.
(1.2) Especially, they will (i) compute and forecast cash flows used for project or firm valuation, (ii) estimate the prevalent cost of capital to be used to discount cash flows, (iii) compute the Present Value of an investment project or a firm, (iv) value business acquisition opportunities and, (v) make a deep analysis of the working capital needs of a firm.
(2) They will learn how to establish a strategy to answer concrete complex and transversal financial management problems by applying modelization tools and by making use of market data.
(3) They will strengthen their communication skills in business related problems and in English and develop a transversal view of a financial management problem to adapt their management practices in the specific context of a firm or project valuation and financing.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The course will extend students' knowledge acquired during an initial bachelor's degree in management. The course therefore requires basic knowledge in financial mathematics, financial analysis and reporting (see infra) and financial markets. As a prerequisite, students are invited to read Chapters 2,3,4,5 and 23 of Hillier, Grinblatt and Titman, Financial Markets and Corporate Strategy (second European edition).
Review of the prerequisites in financial market theory and financial analysis will be covered during the introductory lecture, Block 1 on fundamentals, Block 2 on financial analysis and Block 4 on the WACC.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is structured into nine blocks composed of theoretical lectures including exercises, practical seminars and remediation sessions.
The detailed planning can be found on lol@ in the introduction slides. 

Lectures will transfer to students the theoretical knowledge and the practical tools for solving complex investment and firm valuation problems. Students are expected to participate to class and to read the related chapters in the textbook. Exercises sessions will be organized on each module and will be integrated to the lectures.

Four remediation sessions will be organized to support students in their learning process. Besides, one course organized in December will wrap up the competencies acquired during the lectures, exercises sessions and seminars in order to prepare students for the exam. 

Practical case studies will enable students to test their capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a transversal management problem and to test their capacity to use modelization tools to propose rigorous solutions to complex financial management problems. 
Seminars are organized through distance-learning.
Seminar 1 on Block 1 will provide students with the tools to understand the financial fundamentals of a company and to conduct a first financial due diligence.
  Seminar 2 on Block 2 will provide students with the tools to prepare a business plan.
Seminar 3 on Block 3 will provide students with the tools to evaluate the cost of capital of a firm or of a project.
Seminar 4 on blocks 4 to 6 will provide students with practical tools for firm valuation (Blocks 7).
Seminar 5 on block 7 will provide students with tools to evaluate capital budgeting decisions (first in finite life and then in infinite life). 

Remarks : This planning is subject to changes. Any change with regard to this planning will be announced on the online platform lol@


Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Remote course

Additional information:

The course is composed of online (live) lectures and exercise sessions, tutorials as well as virtual seminars.

Online lectures start on September 16th. All practical information will be provided during the first course (textbooks, schedule, course outile, lectures and seminars' objectives, exam).   

Seminars will be fully organized by distance learning. Students will be provided with instructions, videos and quizzes to go step by step in the seminars.
The Friday sessions are remediation/question-answer sessions. Dates will announced on lol@. These sessions will consist of student office hours where students can contact Alexandre Scivolotto.

Self-assessment quizzes are available on lol@ in order to train for the exam (Multiple choice questions)
One forum will be set up on lol@ and animated by the assistants. Students will receive answers to their questions at the latest on Thursday of week Y for questions asked before Friday of week Y-1. Students are asked to make use of the forum to ask questions regarding the course rather than emails. They will be automatically redirected to the forum. 

Recommended or required readings

Mandatory readings
- Hillier, Grinblatt and Titman, Financial Markets and Corporate Strategy, McGraw-Hill, Second European Edition
- Equity Valuation, CFA Institute
For the prerequisites, please see supra. Chapters covered in class will be announced in class.
These readings will enable students to deepen their understanding of the key concepts seen throughout the course. Students' understanding will be tested at the written exam.
Recommended readings
Financial Statement Analysis: An introduction by Elaine Henry, CFA, and Thomas R. Robinson, CFA
Financial Reporting Mechanics - International Financial Statement Analysis, by Thomas Robinson, CFA, Jan Hendrik van Greuning, CFA, Elaine Henry, CFA and Michael A. Broihahn, CFA
Financial Reporting Standards by Elaine Henry, CFA , Jan Hendrik van Greuning, CFA, and Thomas R. Robinson, CFA
Understanding Income Statements by Elaine Henry, CFA and Thomas R. Robinson, CFA
Understanding Balance Sheets by Elaine Henry, CFA, and Thomas Robinson, CFA
Understanding Cash Flow Statements by Elaine Henry, CFA and Michael A. Broihahn, CFA
Financial Analysis Techniques by Elaine Henry, CFA, and Thomas R. Robinson, and Jan Hendrik van Greuning, CFA
Inventories by Michael Broihahn, CFA
Long-lived Assets by Elaine Henry, CFA and Elizabeth A. Gordon
These readings will enable students to deepen their understanding of the prerequisites for the course: Financial Reporting and Analysis. 
Course material
The course material (slides, case studies and exercises) will be available on the course web page on lol@: http://lola.hec.ulg.ac.be

Assessment methods and criteria

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- Remote

written exam

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

A multiple choice exam will assess students' understanding of concepts linked to investment's project and firm valuation as well as students' capacity to solve problems. It counts for 75% of the grade. The multiple choice exam is organized online.

The continuous assessment will comprise the evaluation of the end of block quizzes and seminar preparation and quizzes. To be accounted for the continuous evaluation, these quizzes need to be done (i) individually, (ii) seriously (no random selection of answers, quiz to be completed in one « go » and not split over multiple days and completed in a reasonable time) and (iii) meeting the deadlines announced in class. It counts for 25% of the grade.   

Students who fail the January exam or do not present themselves at the exam will have to retake the exam in the second session organized in August/September. There is no intermediary session.

Rules of the online exam
The online exam will take place  either on the platform e-campus or lol@. The exam will begin at the same time for all students. Please note that the link to access the exam will be active during the first 20 minutes of the exam and then be deactivated: it will not be possible to take part of the examination after this time. The exam timing will be designed so that it already takes into account any delay that might be caused by possible technical issues or need for reconnection. Therefore, no additional time will be granted, and more importantly, any exam submitted after the specified time of exam closure will be penalized (even if the exam is started with delay). There is no negative grade for wrong answers and you have the possibility to go back and review previous questions during the time scheduled. The use of excel and any kind of calculators are allowed.   Any technical issue during the exam should be reported IMMEDIATELY to the professor. Especially, any connection problem at the start of the exam should be reported within the first 15 minutes given that a first connection to the exam after 20 minutes will not be allowed.
Important notice: You are asked to save your answers regularly (you can go back to the question and change them) and to not wait the end of the exam to encode them. We will not be able to solve any disconnection issue communicated to the school during the last 15 minutes of the allowed time. No additional delay will be granted  (see above). If during the exams, students have questions on its content, they should report it to the professor. The professor and teaching assistant will be available in an online meeting room (address will be provided on lol@) during the time of the exam to answer (technical and content) questions.
Exam visit
Students have the right to review their exam copy after the publication of the results. The student has to contact the professor within max. the two weeks following the announcement of the results. The meeting with the student should be organized within the month of the release of the result.

Work placement(s)


Organizational remarks

Students have the opportunity to ask questions on the material during the class (please use the interactive tool!). Outside the course hours, students should post their questions on the forum on lol@, except for personal matters which have to be sent to alexandre.scivoletto@uliege.be.

A final Remedial and Questions and Answers session will be organized in December.
Students are invited to check the lol@ platform on a regular basis for any practical information regarding the course or any schedule change.


Marie Lambert - Professor at HEC - marie.lambert@uliege.be  
Teaching assistant:
Alexandre Svivoletto - alexandre.scivoletto@uliege.be