2023-2024 / FINA9013-1

Strategic Financial Analysis


30h AUTR

Number of credits

 Master in economics : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS) (Digital Business)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 provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the work of an equity analyst. It consists in a thorough assessment of a company and its business environment, covering the key issues pertaining to the company itself but also its industry, its peers and the market prospects. The course will then provide students with the tools and techniques to reach and motivate an investment decision on the basis of their analysis.

The course is structured as follows:

Module 1. Foundations

The foundation module introduces students to the steps of the valuation process leading to a quality research report. It also reviews the theory and methods pertaining to vertical and horizontal financial analysis, financial ratios, risk analysis and valuation methods.

Module 2. Understanding the company business

The second module empirically applies the following analysis: market analysis, industry analysis, financial statements analysis, as well as the analysis of firm fundamentals (i.e. financial strength, risks, profitability).

Module 3. Estimates

The third module builds on the second module in order to provide forecasts of the key parameters for performing a fundamental valuation of the firm. 

Module 4. Valuation and investment decision

The fourth module builds on the financial analysis of the firm and of its environment and stakeholders to select a proper valuation method and draw a valuation conclusion. The students will then motivate their investment decision based on both qualitative and quantitative arguments including stress test/risk analysis of their decision.

Module 5. Research report writing

The final module provides students with the tools and advice for writing a quality report.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Consistently with the Key Learning Outcomes, students will acquire the following capacities at the end of the course of "Strategic Financial Analysis": 

  • They will strengthen their knowledge and understanding in firm performance management and corporate finance and use modeling tools to design creative solutions to value an investment project or to structure the acquisition of a firm/the financing of one specific project; 
  • They will develop their ability to professionally team work and their critical sensefor implementing solutions to a selection of key corporate finance challenges for managers; 
  • They will use modeling tools and their managerial knowledge to execute the solution
  • They will adapt their managerial practice to the economic context and to the transversal nature of management problems by integrating autonomously researched information; 
  • They will professionally communicate and defend, in groups or individually and in English, their transversal view of real financial management problems.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Fundamentals of corporate finance and of financial accounting. CFA level 1 exam is accepted as prerequisite for the course.

Number of participating students is limited. Please see the application process in "planned activities".

The course includes the participation to an international competition which lasts at least up to February 2024 and might even go up to May 2024 (if selected to finals). 

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Teaching methods mostly consist of:

  • Flipped classrooms and a few theoretical lectures
  • Mandatory readings and assignments
  • Working sessions based on problem-based learning
  • Workshops with professionals, among which equity analysts, corporate finance professionals, private equity professionals.

The course also includes the participation to a global competition on equity research organized by the CFA Institute. The CFA challenge is considered as "the investment Olympics" for university students.

It consists of a competition between teams of three to five students from different universities regarding the valuation of a publicly traded company as well as the analysis of its competitors, and industry. More than 6,400 students from over 1,000 universities in 90 countries and territories participate each year. For detailed information about the Research Challenge: see

 https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/societies/challenge or https://cfavba.nl/en/cfaresearchchallenge


The course can only integrate a limited number of students given the constraint of the global competition and the customized program and coaching and learning method. Applications have to be sent by September 7, 2023 to Prof. Marie Lambert. 

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

Blended learning

Additional information:

Distance-learning, workshops and working sessions at school, virtual coaching sessions (through Skype, Lifesize, Zoom, Teams)

Recommended or required readings

Mandatory readings:
Equity Asset Valuation, 4th edition, CFA Institute. Wiley.
Other readings will be provided on the course learning platform.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

The course requires a continuous and active participation of the selected students. Internal and external workshops (might be abroad, i.e. Luxembourg or Netherlands), working sessions are therefore mandatory. A financial support for the school is provided. The final output of the course is an equity research report on one listed Belgian or Dutch company to be done by group. The group will also need to defend their investment case either internally or externally in front of professionals.

Grade is split as follows:

  • 50% group grade: Financial written report and oral defence
  • 50% individual grade: Based on the involvement within the team, active participation to on-site/online meetings and workshops, and assignments or quizzes. For determining this individual grade, a confidential peer reviewed form will need to be completed.

This course implies the participation in an international competition where students will need to defend their report - submitted in January 2024 - over the period February to May 2024 depending on the team performance. The grades will only be communicated at the end of the competition.

Students who fail to attend the workshops, working sessions and do not sufficiently participate to the group work will be excluded from the course and the competition. They will have to take a second session exam that will be an individual oral exam.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Limited number of participants. Application process in August/beginning of September. Participation to the course implies the participation to an international competition and meetings/presentations abroad.

This course implies the participation in an international competition where students will submit an analyst report in January 2024 and defend this report over the period February to May 2024 depending on the team performance. 


Professor /Academic Mentor: Marie Lambert
Industry Mentor:
Damien Petit, CFA (Head of Investments, Banque de Luxembourg)

Alexandre Scivoletto

Association of one or more MOOCs