An undergraduate and graduate team from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration took the top prize at the 2020-2021 CFA Pittsburgh Society Investment Research Challenge.
The Pitt Business team was tasked to produce an equity research report for the Pittsburgh-based company U.S. Steel and to present their investment recommendation before a jury. Steve Garbon of the Braff Group served as the industry mentor and Professor Akin Sayrak served as the team’s faculty advisor.
Jasmine Cadavez, a senior studying finance, economics, and business analytics, was able to use her analytical experience to identify the competitive positioning for U.S. Steel within the steel industry and to perform a Porter’s Five Forces analysis on the firm.
John Balafoutas, a junior studying finance, accounting, and business information systems, developed an extensive understanding of U.S. Steel’s past performance and how the unprecedented current pandemic would affect the company’s overall industry well into the future. He worked with the team to translate the valuation model into forecasted financial statements for the company’s equity report.
Spencer Zhu, a senior studying finance, psychology, computer science, and economics, was responsible for conducting the SWOT analysis and identifying investment risks U.S. Steel faced based on current macro-economic, environmental, and political conditions.
Shen Tian, a second-year MBA student studying finance and strategy, was responsible for building the valuation models, conducting Monte Carlo Analysis to demonstrate how steel price impact U.S. Steel’s valuation, and comparing the environmental and human health impacts of US Steel’s operation with its mini-million dollar competitors.
As the captain of the team, Sean Laufer, a senior studying finance and Chinese, investigated the environmental, social, and governance aspects of U.S. Steel for the equity research project.
“Students representing Pitt Business were praised for their excellent research report, effective presentation, and very strong performance in the Q&A session, as well as their diversity and knowledge—all of which are hallmarks of our business programs,” says Sayrak.