NATIONAL STEEL CORP., is it financially competitive? There is no
absolute answer to such a question. How does this firm's asset
structure vary compared to global benchmarks? Does it hold more
cash and other short term assets, or does it concentrate its assets
in physical plant and equipment? On the liability side, does it
have a higher percent of payables compared to the benchmarks, or
does it hold a higher concentration of long term debt? The
structure of the income statement is more telling. Does the firm
have a relatively higher costs of goods sold, operating costs, or
income taxes compared to its global benchmarks? Are their returns
on equity higher? Are profit margins greater? Are inventories held
longer? The report does so by going beyond traditional analyses by
considering companies competing in the same or similar industrial
classification at a global level. The goal of this report,
therefore, is to assist consultants, financial managers, strategic
planners, and corporate officers in gauging indicators of a
company's financial structure compared to firms competing or
participating in the same economic sector, at the global level.
This report is not about whether a particular company or industry
has performed well or poorly in the past or will do so in the
future. With the globalization of markets, greater foreign
competition, and the reduction of entry barriers, it becomes all
the more important to benchmark a company's financial indicators
against other firms on a worldwide basis. Doing so, however, is not
an obvious task. First, one needs to find firms competing in the
same sector, but not necessarily competing directly with the
company in local markets. Thesefirms should not be perceived,
therefore, to be direct competitors to the company in question, but
simply those that have been classified by various sources (e.g.
EDGAR or similar foreign filings), as competing to serve customers
in the same link of the value chain, or broad industrial
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