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Essay on Southwest Airlines

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Southwest Airlines


This paper evaluates the key financial challenges facing organizations in Risk Management, Managing International Acquisitions, and Managing Working Capital simulations. Secondly, an evaluation of Southwest Airlines (SWA) management of working capital and the optimal financial strategies employed is presented. Also evaluated are the potential improvements in financial performance along with long-term and short-term strategies. Lastly, considered in this paper is whether a merger or acquisition would affect SWA’s employed strategic outlook.

     The financial challenges facing the company in the working capital management simulation showed how companies are able to play a balancing act with incoming and outgoing cash flow floats. Companies can juggle cash flows by withholding payments to retain capital or negotiate with companies that withhold payments to receive an incoming cash flow. Either way, keeping as much cash to fund operations with out heavy financial leveraging was the greatest challenge. Another juggling act was to keep management and business partners happy. The decisions made were not always positive for everyone.

     The financial challenge facing the company in the managing international acquisitions simulation was to decide which bank presented the best choice for acquisition. Some criteria was finding the bank with the best fit, determining the financial stability of the country, and business valuation. The choice was not solely based on financial criteria such as assets, liabilities, and financial position but included other criteria such as the customer base, competitive position, number of branches, and product portfolio. The use of discounted cash flows was then employed to arrive at a final bid price.

     The financial challenge in the managing risk simulation was to balance between preserving capital and capital appreciation in the investment of funds based on a persons’ risk tolerance. The simulation targeted the stock mix for a client’s aversion to risk and the ability of the investment portfolio to have an expected rate of return. The prediction of fund future prices acted as a hedge and had an impact on the rate of return depending on the changing financial landscape of a company. The overall effect was to juggle the mix based on past history and predict a future outcome.

     Working capita...


... middle of paper ...


...ergers and bankruptcies. SWA’s unique approach and business model in the airline industry may prevent it from being a good fit in any merger or acquisition, yet the airline has positioned itself for a long-term flight into the future.

References

Airwise. (2002). China unveils airline mergers. Airwise News, Retrieved January 14, 2005, from www.airwise.com.
CNN.com. (2001). Senators consider impact of airline mergers. CNN.com, Retrieved January 14, 2005, from www.archives.cnn.com.
EconEdLink. (2005). Airline mergers, software industry: Conte markets. EconEdLink, Retrieved January 14, 2005, from www.econedlink.org.
Hansson, T., Neilson, G., & Belin, S. (2002). Airline merger integration. Booz Allen and Hamilton, Inc., Retrieved January 14, 2005, from http://extfile.bah.com.
Hauenstein, G. (2001). Airline representatives praise efforts to reduce impact of mergers. World Airline News, March 2001, ed. Retrieved January 14, 2005, from www.findarticles.com.
Mergent Online (2004) Company Financials. As reported. Retrieved January 21, 2005, from Mergent Online database.
Mergent Online (2004) Company Financials. Ratios. Retrieved January 21, 2005, from
Mergent Online database.


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