Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Corporate Finance

Prof. Ian Giddy
Office: Stern 9-197. Tel 998-0332; Fax 995-4233
e-mail ian.giddy@nyu.edu Web: http://giddy.org

Course Description

This course focuses on financial decision making in the modern corporation. The basic issues include: capital budgeting/corporate investment, capital structure, corporate sources of funding, dividend policy and corporate contingent claims, international finance, and financial risk management. Some areas of corporate finance that are covered in electives - leasing, mergers and acquisitions, working capital management - will be omitted or covered in less detail than they merit. Course concepts are integrated into the standard theories of risk and return, valuation of assets and market structure (i.e., the concepts developed in the finance core course, Foundations of Finance, will be heavily utilized).

The texts will be supplemented by readings from a collection drawn from The Journal of Applied Corporate Finance and other journals and occasional items from the business press. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of a spreadsheet language, preferably Excel- compatible, as well as some fluency in statistics (certainly to the level of being able to run and interpret regression models).


Ian Giddy has taught finance at NYU, Columbia, Wharton, Chicago and abroad for the past nineteen years. He was Director of International Fixed Income Research at Drexel Burnham Lambert from 1986 to 1989. The author of more than fifty articles on international finance, he has served at the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Treasury and has been a consultant with numerous financial institutions and corporations in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author or co-author of The International Money Market, The Handbook of International Finance, Cases in International Finance, Global Financial Markets and The Hudson River Waterway Guide.


One of the important components of any course in corporate finance is understanding the extent to which "theoretical" and "practical" considerations interact in reality. Towards this end, cases will play an important part of this course. A significant percentage of class time will be devoted to discussion of the assigned cases. Students are expected to work in groups of three or four and each group is expected to hand in FOUR of the assigned cases, plus the first and last case.


There will be a midterm examination and a final examination. Both will be closed book, but you are allowed to bring one page (both sides, of normal dimensions) of formulas, definitions, prayers or other written material that you deem appropriate.


On the final exam date, each group will hand in a report that analyzes the course material in the context of a particular firm. Each group is expected to choose a different firm (subject to the instructor's approval); the firm must have traded equity and rated corporate debt. The intention is, as we delve into concepts such as dividend policy, cost of capital, etc., to investigate how these concepts apply to your firm. Naturally, it makes a lot of sense to choose your firm fairly quickly so that you can get started accumulating the information you require. By the midterm each group needs to hand in a 1- or 2-page description of their firm and where they are going with the project.


To sum up all this, grades will be determined as follows:

The expected grade distribution is:
A: 15 - 25%; B: 40 - 65% C: 10 - 25% 

Required Texts

Intermediate Financial Management, Fourth Edition, Brigham & Gapenski, Dryden/Harcourt Brace, 1993.

Cases in Financial Management, Brigham & Gapenski, Dryden/Harcourt Brace, 1994.

The New Corporate Finance: Where Theory Meets Practice, Donald Chew, McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Recommended Texts

The selected text is good, but corporate finance is tough and I would recommend buying and reading at least one of the texts below. They provide additional examples, motivation and a different slant on most of the topics. The first four are approximately the same levels as our text; the fifth is more technical. Since this area of finance changes very rapidly, be careful of the publication date of any outside texts.

Corporate Finance

  1. Corporate Finance and Portfolio Principles
  2. Risk & Return and Fundamentals of Valuation
  3. The Cost of Capital
  4. Capital Budgeting: Basic Concepts
  5. Capital Budgeting: Examples and Further
  6. Capital Structure & MM
  7. Capital Structure Continued
  8. Mid-Term Exam
  9. Dividend Policy & M&A
  10. Financial Distress & Bankruptcy
  11. Options & Hybrids
  12. Asset-Backed Financing
  13. Issuing Long-Term Debt and Equity
  14. International Financial Management
  15. Risk Management
  16. Review of the Course

Go to Giddy's Web Portal • Contact Ian Giddy at ian.giddy@nyu.edu