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problem: In April 1991, the owner and manager of Modo's Recycling Company, J. R. Vann, approached the Crewe National Bank (CNB) concerning a loan. This visit to the bank was the 2nd for Vann in the last eighteen months. An unusual occurrence, he thought, for a highly profitable firm. The company (a recycler of metal, glass, and paper) was in the midst of a healthy increase in sales. Operations were begun in 1980, & the firm had shown a profit each year since 1982.

            The company was founded in 1980 by J. R. Vann in response to the increasing usage of recycled material in the manufacture of paper products, as well as metal & glass products. The primary raw material was scrap, which was hauled in by scrap collectors of various sizes. While paper & glass were recycled by the company, the business consisted mainly of the processing of scrap metal.

            There had been considerable consolidation in the metal recycling business during the past decade. In fact, J. R. Vann, known as Modo to nearly everyone, started Modo's Recycling Company against the advice of certain business associates. Their primary concern was the apparent fall-off in the availability of scrap metal. As a result of that trend, some of the small brokers or recycling yards had either gone out of business or had been bought by larger recycling yards such as Modo's. That meant the larger, more well-established yards were getting r stronger, which in turn meant that a new entrant into the business faced an uphill climb. J. R. Vann, however, was convinced that he could make a strong showing in the business. He had become familiar with the business, over the years, through prior employment in the steel industry. As a result of that conviction, his entire savings & a sizable loan from a local insurance company launched Modo's Recycling Company.

            The processing of the steel taken in from its "across the scale" purchase of scrap metal consisted of shredding or shearing the metal. Shredding was used to process such metal as junk cars, the primary source of scrap, & shearing was used to process steel bars & other structural type steel. The company took in approximately 30,000 tons of metal which required shredding & about 15,000 tons of metal which needed to be sheared.

            The processed metal was shipped to foundries across the United States for use in a variety of applications. In fact, the company was such an important supplier of metal to specific foundries, it had become necessary to keep a certain level of inventory on hand in order to ensure that the demand could be met without delay. The sales forecast for Modo's for 1992 was dollar14,500,000.

            The recycling companies which had survived the "shake-out" of the 1980s, as it had become known throughout the economy, meant to stay very loyal & dependable relative to their customer base. Accordingly, a good relationship with the foundries was a must. At the level of Modo's, this meant keeping a steady supply of scrap metal throughout the year. That goal constructed a need for cash. Further, machinery had to be kept in good working order & suppliers expected to be paid within the thirty day limit, which had become standard in the business. Of the approximately sixty competitors on the east coast of the United States, twenty were in the mid-Atlantic region and considered direct competitors of Modo's. Thus, a well-managed balance sheet was essential. In that regard, industry averages for certain items are shown as Table 3. Of special concern were the company's payables and inventory levels. Mr. Vann believed that a reasonable level in these areas would permit him to maintain a solid relationship with his suppliers and his customers. Vann believed that his long term debt would be constant, that is, would remain at its present level. In addition, he hoped to move the profit nearer to the industry average level, or beyond.

            The loan which Mr. Vann sought from CNB was for the purpose of increasing the company's stock of scrap metal. In recent months, a large portion of railroad track and rolling stock was being dismantled at certain points in the immediate region, and an unusually large supply of steel had become available. These "bulges" in the incoming supply of scrap metal were a typical occurrence. It provided the recycling companies an opportunity to build up their backlog of steel and other metals. Such a supply would be used to feed the emerging and successful new, smaller steel companies in the United States. (The cold-roll production process used by foundries had given some hope to the once flagging steel industry).

            In order to properly manage the situation, Vann considered a loan of $200,000 to be adequate for his short-term needs. The financial statements which follow illustrate certain aspects of the company's operating history.

            The bank's loan officer, Cheryl Fries, wanted to make the correct & appropriate decision. Modo's Recycling had a long-standing reputation as a well-run company. In addition, her informal grapevine indicated that Vann handled his credits well. If the analysis of the company's financial statements bore out these impressions, the bank would have gained another solid commercial customer. The essential problems which Fries wanted to answer related to the necessity of the loan, the size of the loan, & if it were actually needed. She began an analysis of the company's needs based upon the audited financial statements shown as Tables 1 & 2.

Table 1

Modo's Recycling Company

Income statement data













Profit after tax







Table 2

Modo's Recycling Company

Balance Sheet













Accounts receivable












Total current assets






Fixed assets, net






Total assets








Accounts payable






Accrued wages & taxes






Notes payable - bank






Total current liabilities






Long-term debt






Owner's equity






Earned surplus






Total liabilities & equity







Table 3

Modo's Recycling Company

Selected Operating Data for Major Recyclers, 1991

Profit margin on sales

5 Percent

Total debt-to-total assets

25 Percent


28 Percent

Accounts payable as a percent of sales

10 Percent

Current ratio


If the bank decided to require the company to maintain a current ratio of 2.0 as a condition of its loan, how will the projected balance sheet for 1992 change?

Basic Finance, Finance

  • Category:- Basic Finance
  • Reference No.:- M919974

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