# Brady Corporation is a leader in identification, safety, and material solutions. In 1998, the firm was hit hard by faltering foreign markets, so it embarked upon an aggressive campaign to redesign its cost structure. The firm believes this will help it to enhance future stockholder value. Brady follows the concept of Shareholder Value Enhancement (SVE), which is improved through increased sales, cost control, and effective use and control of assets.

Calculate and interpret Brady's gross margin (Net Sales-Cost of Goods Sold)/Net Sales) for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001. What conclusions, if any, can you draw from analyzing these gross margins?
b.

## To calculate the gross margin for Brady Corporation for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001, we need the values for net sales and cost of goods sold for each of these years.

Let's assume the following:

- Net Sales in 1999 = \$X1
- Cost of Goods Sold in 1999 = \$Y1
- Net Sales in 2000 = \$X2
- Cost of Goods Sold in 2000 = \$Y2
- Net Sales in 2001 = \$X3
- Cost of Goods Sold in 2001 = \$Y3

The gross margin formula is: (Net Sales - Cost of Goods Sold) / Net Sales

Now, let's calculate the gross margin for each year:

Gross margin in 1999 = (\$X1 - \$Y1) / \$X1
Gross margin in 2000 = (\$X2 - \$Y2) / \$X2
Gross margin in 2001 = (\$X3 - \$Y3) / \$X3

Once you have the values for net sales and cost of goods sold for each year, you can plug them into the formula to calculate the gross margins.

To interpret the gross margins, here are some conclusions you can draw:

- If the gross margin is increasing over the years, it suggests that Brady Corporation is becoming more efficient in managing its cost of goods sold relative to its net sales. This could indicate better cost control and potentially improved profitability.

- If the gross margin is decreasing over the years, it suggests that Brady Corporation is facing challenges in managing its cost of goods sold, which could be affecting its profitability. This may require further analysis to identify the underlying reasons for the decrease and implement appropriate strategies to address the issue.

- If the gross margin remains relatively stable over the years, it indicates that the company is maintaining a consistent level of efficiency in managing its cost of goods sold. However, further analysis is needed to determine if the gross margin is at a satisfactory level or if there is room for improvement.

Remember, the conclusions drawn from analyzing gross margins should be considered in conjunction with other financial and operational metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of Brady Corporation's performance.