Worldscope is the global company accounts “database” from Thomson Reuters and thus a key research resource for company information. It is accessed using either Datastream (active and inactive companies) or Thomson One Banker (active companies only).
Worldscope is designed to allow comparison of companies that report under different accounting rules worldwide. In addition, it records company information using four templates: banks, industrial companies, insurance companies and other financial companies. This means that many of Worldscope’s datatypes only have values for a subset of the companies covered (e.g. US companies).
For full details of the Worldscope methodology and the definitions of the datatypes you can consult the Worldscope Data Definitions Guide (Issue 14) available from the Datastream Extranet.
The Worldscope Coverage Report, also available from the Datastream Extranet, for 28th Feb 2013 includes the following coverage information:
- Argentina – total companies 144, active 105, inactive 39
- Australia – total companies 2903, active 1957, inactive 946
- United Kingdom – total companies 5093, active 1890, inactive 3203
- United States – total companies 21130, active 9175, inactive 11955
- All countries – total companies 74757, active 46704, inactive 28053
The Worldscope Data Definitions Guide (Issue 14) and Worldscope Coverage Report are also available in the folder Database Manuals\Worldscope when using the database PCs in the Eddie Davies Library
Related Worldscope posts:
- Worldscope – company accounts data definitions (April 2011)
- Datastream, Worldscope and Units (August 2011)
- Worldscope accounting data – finding data tips (July 2011)
Worldscope is not the only database for company accounts (financials) – for example Compustat, available through WRDS, is very popular with researchers studying US companies and Bloomberg’s Financial Analysis (FA) function gives company account information.
The term “company financials” is often used rather than “company accounts”.
In the ten years since the SCoRe project ended in 2002, annual reports have become increasingly available online through company websites and commercial providers. Demand for the printed annual reports has declined as a result.
Going forwards, by the end of 2013, the British Library and Guildhall Library will hold the main collections of print and microfilm annual reports for UK companies, supplemented by the planned digital archives at the London Business School and University of Manchester.
SCoRe Working Group (2012) Advance notice: Closure of SCoRe. http://www.score.ac.uk/pdf/SCoRe_Closure_Notice_2012-12.pdf (accessed 20 March 2013)
The University of Manchester SCoRe archive includes over 80,000 annual reports. Over 60,000 of these are in MIRAC fiche format and therefore difficult to read, and the 20,000 in print are mostly from 1995 onwards and available online.
The following – taken from the SCoRe web links page http://www.score.ac.uk/links.asp - are all free websites, except Companies House, which is included because of its key role in the collection of UK companies’ legal filings.
Business Archives Council
Exists to encourage the preservation of British business records, to advise on the administration and management of archives and current records and to promote the use of business records.
CAROL (Company Annual Reports On Line)
One-point access to web versions of company annual reports for a selection of companies in Europe, Asia and the US.
Free access to brief information about UK companies. Order filed documents for a fee. Also includes information about the activities and strategic direction of Companies House.
Financial Times Annual Reports Service
The FT/World Investor Link service allows you to order printcopies of the most recent reports for companies listed in the share price service in the FT newspaper.
UK National Register of Archives
The NRA is maintained by the Historical Manuscripts Commission and contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history. You can search archives by corporate name.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
The US equivalent of Companies House. The site gives electronic access to filed US company documents, including annual reports, via the EDGAR database. Documents from 1993 to the present.
On 20 Nov 2012 Hewlett Packard (HP) announced that it was taking a write off of $8.8 billion of the $11.1 billion that it paid to acquire Autonomy in October 2010. At the time Automony was a member of the FTSE 100 and seen as a UK technology success story.
There has been lots in the UK financial press since then as HP’s key argument is that they overpaid for Autonomy because of accounting manipulation. This is strongly denied by Automony founder Mike Lynch.
- Hewlett-Packard accountants sued over Autonomy purchase (BBC 29 Nov 2012)
- US to probe Autonomy sale to Hewlett-Packard (BBC 27 Dec 2012)
- Autonomy’s Lynch defends record as HP confirms Federal probe (Reuters 28 Dec 2012)
Aswath Damodaran’s Musings on Markets blog makes a strong case that even if HP is right this only accounts for $2.45 billion of the $8.8 billion write off – see HP’s Deal from Hell: The mark-it-up and write-it-down two-step.
The write off raises issues about the acquisition in terms of corporate strategy, leadership, corporate governance as well as the accuracy of Autonomy’s accounts.
Resources for more information:
Thomson One Banker - a deals module search will provide details of the deal: announced 18 Aug 2011, effective 3 Oct 2011, “UK – Hewlett-Packard Vision BV of the Netherlands, a unit of by Hewlett-Packard Co (HP), completed the tender offer to acquire the entire share capital of Autonomy Corp PLC (Autonomy), a
Cambridge-based developer of infrastructure and information management software, for GBP 25.5 (USD 42.09)” [SDC deal number 2337968040]
Thomson Research - analysts reports - For example, on 23 Aug 2011 Marc Geall of Deutsche Bank published a report on Autonomy Corp plc. This reported a change of recommendation to sell, since the shares were GDP 24.86 almost fully valuing the HP offer, and substantially higher that Deutsche Bank’s fundamental target price of GBP 17.50.
Business Source Premier (EBSCO): - several trade journals with articles on the HP aquisition of Autonomy. For example,
Forbes.com (2012) ‘With Autonomy, H-P Bought An Old-Fashioned Accounting Scandal. Here’s How It Worked’ Forbes.Com, (November 20, 2012):p. 39, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 January 2013.
There have been several recent articles in the financial press on the impact of the Qatari stake in Xstrata on the outcome of the proposed merger of Glencore and Xstrata.
There have also been several questions about the resources that we have for ownership data (shareholders). We have updated the FAQ questions:
- Where can I find the institutional holdings of various stocks?
- Where do I find info on insider holdings and insider trading?
- Where can I find info on share ownership of UK stocks (shares)?
While some shareholder information is publicly available, since large shareholders and directors have to declare dealings to the markets it is not easily available in a research-friendly format.
The commercial providers of ownership data tend to provide data for users who are interested in the current ownership of a single company or a small portfolio. They also collect data from as many sources as possible: large shareholders who have to report their holdings, institutional owners who report the largest holdings in their funds, and director dealings that can be large or small. (The exception if the Thomson Reuters database in WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) - this is more research-friendly but only covers US companies.)
With ownership data researchers need to carefully check what is available and how easily it can be collected.
The thesis collection at the Eddie Davies Library has copies of the Manchester Business School PhD and DBA theses.
These are available for reference only (no borrowing)
Recent theses are available online through University of Manchester eScholar.
Tasavori, M (2011) Corporate Social Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Economic Pyramid: Antecedents and Outcomes in India. (PhD) University of Manchester, Manchester Business School. Available at www.manchester.ac.uk/escholar/uk-ac-man-scw:155842 (Accessed 19 Jul 2012).
FAQ answer updated to mention University of Manchester eScholar access:
Previous related posts:
Manchester Business Answers 24/7 is our searchable database of Frequently Asked Questions.
You can explore what has been popular recently, or this time last year:
For April-June 2012, Fame was the highest new entrant on the popular search list so we updated the answer for:
This was one of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Jan-Mar 2012. (See FAQ popular questions page for full list)
We have checked and revised the answer.
The Bloomberg command is now BI (Bloomberg Industries) and there seems to have been considerable effort on this area of Bloomberg recently. It now covers around 100 industries (some North America only but most global) and additional information available via to Bloomberg help key.
(Previous post – mobile phone industry data on Bloomberg )
Several buttons (including Export, Terminal and Help) have been replaced by icons in the top right.
If you look at an equity, e.g. GSK LN Equity Go, you get a simplified screen showing the 10 most used functions (DES, GP …) divided into 8 categories: Company Overview, Company Analysis, Research and Estimates, Comparative Analysis, Charting and Reporting, Security Surveillance, Trade Analytics and Derivatives. The full range of functions is still available by selecting one of these category headings, and there are similar simplified main screens for other market sectors.
The DES (Description) function has been improved. For Equities it now provides its output in 4 tabs: Profile, Issue Info, Ratios (includes link for Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow) and Revenue & EPS.
For quick access to an company overview report, there is EQR (Equity Report Writer) in the Charting and Reporting section as an alternative to getting reports from DES (Description).
There is now an additional way of searching for information on Bloomberg. Type keywords describing the data that you are seeking and then press the green HELP key. Examples:
- apple sales 2010 HELP
- uk GDP HELP
- uk us exchange rate HELP
Press the HELP key in the Bloomberg Help Search screen (HLP) and you get help on using this help. It provides help where the predictive search either gives no matching functions or securities, or gives several matches and you don’t know which one to pick.
Updated FAQ answer
Includes more links to online resources
Bloomberg has been popular this week: busy training sessions, database clinics and users finding a whole range of different resources (including – UK company data, Danish company data, Baltic dry index, supply chain information, mobile phone worldwide sales, risk free rates and credit default swaps).
Tip of the week
On may Bloomberg screens you will see a little pin symbol when you hover over a name or value. You can click and drag this into the command line at the top of another Bloomberg window, and then use DES to get a description, GP to get a price graph etc. This is very valuable if you see a current value and want to find out if historical data is available.
The Bloomberg function CMDS gives the screen above. You can hover over a figure (the pin symbol appears) and then click and drag to paste the corresponding Bloomberg ticker in another window.
Online Bloomberg information
Several other business schools world wide have Bloomberg so you may find the advice and tips they provide a useful complement to ours. Best examples found so far:
- Bloomberg Guide from George A. Smathers Libraries
- Bloomberg FAQs from Harvard Business School
- Bloomberg FAQs from Princeton University Library
We have updated our own FAQ answer to mention the new Bloomberg Suite:
Finally, as University of Cambridge Judge Business School Library say:
[although] Bloomberg looks different to other databases you will find it is easier to use than you’d expect thanks to its predictive text functionality, help menus and 24/7 chat support …
Analysts’ reports (brokers’ reports) are written by respected analysts within investment banks, brokerage houses and consulting firms worldwide for their clients.
Current University of Manchester staff and students have access to an extensive analysts’ reports collection through Thomson Research (the collection was previously called Investext).
Analysts write their reports for clients who are mostly interested in companies as an investment opportunity so they cover public (quoted) companies and there will be more reports for larger companies. Reports vary from short buy/hold/sell recommendations to longer detailed analysis of company strategies.
For further information on Thomson Research:
- Industry Information from Thomson Research
- Thomson Research tips
- Thomson Research only works with IE
- all Thomson Research posts
- Thomson Research guide (Nov 2012) from library database guides
For FAQ answer on analysts’ reports:
This also mentions how to get analysts’ reports on Bloomberg.