Home > Business Databases > Compustat CUSIP Converter – limited use tool and some tips

Compustat CUSIP Converter – limited use tool and some tips

Compustat CUSIP Converter

Converts CUSIP codes to CUSIP codes… it’s (somewhat) more useful than it sounds.

Most of our users who need North American company financial information need to link it to another data source, often with a different type of company identifier. A tool has appeared within Compustat via WRDS (which may have been there for some time) allowing you to convert either 8 or 9-digit CUSIP codes into 6, 8 or 9-digit ones. This is a bit of a surprise to me, as Compustat works best with GVKEY codes, but the different length of CUSIP codes help it to interface with other databases as follows.

  • Bloomberg (9-digit CUSIP)
  • Capital IQ (GVKEY has better coverage)
  • CRSP (8-digit CUSIP)
  • Datastream (via Local Code)
  • Eventus (8-digit CUSIP)
  • SDC Platinum (6-digit CUSIP)
  • ThomsonONE.com (9-digit CUSIP when using the Excel add-in)

The databases you join with may not have the full coverage of CUSIP codes, so take care. There will almost always be gaps when going from one database to another.

Take scientific care of CUSIPs in Excel

A final tip when using Excel. Some CUSIP codes can be interpretted as numbers in scientific format (when the code contains numerals and the letter ‘E’, such as Genuity Inc 37248E202 read as 3.72 x 10206). Some CUSIP codes begin with leading zeroes (Apple Inc is ‘037833AL4‘) which can get lost and change meaning.

You must always make sure that a column of CUSIP codes is formatted as Text not General before you paste them in. When opening from a CSV file, consider using the Data > Get External Data > From Text menu command and explicitly set the CUSIP column as Text format.

See also our earlier post on the CRSP converter tool:

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