Archive for the ‘FAQ updates’ Category

Where can I find a company’s date of incorporation or year founded?

For UK companies

In Fame, the date of incorporation in the Company report, under the Legal & accounts information section.

For US companies

Use Field-Ritter Dataset of Company Founding Dates (Firms going public in the US 1975-2014, last updated 14 April 2014)

For companies in any country

In Datastream, Use a Static Request and the Worldscope datatypes:

  • WC18272 – Date Company Founded
  • WC18273 – Date of Incorporation

Finding working papers

There are many relevant sources for working papers, including:

Insider trading

16 July 2015 Leave a comment

Definition of Insider Trading (from Investopedia):

The buying or selling of a security by someone who has access to material, nonpublic information about the security.

Companies in any country


  • Search for the company you want.
  • Click on the Company Analysis > Ownership folder, and select Insider Holdings or Insider Transactions report.
  • Click “Click here for full history” for historic holdings (older than 24 months).

Use Capital IQ

  • Search for the company you want.
  • On the long menu down the left, choose Investors > Public Ownership, then the Insider Trading tab.
  • Only the last 12 months are available.

Use Bloomberg (available in the Finance Zone and Precinct Library)

  • Try Bloomberg function PHDC for a specific company (e.g. VOD LN <F8> PHDC <GO>) and select Insiders, sorted by size.
  • You can also look up the biographies of executies/directors (BIO) and then choose Reported Holdings.
  • For stocks that have experienced the most purchases and sales by insiders, type: INSD and hit Go. Use the fields at the top of the screen to select country, time period, type of transaction. Click on a stock to display a graph of its historical prices with date of insider transactions.
  • For more info, type: insider and hit the green Help key <F1>.

Companies in the U.S. only


  • Choose Thomson Reuters database, and then Insiders Data. Search by company ticker. Check the variables you want in your report.


  • Insider filings with the U.S. SEC are available through Edgar. Enter your company name or ticker symbol or CIK and Include Ownership forms.
  • Insider transactions are available by issuer and reporting owner. Take a look at the website SecForm4.Com

Current and historical company annual reports

Company websites

For current annual reports, a company’s website is often the quickest and easiest option.

Databases that The University of Manchester subscribes to:

  • PI Navigator: Include Annuals / 10K / 20-F (Company Reports and Accounts) in search criteria or select Perfect Filings tab and include Document Type UK Annual Reports or similar depending on your search.
  • Mergent Archives: Select Search Mergent Achives for annual report search
  • Thomson Research: Quick Company Search: and Content Profile, Filings
  • Thomson Annual reports are under Filings tab

Annual reports websites

Try EDGAR for reports filed with US SEC.

Intraday quotes for equities and indices

Global source

Use Bloomberg.

For Equities and Indices:

Type the stock’s ticker symbol then hit [EQUITY] and hit <GO>

Choose: GIP – Intraday Price Graph

You can change the date and the time interval.


Type the index symbol then hit [INDEX], and then type GIP or GIT and hit <GO>

For example, to get intraday price intervals for the S&P 500:

SPX [INDEX] GIT and hit <GO>

Note: limited historical intraday data is available approx 900 trading days for GIP and 50 trading days for GIT.

Other sources

For US stocks, go to Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) TAQ (New York Stock Exchange Trade and Quote, or NYSE TAQ.

For historical (1983-1992) NYSE and AMEX tick-by-tick data and for historical NASDAQ (1987-1992) tick-by-tick data, click on ISSM – Institute for the Study of Security Markets

TICKDATA provides a commercial service offering intraday data from the UK and other exchanges.

Finally, Thomson Reuters Tick History database offers global intra-day Time and Sales, Time and Quotes and Market Depth content from the 1st January 1996 for an extensive range of Equities, including their derivatives. Access to this resource is limited; please contact us.

Business Ratios

In seeking out ratios for companies I would be reluctant to use free web-based services. The University of Manchester Library pays subscriptions to allow current students and staff to use numerous specialised financial databases. These are trusted sources, used for academic research and by commercial businesses.

The following databases are easy to use for obtaining ratio data.


Thomson ONE


Once a company has been searched for (see search box highlighted) and overview screen displayed, Key Ratios are shown. There is also a link for ‘All Ratios’.


All Ratios.

It is preferable to select ‘Annual’ as Report Type – this selection option is revealed from the icon on the right of the screen. Ratios are grouped into a number of categories: Valuation Measures, Valuation, Enterprise Value, Credit Statistics, Liquidity Leverage, Profitability, Efficiency, Management Effectiveness, Dividend, Growth Rates and Stock Performance.





Search for a company and display the Report.


It is then a simple matter of scrolling down to the section on Ratios. These are grouped into a number of categories: Profitability, Operational, Structure and Per Employee.



Bloomberg Professional


On the command line (top left of the screen) type the company identifier (quote/ticker symbol: TSCO LN = Tesco PLC on the London stock exchange), category of information via yellow market sector key (F8/Equity – company related) and function code (FA for Financial Analysis), followed by the green Enter/GO key. Click on the ‘ratios’ tab.

TSCO LN F8/Equity FA               ‘Ratios’ is further divided (e.g. Profitability displayed).


Hover over a ratio and right click, select ‘Definition’ for further detail (e.g. ‘Return on Common Equity’).


A different grouping of Ratios can be obtained from the Security Description [DES] function and the ‘Ratios’ tab.





It is also possible to obtain ratio details from Datastream, but is a little more involved than the databases noted above.

A basic breakdown of a few ratios are displayed from the ‘Overview of Company Performance’ analysis option for the Equities (Company) Data Category.

More specific searches are possible for multiple Series (companies) and Datatypes (various ratios, for example) from the Excel Add-In version of Datastream.

For students at the University of Manchester we run regular Datastream training courses and other support material is available in the Database Suite.

Company and Industry Comparisons

Comparing a company to its industry is not always straightforward. There are many classification systems to group similar companies together. There are UK/US SIC [Standard Industry Classification] codes and an additional, separate one for North America [NAIC – North American Industry Classification] – just to muddy the waters! Oh, and there is another, International industry system: Global Industry Classification [GIC] developed by MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International and Standard & Poor’s).

Thomson ONE database shows a SIC of 5411 [Food Stores – Grocery Stores] for Tesco PLC, which is the US version (not specified) and also by economy Sector [Food & Drug Retailers] and Sub-sector [Food Retailers & Wholesalers] – this is categorised according to the ICB (Industry Classification Benchmark).


Thomson ONE allows companies to be searched for according to Industry codes: Screening & Analysis – Companies – Company Screener


Use the search window or expand the menu options:


Where a company competes against a select/limited group of competitors (which may be considered a Market – such as the UK Grocery Market), many databases provide quick quantitative comparisons.

For example, in the Fame database (UK & Ireland public/private companies), Tesco PLC has the SIC code 4711 [UK SIC (2007), Very Large Companies – retail sales in  non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating]. Selecting the ‘Peer Report’ (Table) function allows comparison with other similar companies.


This describes the comparison as: ‘Closest 10 companies according to Turnover, for the last available year amongst the standard peer group (UK SIC 4711, Very Large Companies) – retail sales in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating’. Strangely, this list doesn’t include Sainsbury or Asda, which are clearly competitors – so caution is advised when using such functions.


Thomson ONE

Company Views – Fundamentals – Comparables

This gives a list of companies in the same Industry – but again a note of caution, as this list doesn’t include Lidl or Aldi, which are competitors. Note also the tabs for additional data.


Bloomberg has the RV (Relative Valuation) function which, according to the help screen definition allows you to perform a relative valuation analysis on a single company (e.g. Tesco PLC) by comparing (benchmarking) against comparable companies in the same Market/Industry.

On the command line, type: TSCO  LN  F8/Equity  RV  Enter/GO


Depending on the area, there may also be content in the following databases:

Passport, Frost & Sullivan, IHS Connect and Freedonia.

Market Research reports can provide a valuable comparison for a company in relation to an Industry/Market. For example, breaking down by market share: Tesco PLC is often quoted as having around one third of the UK Grocery Market. Such market research is available from a number of sources, such as:

Mintel (Reports – UK coverage)


‘All’ seems to shows a familiar market breakdown – Tesco PLC 1st, but recently has been losing market share to discounters, Aldi and Lidl, which has been accentuated since this research was conducted (December 2013).

The way that research is framed is also important in considering whether you are comparing on a like-with-like basis, or close to this. Fragmentation in the market research conducted (for example, market share at physical stores only or physical stores and Internet sales combined, when producing market share values for different companies) makes this more difficult – hence the benefit of locating a report which closely matches the area of research you are interested in.

In this Market Research report, Lidl and Aldi are included in the comparison, where they weren’t in the above comparisons.


KeyNote (Reports – UK coverage).

Thomson Research (Reports [Company/Industry] – International coverage) – this is particularly good for in-depth reports, at the Company and Industry level. These reports can include SWOT analysis and other factors influencing a company’s current and future performance.

Meeting student requirements.

There is often a mismatch between what a student requires and what is available in terms of resources (business databases). In these cases, providing a solution is not always easy or apparent.

In one example, where a student asked for data on the ‘pump, bearings and gears’ industry – how companies were performing in relation to the market as a whole in the UK. I had to explain that this area didn’t represent an ‘Industry’ and therefore there would be little if any market research available. It also didn’t represent a ‘Sector’ or ‘Sub-Sector’ of the economy.

This meant that there would be limited content from database sources, which tend to organise data by individual companies, industry or sector of the economy. In this case a compromise (in terms of the analysis conducted) had to be arrived at in consultation with the student.

In summary, getting the best approach boils down to what data is available from database sources and the possibility of a student having to modify the terms of their research. This highlights a key consideration, which is often ignored – how easy is it to obtain the data that I need for my research? See additional post on this area (Research Feasibility, dated 10th February 2015, also in this Business Research Plus blog.).

The databases noted above are available to use by current students and staff of the University of Manchester.

Further Information at:

NAIC (North American Industry Classification). (Used in Thomson ONE database).


Industry Classification Benchmark [ICB]. (Used in Thomson ONE database).


Global Industry Classification [GIC] (MSCI: Morgan Stanley Capital International / Standard & Poor’s). (Used in Thomson ONE database).


UK SIC. (Used in Fame database).


US SIC. (Used in Thomson ONE database).

Total returns

For Global data, try Datastream.

Use datatype RI total return index, and calculate total returns from the change in this index. (see post on Total shareholder return (share price return) for details)

For active companies, the total return index datatype (DS.ReturnIndex) is also available through Thomson

For US data, try WRDS, and choose CRSP.

Daily and monthly stock files and indices from December 1925 —

The files are updated annually.

Bloomberg can perform a Total Return Analysis for a security.

Type the company’s Bloomberg ticker symbol, hit the yellow EQUITY key, type TRA then hit GO.

To compare an equity’s total return against an index,

type the company’s Bloomberg ticker symbol, hit EQUITY, type COMP, then hit GO.

Exchange rates

10 July 2015 1 comment

Exchange rates available online:

Several databases also have exchange rates (current/spot and forward):

  • Search Global Financial Database It has daily and monthly exchange rates for many different countries, in some cases going back hundreds of years.
  • Use WRDS and select Foreign Exchange Rates.
  • Use Datastream – select Category as Exchange Rates
  • Use Bloomberg
    Hit the Currency Market Sector key (Yellow) and then hit GO/EnterFor the best and worst performing currencies relative to a selected currency,type WCRS and hit GO

Economic databases also provide exchange rate date: UK Data Service (formerly Economic and Social Data Service) provides IMF monthly, quarterly and annual data.

Listing and delisting information for stocks

Thomson Reuters logoThomson Reuters Datastream has a datatype Basedate (BDATE), which is the date from which Datastream holds data for an equity series. This will either be the listing date, or the date when Datastream started covering a market (1964 for UK).

Datastream has a datatype Time (TIME), which is the latest date for which it holds data. This will either be the delisting date, or the current date for active equities.

To get all UK companies that had a listing at sometime during 2006, you could take the constituent lists FBRIT (Active) and DEADUK (Dead) and select those equities with BDATE 31/12/2005 (active during 2006).

See also Combine a static request into a time series request in Datastream.