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Posts Tagged ‘ThomsonONE.com’

Company Financial Statements: Comparisons in Different Databases

Students are often confused when viewing company financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement) in different databases. The reason being, that the values displayed, for the same company, often don’t match.

 

Commercial vs Educational Emphasis

This confusion is understandable. Surely values for the same company, for the same statement, should be identical? In explaining this apparent anomaly, the primary purpose of specialised financial databases needs to be appreciated. That is, to provide data/information to allow analysis of many types of securities – different classes of assets, such as Equities – or companies.

The key user groups are within business and commerce. However, there is sufficient useful content, to also be of value to educational establishments, and therefore students – but business users have priority.

For example, when seeking to gauge the relative performance of two or more companies, from different countries, with different accounting standards, there is a clear logic in being able to compare on a like-with-like basis. Therefore, when looking at a value in an Income Statement, for example, it would be clear which company had superior performance. To compare companies otherwise, the so-called apples with oranges analogy, lacks transparency and is ineffective.

Hence, the evolution of common methods for calculating accounting values in different databases, to ease comparisons between companies. Bloomberg Professional and Thomson ONE.com databases both reflect this need, but use different terminology. A look at a company example is instructive.

 

Bloomberg Professional – Financial Analysis [FA]

The Income Statement (‘I/S’) for Tesco PLC, a UK supermarket group, is set out below, using the Financial Analysis function, within Bloomberg Professional.

 

Income Statement - Adjusted

Bloomberg – Financial Analysis (Income Statement – Adjusted)

 

Note that the tab towards the top left: ‘Adjusted’, is highlighted in blue. This is the default view, meaning this is how data is normally displayed for financial statements in Bloomberg Professional. Therefore, companies from different countries can be compared on a like-with-like basis, when the same currency is selected (top right of screen). In the example above, this is set to GBP, or Great Britain Pounds.

Another option is also highlighted – the ‘As Reported’ tab. This selection would display values from the company’s official annual report and accounts.

 

Thomson ONE.com – Reuters Fundamentals

 

The Income Statement for Tesco PLC is displayed again, using Thomson ONE.com database: drop down menu selection:

Company Overviews – Fundamentals – Reuters Fundamentals

 

T1 Income Statement

Thomson ONE.com – Income Statement (Standardised)

 

The ‘Report Format’ option on the left, gives the choice of ‘Company Specific’ (official values – annual report and accounts) and ‘Standardised’.  When the ‘Standardised’ view has been selected and ‘Update View’ clicked on,  the drop down menu to choose a common currency become available, thus allowing like-with-like comparisons, between different companies.

 

Conclusions

The ability to quickly search for companies within databases such as Bloomberg Professional or Thomson ONE.com is an effective means to locate company financial statements and take advantage of like-with-like comparisons.

When viewing financial statements within databases, the realisation that a company’s annual report and accounts is the ultimate (official) source, represented by ‘As Reported’ in Bloomberg Professional and ‘Company Specific’ in Thomson ONE.com, can help to avoid confusion for students, in conducting company analysis.

 

Bloomberg Professional and Thomson ONE.com are databases available to current students and staff of The University of Manchester.

Top 10 Companies

16 December 2016 1 comment

A student recently asked the following: ‘how do I get a list of the top 10 companies in the pharmaceuticals area?’.

What ‘top 10’ means, or is meant to mean, is a little fuzzy…could this be ordering by turnover (sales), number of employees, earnings per share or other measure? Upon further questioning, the size of the company, represented by Market Capitalization, was deemed acceptable. In addition to this, the relative position of a specified company (Glaxosmithkline: GSK-LN) was queried.

 

Thomson ONE.com

One possible approach is to search for the specified company and see what options then present themselves. By typing the company name or ticker code (GSK-LN) in the search box at the top left of the screen, it is possible to select the appropriate option from those displayed. This gives a Company Overview screen to start.

 

Company Overview

Thomson ONE.com – Company Overview

 

By selecting the ‘Comparables’ screen, a number of related companies are displayed. To reach this screen, use the drop-down menus at the top of the page:

Company Views – Fundamentals – Comparables

 

GSK Related Companies

Thomson ONE.com – Comparables (GSK)

 

Whilst this gives a list of related entries in the sense that they are pharmaceutical companies, it is not clear if these represent the ‘top 10’. To do so, a measure would have to be targeted, such as Market Capitalization, using the ‘Equity Screener’ feature. This can be reached from:

Screening & Analysis – Companies – Company Screener

By entering ‘Pharmaceuticals’ within the Business Description field and ‘greater than or equal to 5000’ within the Latest Market Cap ($Mil) field [Stock & Earnings Criteria section], then clicking on the ‘Search’ button, this gives 66 results.

 

T1 Screening Search

Thomson ONE.com – Screening & Analysis search

 

Selecting the column title (‘Market Cap’) orders the companies by this field’s values. The Excel icon allows data export.

 

Search screen

Thomson ONE.com – Screening & Analysis

 

The data displayed within Excel:

 

Excel Export

Thomson ONE.com – Company List Exported to Excel

 

Glaxosmithkline appears at number 6 in the results. A particular concern with this list may relate to how precisely ‘Pharmaceuticals’ matches with companies which are so classified. For example, 3M, which appears at number 5 on the list, makes many varied products, and isn’t primarily thought of as a pharmaceutical company. Another alternative is to try features within other databases – for example, Bloomberg Professional.

The first function which suggests itself is ‘Relative Valuation’ (RV), which would seem to provide a similar role to ‘Comparables’ within Thomson ONE.com. Enter the following on the Command Line:

GSK LN  F8/Equity  RV

 

Relative Valuation

Bloomberg Professional – Relative Valuation

 

Another potential choice would be to use the Equity Screening function (EQS). This allows companies to be selected according to the Sectors (or sub-sectors) to which they are assigned. There are a number of other categories which can be used to refine a search, if so desired.

 

Sectors

Bloomberg Professional – EQS – Sectors (Pharmaceuticals)

 

By selecting ‘Pharmaceuticals’, then ‘Update’, the number of results are shown. In this case 1,146 companies:

 

EQS Results

Bloomberg Professional – EQS Results

 

By clicking on ‘Results’, a listing is displayed, sorted by the default data field – Market Cap(italization). The currency is not clear at first sight. However, by hovering the mouse pointer over the column title (Market Cap), a pop up box confirms details: Currency: GBP, representing Great Britain Pounds.

 

Pharmaceutical Companies

Bloomberg Professional – Pharmaceutical Companies

 

Glaxosmithkline appears at number 10 in this listing. Interestingly, 3M doesn’t appear within the top 21, reflecting the earlier comment on categorisation of companies in different databases.

 

So, Equity Screening within Bloomberg Professional and Screening & Analysis within Thomson ONE.com databases have provided a listing of companies sorted by Market Capitalization and represent a reasonable solution to what was initially a difficult question to address.

 

Thomson ONE.com (from Thomson Reuters) and Bloomberg Professional are available to current students and staff of The University of Manchester.

 

Related posts include:

Company Employee Data Using Different Databases: [24 February 2016],  and

Company and Industry Comparisons: [10 July 2015].

 

Company Employee Data Using Different Databases

24 February 2016 1 comment

How many employees work for a company?

This would appear to be a simple question. But perhaps not…

Although the company in question will have a more exacting answer as to values at any particular point in time, this would be considered commercially sensitive information. Therefore, values are typically made available at a single point in time, such as the end of the company’s reporting period. This is then accessible via a number of business databases.

Unfortunately, if you look in different databases, you tend to get different answers – for example, looking at Tesco PLC, which is a publicly quoted UK company, a number of values are specified depending on the database consulted:

 

Bloomberg Professional

This shows 386,086 employees and helpfully specifies a date point of 28 February 2015, but displayed in US date format [02/28/15]. This reflects Tesco’s reporting period dates – essentially the start of March to the end of February.

Bb Tesco EE

 

Thomson ONE.com

This gives a different value [506,984] but specifies the same date – the end of the reporting period.

T1 Tesco EE PDF

 

Datastream (Thomson Reuters)

The datatype is ‘WC07011 – Employees’ and the definition notes: Employees represents the number of both full time and part time employees of the company. It excludes: Seasonal employees, Emergency employees. Footnotes:  D. Average employees.  This gives a value of 506,984.

Datastream Tesco EE

 

Fame

This specifies a value of 386,086.

Fame Tesco EE

 

Capital IQ

When searching for Tesco PLC, the ‘Number of Employees’ is stated as: 517,802.

Capital IQ Tesco EE

 

Company Annual Report

Perhaps one way to obtain clarity is to look in the ‘Tesco Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015’, accessible through Thomson Research or PI Navigator databases, for example.

Page 20, shows the following breakdown, for a total of 517,802 (220,257 + 297,545).

ARS 2015 Tesco EE p20

If you were to stop at this point in the Annual Report, you would miss further details. Hence, on page 100, there are additional details:

 

ARS 2015 Tesco EE p100

This helps to show which values the various databases have selected. Thus, Capital IQ has used the combined values [220,257 + 297,545 = 517,802] from page 20 of the Annual Report, in contrast to the other databases.

Thomson ONE.com/Datastream have used the ‘Average Number of Employees’ measure [506,984] and Bloomberg/Fame have used the ‘Average Number of Full-Time Equivalents’ [386,086] for 2015 – that is, the end of the reporting period, specifically 28 February 2015.

 

The lesson to be drawn when using data from a particular database – always quote the source, to ensure clarity and remove uncertainty. In the case of Employee data, the company’s Annual Report is the ultimate source.

However, the difference in total values between page 20 [517,802 (220,257 + 297,545)] and those quoted on page 100 [506,984 and 386,086] is a mystery. Specifying a page number in your reference is therefore recommended!

 

Bloomberg Professional, Datastream, Thomson ONE.com, Thomson Research, Fame and Capital IQ are databases available to current students and staff of The University of Manchester.

 

Company Results by Geographical Location

The ability to locate results by geographical location can be troublesome when having to consult multiple copies of a company’s Annual Report & Accounts.

 

Using a business database can make this task quicker and easier.

 

Thomson ONE.com

To get the best out of this database, it is useful to know that it is designed to work with the Internet Explorer browser.

In addition, it is advisable to select ‘Compatibility View Settings’ from the tools menu (represented by the ‘cog’ icon, then ‘Add’ and ‘Close’) to ensure all options display correctly.

 

T1 Tools - Compatibility View Settings

 

Company Search

 

Type in the company name in the search box at the top left of the screen and select:

T1 Tesco (Company Search)

 

Next, click on ‘Full Summary’ from the Company Overview screen.

 

T1 TEsco - Full Summary

 

From the Financial Reports page displayed, it is possible to reveal more search options by selecting the small icon towards the upper right of the screen.

 

Search Selections

 

T1 Geog Breakdown Tesco

With the ‘Summary’ tab selected at the top of the search screen, the Report categories available include Annual Key Items, Interim Key Items, Interim Key Items TTM, Business Segment and Geographic Segment.

For ‘Geographic Segment’ this means that data (‘Measure’ options: Sales, Assets, Capital Expenditure, Depreciation and Operating Income) are available for those areas in which results are reported, for a given year. In the case of Tesco PLC for Fiscal Period 2015* above (looking at data for the 12 months to 28 February 2015, displayed in US date format: 02/28/2015), this includes the UK, Asia and Rest of Europe.

Repeat the process for each year by selecting a new year and clicking on the ‘OK’ button to display data.

 

Whole Company Results – Multiple Years

 

For individual financial statements, select the appropriate tab at the top of the screen. These include Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement, with (Report type ‘Annual’ showing) data for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or All years.

T1 Tesco Income St Multiple Years

 

Data Definitions

 

Clicking on the small square icon at the end of an item in the financial statement being viewed will provide a pop-up window with a definition. For example, in the Income Statement for Tesco PLC above, ‘Operating Income’ is defined.

*Fiscal Period:  the period a company uses for accounting purposes – reporting results. In the case of Tesco PLC, March to the end of February.

 

Obtaining historical corporate credit ratings data from ThomsonONE.com

2 February 2016 1 comment

Corporate credit ratings data are useful to assess the financial capabilities of companies to pay back their debt obligations.

Current ratings market is dominated by three rating agencies, the so called ‘big three’. They are Standard & Poor’s (S&P, circa 40%), Moody’s (circa 40%), and Fitch Group (circa 15%).

Ratings could be assigned to debt obligations due within one year (short term rating), or beyond one year (long term rating). They could also be assigned to debt securities that are in local currency or in foreign currencies.

The University of Manchester Library subscribes to a few databases that provide current and historical corporate credit ratings data. One of them is ThomsonONE.com.

1.     From ThomsonONE.com portal, a company’s current and historical ratings data can be accessed via the company’s Debt Overview page.

This shows Pfizer’s corporate ratings by the big three agencies since 1972. Data could also be downloaded into Microsoft Excel:

(1) ThomsonONE.com for one company's credit rating

Corporate ratings on ThomsonONE.com for one company at a time

However, this works well only if one needs data for one or a small number of companies. In finance research, we normally need data for hundreds if not more companies over a period of time.  This is when ThomsonONE.com Excel add-in becomes very useful.

2. ThomsonONE.com’s Excel add-in is efficient when it comes to extract multiple years of data for a portfolio of companies.

The Excel add-in for ThomsonONE.com, called Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link (TRSL), allows for more complex data gathering requests. Below is an example of getting S&P’s Long term issuer ratings for FTSE100 companies from 1996-2015

List of companies

Step 1: Upload FTSE100 companies with their respective Thomson Tickers (identifiers such as ISIN, CUSIP, and Datastream Code also work), with years 1996-2015 across, with the TRSL add-in

TRSL

Step 2: Select Items look up, and type in ‘Rating’ at the search box. The first item S&P Long Term Issuer Rating will appear. Highlight this item

TRSL

Step 3: Input Date and Identifier with cell referencing. So that date cell is C$1, and identifiers cell is $B3. Click on Export

TRSL

Step 4: Getting the data: At export option box, select ‘Excludes Headings and Dates’, and press OK

TRSL

Bingo

TRSL

Copied across… and under…

Where to find Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link

TRSL is available in the Library Finance Zone (currently Dover Street Building G.010). Please see information signs in the rooms for how to set it up.

Alternative sources of credit rating data

Good sources of historical corporate credit ratings data include Bankscope, Bloomberg (through the terminal only), Mergent FISD and Compustat. Datastream only provides current data only.

Using business databases with Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows

13 October 2015 Leave a comment

Last month saw the release of the latest version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite for Windows, named version 2016. It brings new features and a design more in line with that of versions of Office released for iOS and Android. Many students beginning their studies this month will arrive at university with this version of Excel on their computers.

This is not a concern for users of the most specialist financial databases at The University of Manchester Library as the databases are installed on cluster PCs which will remain on Windows 7 with Office 2010; it may become a matter of concern for those at other institutions who are responsible for PC updates in the coming months.

I have run a few tests installing Thomson Reuters Datastream Advance for Office, Capital IQ Office Plug-in and Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link on Windows 7 and Windows 10 systems with Office 2016, specifically to check if their Excel add-ins work correctly. (I was not able to test Bloomberg due to its more limited restrictions.)

Datastream in Excel 2016 for Windows 7

Datastream in Excel 2016 for Windows 7

Datastream

Datastream in Excel 2010: The version of Datastream that is most used at The University of Manchester is Datastream Advance for Office (DAO), officially supported by Office 2007 and 2010 32-bit versions and no newer. (There is a version for 64-bit Office which I have not tested, called Datastream for Office (DFO), and a Datastream charting add-in, also not tested.)

Datastream for Excel 2013 in Windows 10Datastream in Excel 2013: Although Office 2013 is not officially supported for DAO, I managed to install it on a Windows 10 32-bit tablet and got a Request Table to work. (Tip: save the Request Table document the first time it asks you to, otherwise you will get into trouble with macro-enabled filetypes later.) I have seen the previous version of DAO, designed for Office 2003, working with Office 2013 32-bit on Windows 8.1 64-bit (sorry, screen shot not available).

Datastream install fail: AFOHelpDatastream in Excel 2016: Although Office 2016 is also not officially supported for DAO, I managed to install it on a Windows 7 32-bit PC and got a Request Table to work. I could not install it on a Windows 10 64-bit PC, using Office 2010 or Office 2016; it gave error messages such as “Compile error in hidden module: AFOHelp”.

In summary: Datastream works for me in Office 2016 with Windows 7 32-bit and possibly in some other situations but more testing is required.

Capital IQ

CIQ Excel 2016 data failI had a mixed but unsuccessful experience using the Capital IQ Office Plug-in. On a Windows 10 PC where I had already installed the software to use with Office 2010, running the Excel add-in on Excel 2016 would let me load the Capital IQ ribbon tab, access the template library, but it would not download any real data. I tried the usual troubleshooting methods but could not get the data to work.

CIQ Office 2016 install failWhen I tried to install Capital IQ Office Plug-in on Windows 7 where Office 2016 was installed, I got an error message that I could not work around: “Unsupported Office Version”. I guess Office 2016 is too far ahead of Office 2003 for it to recognise, even though I had Office 2010 installed as well.

I have not tried to contact their help desk yet; perhaps there will be a newer version released to address this. I am hopeful for this with Capital IQ; there will not be an update for either of these Thomson Reuters products tested today.

Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link

TRSL Office2010 Windows 10 failUnfortunately I was unable to run Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link (TRSL) in Office 2016. It is not officially supported in anything newer than Office 2010 so I was not expecting it to start working again in Office 2016, but running on the Windows 10 PC Office 2010 showed part of the Excel add-in loading; perhaps it had worked on that same PC a few months earlier.

TRSL in Office 2016 Windows 7 install failWhen I tried to install TRSL on a Windows 7 PC with Office 2016 installed, I got a message like with Capital IQ, stopping the installation from taking place at all. In short, it doesn’t work.

Summary

Many of the archive specialist database platforms that researchers use are dependent on old and ageing pieces of software. It is asking a lot to expect software written over five years ago to continue working in successive releases of the Windows operating system, and an even harder challenge to make it work within multiple Office environments on each of those platforms. Sometimes these old applications would require major redevelopment to work, sometimes just a tiny tweak. If that tiny tweak requires a disbanded team and development environment to be resurrected, it’s just as unlikely to be fixed as a major job. Sadly, the Thomson Reuters Excel add-ins fall into one of these categories. We will have to wait until Eikon is ready for wider use in education, hopefully before the Windows 7 operating system reaches the end of its life for receiving security updates in January 2020.

See also: Using business databases with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

Using business databases with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

31 July 2015 2 comments
Windows 10 desktop showing two browsers

Microsoft Edge is the new, default browser in Windows 10 (top) but Internet Explorer 11 is still available (bottom).

The newly released Windows 10 is a currently a free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. It claims to “transform the way you work and play” amongst other things. It also marks the launch of a new web browser Microsoft Edge, replacing the 20-year old Internet Explorer (IE). Edge is a great move forward for web developers and hopefully will be preferred by end users but, as always, change comes at a cost; the many legacy web-based platforms that were built for IE 6 or later may not work. Fortunately, IE 11 is still available for the sake of compatibility, but is using Windows 10 and multiple web browsers a smooth ride?

How compatible are our business databases with Windows 10?

Some of the specialist financial and business databases that The University of Manchester subscribes to have been tested below.

Search Windows 10

The desktop search in Windows 10 looks for applications, files, on the web and more.

Not compatible with Microsoft Edge:

ThomsonONE.com and Thomson Research

These two reputable products are widely used but they are built on old technology (old by web development standards). They were already limited to work on Internet Explorer only in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.

ThomsonONE.com shows a blank screen if loaded in Microsoft Edge.

Thomson Research will load but some of the dialog windows do not work in Microsoft Edge.

Solution: Click in the new Search box next to the Start button (bottom left of the screen), type “Internet Explorer” and open the old browser. From here, go to the Library website and find ThomsonONE.com in the usual way. (Note, if you try the option to “Open with Internet Explorer” from within Edge may not work for this website.)

Compatible with Microsoft Edge:

So far, I have found that all out other web-based specialist databases are compatible with Microsoft Edge.

Please comment below this post if you find otherwise! I will update this post as necessary.

 

A later post on Business Research Plus will explore databases that use Microsoft Office 2016 and Windows 10.