Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Not Much Fizz in LaCroix Right Now

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
An Example of Calcbench, Excel, and Insight

Monday, May 20, 2019
Research Paper: Capex Spending

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Psst: Got Any Weed?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Open Letter: SEC Proposed Rule for BDCs

Friday, May 10, 2019
General Motors and Workhorse

Monday, May 6, 2019
How to Find Earnings Release Data

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Following Restructuring Costs Over Time

Monday, April 22, 2019
Capex Spending: More Than You Might Think

Saturday, April 13, 2019
When AWS Takes Over the World

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Data Trends in Focus: Restructuring Costs

Sunday, April 7, 2019
How One Customer Crushed It With Calcbench

Thursday, April 4, 2019
TJX Shows Complexity of Leasing Costs Reporting

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
CEO Pay Ratios: Some 2018 Thoughts

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Corporate Spending: Where It Goes, 2017 vs. 2018

Monday, March 25, 2019
Health Insurers: A Bit Winded?

Friday, March 22, 2019
Our New Master Class Video

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Tech Data’s Goodwill Adjustment

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
There’s Taxes, and There’s Taxes

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Adventures in Tax Cuts and Net Income

Archive  |  Search:

Acquisitions are a very common part of the business landscape. Some work out well, others not as well. Predicting which will be which is more of an art than a science. But you can (and should) use hard data to at least determine what is your downside risk as an investor in the case the deal goes south.

On Calcbench, we do this using our newest feature…fully interactive disclosures that link each number in the text with its corresponding detailed XBRL info. The power of this is it allows us to trace any of our standardized metrics back to its source text in the ‘paper document’. 

We’ll start by going to our Interactive Footnote Viewer ( and pick a list of companies to look at: the S&P 500 for example.

Next, choose the topic we’re interested in: business combinations. In particular, we’ll look at the goodwill ‘created’ when companies buy other companies. (Goodwill in accounting terms is the amount paid for a company above and beyond the actual assets of that company). There is goodwill resulting from most every acquisition. However, large goodwill numbers can be a red flag, because they may lead to large write-downs if the acquisition doesn’t work out as hoped. (Potential example here pertaining to Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia)

Choose the metric using our explorer:

Now, let’s go through the S&P 500 and see what we can find. Choose the “Portion of Purchase Price Allocated to Goodwill” metric, and our list will come up.

Aha! Without going very far at all, here’s a case where goodwill is over $1 billion, and over 50% of the purchase price. Now it is up to the analyst to decide if this is a risk or not. But it is certainly something to consider in analyzing this company. If this acquisition does end up falling short of expectations, you can expect some of this goodwill to disappear, which will take earnings down with it.

FREE Calcbench Premium
Two Week Trial

Research Financial & Accounting Data Like Never Before. More features and try our Excel add-in. Sign up now to try the Premium Suite.