When we say Calcbench goes nuts over financial data, we mean it.
We recently launched a new feature for our customers on the Company in Detail page: the Show All History function. Now you can find all the line-item data a company has ever disclosed, for all the financial reports we have on that company, all neatly aligned in one easy-to-read page.
We’re not ones for fancy process around here, so the feature works like this. First, you find the company you’re researching on the Company in Detail database. Then you hit the Show All History button. That’s it.
Let’s take Netflix as an example. Pull up its default display, and you’ll see a short summary of its operations for the last four annual reporting periods:
Nothing unusual here, but you can see that virtually every line item has a value for every reporting period (with rare exceptions, like the one time Netflix disclosed loss on extinguishment of debt in 2013). If this summary is all you want, you can also dig back into prior annual periods by using the Add Previous Period button on the far right (circled in blue). That will add one prior year at a time, as far back as our database goes.
If you want more detail all at once, however, hit the Show All History button (below, circled in red) and you’ll see something like this:
First, we present all the annual periods we have for Netflix, going back to 2007. Look more closely, and you can see all the smaller line items Netflix has included at one time or another over the years. For example, Netflix used to split out its revenues into subscriptions and fulfillment expenses until 2009. Likewise, even earlier in its history, Netflix also reported losses from its disposal of DVDs (back when people still used DVDs). If you only looked at our summary presentation in Figure 1, you wouldn’t see that. Now you can.
Or for another view, shift from the Operations summary to Balance Sheets (the tab way over on the left side), and then hit Show All History again. Now we have the balance sheet going back to 2007, with all line items included:
You can see that starting in starting in 2010 Netflix started reporting Current Content Liabilities as a liability (that’s a custom XBRL tag), while in other years it reported prepaid revenue sharing expenses, or long-term debt due to related parties, and the like.
What can you do with all this detail? Deepen your knowledge of a company’s financial reporting history, which in turn can sharpen your thinking about questions you might want to ask management or comparisons you might make with that company’s peers. Changes in line items over the years can suggest changes in business model (think of Netflix moving from those red DVD sales boxes in supermarkets to online streaming), changes in accounting policy, changes in operations—changes in a lot of things, really. We simply give you an immediate, easy way to see what has happened and then ask better questions about why.
The Show All History feature works for all financial statements we track: cash flows, income statement, stockholder’s equity, balance sheet. You won’t necessarily get the same results for every company, since each filer has its own history, but it’s an excellent way to dive as deeply into a company’s financial data as you want.