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A Simple Example of Our Trace Feature
Friday, September 23, 2016

We at Calcbench love all our database features, but one that really makes us proud is the Trace function: the ability for users to click on virtually any number you see, and trace it back to its source location in whatever corporate filing contains it.

Let’s walk through one example of how it works and how you can use Trace to drill down on a reported piece of financial data to your heart’s content.

The subject today is Campbell Soup Co. Campbell’s fiscal year ends on July 31, so it just filed its Form 10-K annual report on Sept. 22. We were poking around the filing using our Interactive Disclosure tool, and randomly decided to look at its disclosures for acquisitions. If you look up Campbell yourself, you should come to something like Figure 1, below.

The text there reviews Campbell’s two acquisitions in recent years: Garden Fresh Gourmet for $232 million in 2015, and Kelsen for $331 million in 2013. In the sixth line down, Campbell reports that Kelsen contributed $193 million in sales and $8 million in net earnings in its first year under Campbell. (See the line flagged in red.)

You’ll notice that all those numbers are hyper-linked; that’s the Trace feature. Any number you see anywhere in Calcbench—if it’s hyper-linked, it can be traced. Today we’re going to focus on that $193 million in sales from Kelsen. Click on the number and see what happens. The trace will open along the bottom and in a mouse-over box adjacent to the number itself, as you can see in Figure 2.

What does the trace tell you? In the box adjacent to the number, you see the label Campbell uses for this piece of data: “Business Combination, Pro Forma Information, Revenue of Acquiree since Acquisition Date, Actual – Kelsen,” plus the actual dollar amount of $331 million. Along the bottom you see that information too, along with the XBRL tag used to classify that piece of data, plus some other tagging information such as unit of measurement and filing period.

Now to the cool stuff.

Let’s Get Tracing

On the far right of the Trace box along the bottom, you can see a column called Get History with two options below it: Screen and Excel. (We’ve blown up that corner in Figure 3, below.)

When you click on those links, Calcbench pulls up the prior disclosures related to that piece of financial data. In our case with Campbell and the Kelsen acquisition, the Trace function pulls up all the disclosures Campbell has reported since acquiring Kelsen in mid-2013—the revenue that Kelsen added every quarter, totaling up to the $193 million reported in the 10-K. As a bonus, you can see other acquisitions and their contributions to revenue over time, since all have the same XBRL tag (Business Combination, Pro Forma Information, Revenue of Acquiree since Acquisition Date).

All that is shown in Figure 4, below, when you select the Screen choice.

You can go a little nuts with your explorations if you want. The Chart feature, far left side, will present all the disclosures as a line graph over time. You can use the Excel choice under Get History rather than Screen, and all that data in Figure 4 will be exported to your desktop in a spreadsheet.

That’s one simple example of the Trace function. In the future we’ll show other possible uses, since Trace is pretty versatile around the Calcbench world. Just remember—if it’s a number, it’s hyper-linked, you can trace it. We are all about providing evidence to support the data you see.


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