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Using Calcbench to Find China Exposure
Thursday, August 1, 2019

President Trump tweeted today that he will raise tariffs again on some $300 billion of Chinese imports coming into the United States, starting Sept. 1. What’s the Calcbench play on that news? A reminder of how you research firms’ exposure to China in our databases!


One place to start is our Segments, Rollforwards, and Breakouts page. This is where you can research what firms report by various sub-categories, including geographic and operating segments.

For example, Figure 1 below is a look at the disclosures by geographic segment that Apple ($AAPL) makes. Apple only reports this segment revenue annually, not quarterly; but it does report both revenue and property, plant & equipment.



The PPE number is especially interesting to us, because Trump’s tariffs won’t affect Apple sales in China; they will only affect goods manufactured in China and then imported back to the United States. Apple’s PPE investments in China give us a sense of its manufacturing capacity there, which can give you a sense of the hit to sales that tariffs might cause here.

If you’re looking at a group of companies, be warned: the results can get unwieldy if you don’t narrow your search parameters. For example, if you search segment disclosures among the S&P 500, Calcbench will give every segment reported by every firm its own line.

To avoid that, you want to enter text in that “Filter” field at the top of the Segment column — and you might need to use some creativity. Obviously you can enter “China” or even just “Chi” to filter the results, but you might also want to enter “Far East,” “APAC,” “Hong Kong” or similar phrases.

Look closely at the results from those filters, too. For example, we’ve seen “China” return “China excluding Hong Kong” and “Asia excluding China.” You’d want to make note of those results and continue searching accordingly.

Figure 2, below, shows some results from the S&P 500, this time for Q1 2019. Again, we see some firms reporting both revenue and PPE. We also see Boeing reporting “Asia other than China,” and thank the company for proving the point we just made above.



Using the Segments page, you could identify firms with large exposure to China (say, ranking them by PPE or assets in China) and then tailor your investment strategies accordingly.

Narrative Discussion

You can also visit the Interactive Disclosures page to search for footnote discussion of China, tariffs, trade tensions, or anything else, really. Simply select the company (or companies) and the period (or periods) that you want to research; and then type “China” or “tariffs” or whatever into the text box on the right side. See what results come up, and go from there.


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