Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Our latest quarterly snapshot of financial performance is now ready for your review, and the numbers confirm a tale most of us probably suspected already: lots of firms racking up debt so they have enough cash to weather difficult economic circumstances, and lots of other turbulence across most line items on the income statement.

We try to publish these snapshot reports every quarter, collecting and comparing financial data for a large pool of firms. For Q3 2020, we looked at the disclosures of more than 2,500 firms across dozens of industries. Large retailers are excluded because most of them don’t have third quarters that end on Sept. 30; and large financial firms are excluded because that sector’s financial statements are so different from everyone else.

Still, 2,500 firms across dozens of other industries gives us a good look at what happened in Q3 2020, and how that performance compared to Q3 2019. Some of our findings, for all firms as a whole:

  • Revenue down 4.25 percent
  • Net Income down 16.7 percent
  • Operations cashflow down 7.1 percent
  • Capex down 14 percent
  • Cash up 38 percent
  • Total debt up 9.5 percent

Figure 1, below, shows year-over-year changes visually:

None of that should surprise people. Since the pandemic arrived earlier this year, operating expenses have gone up for many firms, while revenue declined. Firms also scrambled for cash to keep themselves liquid, and primarily did so by tapping lines of credit or raising debt. The big pieces of this puzzle all fit together.

And Looking by Industry…

Calcbench also tracked the 2,500 firms in our sample by SIC code, the classification system used to group firms by industry. So our Q3 snapshot report also lets people see how 20 specific industries fared across eight major financial metrics. For example…

  • The oil & gas and hospitality sectors suffered biggest the revenue declines, as well as sharp declines in SG&A spending;
  • All sectors had more cash on hand in Q3 2020 except broadcasting & communications, which had a 38 percent decline;
  • Oil services saw its operating expenses plunge, while the pharma sector saw them rise sharply; all other sectors fluctuated at +/- 10 percent.

Here’s how revenue changed year-over-year for all 20 industry sectors we tracked:

You can download the full report (or our other prior reports) for free from our Research Page. Remember, if you have other ideas of research we should do or projects where you can’t quite find that piece of financial data you’re looking for — drop us a line at us@calcbench.com. We’re here to help!


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