Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Calcbench is all about helping our users perform better financial analysis — and a big part of analysis is assessing how one company performs against its peers, or how a group of companies perform over time. 

To that end, today’s post is about how to create a peer group within our databases, so you can benchmark your data more quickly and easily.

First, Calcbench already comes with one easy trick to find the peers of a company you’re analyzing at the moment. 

For example, we visited the Company-in-Detail page, and pulled up the most recent annual statements for chipmaker Nvidia ($NVDA). Those results are below — and notice, in the upper-right corner, we have a “Related” line (see the red arrow) with a few Nvidia peers: Micron Technology, Advanced Micro Devices, Broadcom, Analog Devices, and Texas Instruments. Click on any of those ticker symbols, and we automatically pull up the same financial data for that peer company in a separate page.

OK, that’s great; but most of the time you’ll want to find a larger group of peer companies at a single stroke. We have a few ways to do that, too. Let’s review.

Choose Your Companies

The most versatile way to build your own peer group is our Choose Companies button. You’ll see that button somewhere in the upper left corner of the Company-in-Detail Page, the Multi-Company page, the Interactive Disclosures page, and just about every other database page we offer. Press that button, and you’ll see this image, Figure 2, below. 

Here, you can select industry groups by SIC or NAICS sector. The coding systems are similar but not always identical; so you will get mostly the same companies within a sector regardless of which system you choose — but we can’t guarantee that SIC and NAICS groupings will always be identical. Plan accordingly.

Another option is to go with several standard peer groups Calcbench already built into the system: the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, all SEC registrants who file by International Financial Reporting Standards, and ESEF, the European Single Electronic Format Filers. They are all in the middle column of Figure 2. 

You can also set up a filtering screen, if you want to compile a list of peers by geography, revenue, or some other financial metric. First, select the Screen/Filter feature. Then you can sort by geographic region (country or U.S. state); or by one of many financial metrics.

To search by metric, look for the Choose button next to “Normalized Metric.” (See Figure 3, below; circled in blue.) You can then sift through any number of metrics on the financial statements, including footnotes or even financial ratio (which Calcbench can calculate for you). Once you choose your metric, you can also set filters using the last pull-down menu on this screen: greater than, less than, or not equal to whatever number you want.

How can you apply multiple metrics? That’s easy to do, but you must do it one at a time. For example, you might search all companies in the food sector by SIC code; then filter by a state; then filter by revenue over $50 million; then filter by accounts receivable amount. It would look something like Figure 4, below.

Every time, be sure that the “Filter existing list” button is marked, to keep refining the list of peer companies to the precise group you want.

Adding Companies

And if you have your own list of companies ready to go? That’s easy, too. Just open the Choose Companies screen, and on the far left, hit “Enter Ticker List.” (See Figure 5, below; circled in blue.) A new tab opens where you can add your companies in a simple cut-and-paste job.

Or if you use our features to refine your peer group somewhat, but you still want to add a few more companies of your own, just add those ticker symbols in the Add Company text box.

When you’re done, you can save your peer group for future reference by using the box in the middle. Just give the group a name and press the Save button (circled in red, Figure 5 above). The group will remain there and be available every time you open the Choose Companies box until you delete it.

Of course, we’re always happy to help Calcbench subscribers with more complicated research needs. You can email us at info@calcbench.com any time. 

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