Where can I find industry and company financial ratios?

Ratios are essential for analyzing a company or industry

Financial ratios are often used to compare a company against an industry average or other companies  in order to benchmark or measure a company’s performance.  Industry ratios are often useful when creating the financial components of a business plan.  This article discusses several resources that can be used to find industry and company financial ratios.  With the exception of the Yahoo Industry Research Center, all resources listed below are subscription resources.  If you are not affiliated with Ohio University, check with your local library for access, as many of these resources are commonly held subscriptions at academic and public libraries.

Larger companies and industries

If you are researching larger companies and industries, you may find the resources below more useful than the ones above.  The resources below can be used to find ratios for individual companies, or for a list of companies in the same industry.  In many cases the resource may also give industry averages.  If industry averages are not included in a particular resource, then you could take an average from a list of companies with the same NAICS or SIC code.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online allows you to do an advanced search for companies with the same SIC or NAICS code and then create a comparison report. There are a number of different ratios that can be used as comparison criteria when creating this user-defined report. The report that is created can be exported into a Microsoft Excel format.  Alternatively, you can use the Competitors Tab in Mergent to build a list of companies and compare their ratios.

Factiva

In Factiva, use the Companies & Markets tab to first search for a company.  Next, click “Reports” and choose the “Ratio Comparison Report” to get a company’s ratios compared to industry averages.

S&P NetAdvantage

S&P NetAdvantage has some company and industry ratios in two different sections of the database.  You can find some ratios in the Compustat Excel Analytics section of a company’s information page, as well as in the data from the S&P Industry Surveys.

Onesource

Onesource is another good source for comparing financial ratios of companies in the same industry. The best way to find comparison data is to first search for a particular company, and then click on the link for “Ratio Comparisons” on the left side of the company information page.  The data in Onesource will compare your company against the industry, against the sector, against the stock market as a whole.

Yahoo Industry Center

The Yahoo Industry Center is a wonderful free resource that has some excellent industry information. The industry browser allows you to browse industries by performance rankings, including ROE, P/E ratio, market cap, price change, price to book value, profit margin, price to book value, long term debt, and more.

Research Insight

Research Insight is a database that is available only on Alden Library computers. This database is very powerful, but it is also quite complex.  For more information about using research insight, take a look at this video on using Research Insight to find company ratios.

Smaller companies and industries

Bizminer

Bizminer is one of the best resources available for benchmarking smaller companies against industry averages.  Bizminer does not do not have ratios for individual companies, only industry averages.  This video shows an example of how to find financial ratios in Bizminer.

 

Industry ratio books

If you are benchmarking a small, private company, or are looking to start a new company, the resources in this section would be most useful to you.  I recommend that you look at all three resources as they do not all cover the same industries.  Also, when using the resources, make sure you are comparing similar sized companies.  Each of the books below will give different figures for each industry, based upon the average asset size of the companies in the industry.  The resources below do not have ratios for individual companies, only industry averages. Note: Ohio University Libraries no longer subscribes to these three books, but I left the information here as a reference for other researchers, as many libraries still carry these books if they do not subscribe to the more expensive services like Bizminer..  

Almanac of business and industrial financial ratios

  • Format:  Reference Book
  • Location: Alden Library no longer subscribes.  Replaced by Bizminer.  Check with your local library for access.
  • One volume, updated annually, organized by NAICS codes

RMA annual statement studies

  • Format:  Reference Book
  • Alden Library no longer subscribes.  Replaced by Bizminer.  Check with your local library for access.
  • One volume, updated annually, organized by NAICS codes

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios

  • Format:  Reference Book
  • Alden Library no longer subscribes.  Replaced by Bizminer.  Check with your local library for access.
  • Multiple volumes, updated annually, organized by SIC codes

This (old) video takes a look at the three resources mentioned above.