Recent Grads – Library Database Access for Alumni

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“Why can’t I get access to the Library’s databases?” is the perennial question of the recent Penn graduate.

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Unfortunately, the library’s subscription databases are only available to current students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Pennsylvania. Once the school switches a student’s status from student to alumni – usually mid-August – access to the Library’s electronic resources ends. Below is a summary of the Penn Libraries resources that you can access as an alumni, both remotely and on-campus. We also have a few tips for finding business resources at your local public library an on the Web.

Alumni Services provides information on visiting the Library, Library Events and E-resources that are accessible remotely using your PennKey information.

Alumni also have access to some business databases on campus as shown in this list: Alumni Business Database Access on Campus.

Other options for Alumni include the local public library.  Many public libraries provide access to selected databases for members.  Check your library to find out what is available to you.   New York City’s Science Industry and Business Library, (SIBL) rivals many college libraries. The Free Library of Philadelphia also has a large collection of business resources.

There are also many useful freely available web resources.  Here are a few tips on locating and finding reliable information.  First, check our Library Research Guides.  Many guides include web sites carefully vetted by subject Librarians.

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Many universities, such as Penn, provide Scholarly Commons where research by faculty and students are readily available.

Use Google filters.  For instance, when you are researching topics such as foreign trade or exporting, limit your search to government sites.  To search for trade regulations in Brazil, use this search:

TRADE REGULATIONS BRAZIL SITE:.GOV

You will retrieve resources about trade with Brazil from U.S. government site only.

To search for information from associations or organizations use the filter SITE:.ORG.  Many organizations such as the World Bank provide free information. One great resource from the World Bank is the annual “Doing Business In survey of the ease of doing business in countries across the Globe.  The World Bank also provides detailed information on each country including business regulations and historical macroeconomic data.

Google Scholar contains many scholarly publications from around the world.  Many are accessible via the web.  This can also be used as a way to build a bibliography that can be used at the local library.

 

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The Library of Congress lists many resources, print and online in the Business Reference Services website.  Check out the Bibliographies & Guides as well as recommended Internet Resources.

Large consulting companies often provide free reports. PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry overviews and research and insights.  Real estate firms such as CBRE provide quarterly international market research reports.

An easy way to access government data is through American Factfinder.  Select your topic of interest such as demographics, economics or housing.

CensusMap

FRED, the Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis, is another depository of economic statistics and research.  This covers a range of countries as well as the United States.

The Thomas Register is the largest directory of suppliers in the the U.S.  Many companies include brochures.

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The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank providing information about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America.

Financial Data is also accessible on the web.  Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg provide data on stocks, bonds and other financial instruments as well as providing current news.

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Edgar provides free access to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  It also includes information about the usage for various filings.

This is a sampling of sites that are available on the web.  Good luck going forward!!

For more detailed information about the Library’s business databases available to alums, please look at our blog post Library Database Access for Penn Alumni.

 

 

 

Parsing Business School Rankings

US NewsIn March 2014, the Wharton Business School Community (University of Pennsylvania) was happy to learn that the School’s full-time MBA program was ranked first in the U.S. (along with Harvard and Stanford) by US News.

Since the first ranked list of 20 programs appeared in Business Week in 1988, there has been a proliferation of ranked lists. In addition to full-time MBA programs, there are now rankings of MBA programs world-wide, evening/part-time MBA programs, executive MBA programs, undergraduate business programs, and executive education. Continue reading

ProwessDX – A NIFTY Database of India Company Financials

We’ve all heard of the NYSE and the S&P 500, but what are the BSE and the NIFTY?   

The ProwessDX database of Indian Company Financials has a few such unfamiliar acronyms. Once you get past them, you will find the database easy to navigate as well as comprehensive. Prowess is a database of the financial performance of 34,000 Indian companies. The database is updated continuously and typically covers the period 1990 on.

Annual Reports of companies and data available from India’s two largest stock exchanges (Bombay Stock Exchange, BSE, and the National Stock Exchange, NSE) are the principal sources of data. The database includes listed companies, unlisted public companies and private companies. Note: You will need to create a personal login account before searching. 

Search Prowess in Five Steps:

Step 1:  Choose the live (continuously updated) database, or a snapshot from March 2014 or December 2013. Prowess refers to these options as the database’s “vintage”.

Step 2: Select Data. The data may be either a pre-defined set, such as all companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange, an uploaded list of companies of your own choosing, or a created set using database identifiers.

Spelling out some of the acronyms will help clarify the choices in the menu below.

BSE = Companies in the Bombay Stock Exchange

NSE = Companies in the National Stock Exchange

SENSY – Companies in The Bombay Stock Exchange Index of 30 companies

NIFTY – Companies in The National Stock Exchange Index of 50 companies

COSPI = Companies in an Index of 2,312 Companies Continue reading

What is Your Capital IQ?

SP_Capital_IQ_FINALS&P Capital IQ is a premier financial database used in the industry by leading financial institutions, advisory firms, and corporations. The database covers global public and private companies, investment firms, capital transactions, and people. You can customize reports and export them directly to Excel or use the API to extract data from the database.

We have 8 Capital IQ terminals here at the Lippincott Library. They are located in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab. You need a Wharton username and password to access the database and a librarian to log you in. Full-time Wharton MBAs have remote access to the database though MBA Career Management. Note that access is available only during the school year.

This post focuses on the information available for a single, publicly traded company. While this database does cover privately held companies, the data available for private companies is often minimal because private companies are not required to file with the SEC.

Search

Search by company name in the top toolbar. When you select the company, you will start on the company tearsheet which provides basic qualitative and quantitative information on the firm, including financials, key people, and equity pricing. The left-hand menu allows you to navigate to the different information segments that you can access for the company. Here are some highlights.

Financials/Valuation => Key Stats

The Key Stats page displays high-level financial information for the company you are viewing.  You can view historical financials as well as estimates for data like Total Revenues, Gross Profit, EBITDA, EBIT, Net Income and more. To view historical data (back to the late ’80′s early ’90s), adjust the timeline. Notice that you can easily jump to other financial statements from this screen. The financials can be easily exported to Excel. Select either the single page you are viewing or the entire set of financials. You can also link to the company’s 10-K and 10-Q directly from any financial statement. Continue reading

Bloomberg Live Help Discontinued

HelpIf you’ve spent time on a Bloomberg terminal you know that it contains vast amounts of information. With so much complexity, it is difficult for one person to know all of the database’s facets. This is where Bloomberg’s excellent Help features come in. Until recently, Bloomberg offered a live chat service, which students/staff/faculty could use to chat with a Bloomberg representative in real time. This live chat service was useful for locating data outside of one’s area of expertise.

As of March 2014, Bloomberg discontinued its live chat service <Help> <Help> for academic clients. Corporate clients and those with billable terminals will still have access to the 24/7 Live Chat service. If you use Bloomberg this summer at an internship, you will most likely have access to the live help feature.

Now, when you hit the help key twice, you can submit a question to the Bloomberg Help Desk. A response will come within one business day to both your Bloomberg account and to the university email that you provide. Type HDSK <GO> to access your Bloomberg email account. If you hit Help only one time, a separate window opens to a detailed manual that provides assistance with usage, instructions, definitions and calculations for the specific page you are on.

Bloomberg Help

While the turnaround time is no longer instant, the Bloomberg Help Desk puts a positive spin on things by noting that the email service will allow users to receive the detailed and considered response that these complex questions often require. While we have not yet tried out this service, based on our previous positive experiences with the Help Desk, we can only assume good things.

As always, a good place to start if you are stuck, is to ask one of the librarians at the Lippincott Reference Desk. Also, take advantage of the other Bloomberg Help features on the terminal. See also our Bloomberg Help Guide for assistance.

Executive Compensation: The Clown Makes A Good Argument

Executive compensation is composed of salary, bonuses, stock options, and other company benefits. Staggering figures like the CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 354:1 (in 2012) have brought executive compensation under some scrutiny in the United States. Other provisions like the ‘say on pay’ provision of the Dodd-Frank Act have brought executive compensation to the forethought of many shareholders’ minds.

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Let’s start with a quick exercise. Which of the following CEOs had the highest base salary for the year 2012?

A. Larry Page (Google)
B. Alex Gorsky (Johnson & Johnson)
C. W. James McNerney, Jr. (Boeing)
D. C. Douglas Mcmillon (Walmart)

I’m not sure who you guessed (the answer is C), but we can quickly find out answers to questions like this using several library databases. A number of publications provide lists of the top paid CEOs, like Forbes’ list of America’s Highest Paid Chief Executives. Lists are helpful, but you may want to search by company or executive or create a time series of data.

Click to Expand

Click to Expand

LexisNexis Academic allows you to search within the Morningstar US Executive Compensation database. This source provides information on salaries, cash compensation, option grants, other stock-related compensation and auditor fees for U.S. public company directors and officers. Data comes from the Form 10-K or Annual Meeting Proxy Statements. The coverage is the current edition (i.e. FY 2013) and does not include historical data. Click Search by Content Type and select Company Profiles. Under the Advanced Options area select the source. Then search by company name (e.g. Apple Inc.) or by executive (e.g. Larry Page). This database is helpful if you are searching for a single company or executive.

Standard & Poor’s Execucomp database is available through WRDS (for Wharton account holders). Go to COMPUSTAT and select Execucomp. This database covers 2,872 companies, both listed and unlisted, with data for up to 9 executives, although most companies only report 5. Similar to the Morningstar database, this data is collected from each company’s annual proxy (DEF14A SEC form). With data back to 1992 and numerous fields to select from (e.g. EIP_UNEARN_NUM — Equity Incentive Plan–Number of Unearned Sha), this is a good database to use to build a time series. Below is an example of Google’s data for the past 5 years, with only Larry Page’s salary shown. Continue reading

Flappy Bird and Splashy Fish: Researching the Mobile Gaming Industry

In February, 2014, Dong Ngoyen removed his hugely successful mobile app, Flappy Bird, from the Internet claiming that he was concerned that the game was too addictive (Flappy Bird’s Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game’s Rise, Fall).

Whatever Ngoyen’s motives, the removal of Flappy Bird caused hundreds of copycat games with names such as Flappy Bat, Splashy Fish, and Flappy Miley to spring up.  Apparently, making a mobile gaming app is fairly easy. Researching the industry is not very difficult, either.

The mobile gaming industry develops and publishes gaming apps for smartphones and mobile devices. Apps are typically sold in a special “app store” that can be accessed through the device. As a new and very specific industry, the Mobile Gaming Industry doesn’t have its own NAICS code or even standardized natural language indexing.

Mobile game(s), mobile gaming, mobile apps, smartphone gaming, and the more general digital games, are terms used by various sources. Finding stories about individual games when you know the name is no problem. For example, search Dow Jones Factiva for flappy bird in the lead paragraph (lp=flappy bird) to retrieve thousands of published items. Searching standard sources for industry information will often retrieve a general report on mobile apps that will have a subsection dealing with gaming. Continue reading

Bloomberg Cuts through the Government Contract Maze

Bloomberg’s Government Spending module <BGS> is an important new tool designed to measure the effect of US contracts on a company’s outlook. Based on data from the 500 largest US Federal Government contract holders, the module displays prime contract orders for a company based on obligations posted by U.S. Federal Agencies. Details provided include key statistics, contract portfolio analysis, peer comparisons and quarterly trends.

To get access, type the ticker symbol into the command line, hit the Equity key, type BGS and hit Go. To search for Boeing’s US Government Contracts for example:

 BA US <EQUITY>  BGS  <GO>    

Blog contract first screen

The tabs on the Overview Table allow the examination of different aspects of a company’s contracts. The “Contract Analysis” tab, for example, lists Boeing’s individual Government Contracts by their value, Government Agency, and start and end dates.

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For a list of the companies receiving US Government Contracts, type:

 BGSD <Go>

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For more information on doing business with the U.S. Government and with individual states, see this FAQ.

 

What’s the Deal? Researching Specific M&A Deals

Companies make acquisitions for two primary reasons: (1) to fill a strategic gap (products, resources (people), or capabilities) or (2) enable the company to enter a new market with a new revenue stream. Researching a company’s M&A activity provides insight into the corporate strategy. When researching a specific deal, we are often looking for deal financials and deal valuation. It’s also important to research the strategies behind the deal. We often want information on business drivers, overall strategy, execution plan, implementation, etc.

Let’s take a well-known deal as an example, eBay’s acquisition of Paypal. In 2002, eBay, the largest online auction platform bought, PayPal, a web-based payment service, for $1.5B. The deal was a perfect match – Paypal drove eBay’s revenues while eBay supported the growth of PayPal’s active user base. A decade later, it is evident that both businesses fueled each others growth. So how does one research a specific deal?

Start with Thomson One for deal information including deal financials, news, filings, and research.

Note that this database only works in Internet Explorer versions 7-9. Take a look at our blog post for an IE10 workaround or Chrome plug-in.

Go to Screening & Analysis => Deals & League Tables => M&A => Advanced Search. Continue reading

Do You Have This Report? Finding Market and Industry Reports

Doing research on an industry? The Library has several databases that can help. Most Library resources can be accessed by typing the database name into the Findit box at the top of the Library homepage.

Standard&Poors

Net Advantage - Standard & Poors has been providing industry surveys since 1941. Older, print editions are available at Lippincott Library – Peck Collection (call number HG4921 .S672).  Recent years are available electronically. Once you are logged into the database, click on the Industries Tab. While coverage is mostly limited to the U.S. there are some international reports as well. The reports include industry profiles, trends, how the industry operates, key ratios, and how to analyze a company in this industry. Comparative company analysis is also available for industry leaders.

MoodysRatingsResearch_edited

Moody’s Analytics examines industries from the standpoint of the bond markets. Not only does Moody’s provide very detailed reports on their methodologies for rating bonds in a particular industry, it also provides industry outlooks explaining what industry trends will affect the bond markets. Coverage is international in scope. Both types of reports provide deep insight into what is needed for an industry to thrive and what companies in that industry have the strongest potential for investment.Combined_2

Navigate using the Ratings and Research Tab. Next in the middle column, select Research Type and then choose Industry/Sector Research or Methodologies.

Use the filters on the left of the screen to limit to Corporates (under Market Segment) and then select an industry from the Market Segment filter. These are listed in alphabetical order. Continue reading