What’s Your Company’s RQ™ (Research Quotient)?

Research and Development (R&D) expenditure is the amount of money a company spends on developing new products and services each year.  Academic business researchers have intensively investigated the relationship between a company’s R&D and its market value, and have searched for ways to derive a firm’s optimal R&D spending.  A recent innovation in the analysis and measurement of a firm’s R&D has been the development of the concept of Research Quotient (RQ).

A company’s Research Quotient is the percentage increase in the company’s revenue from a 1% increase in its R&D. RQ is a measure of a firm’s ability to generate revenue from its R&D expenditures.  RQ is calculated from a formula that combines a company’s measure of capital, labor and R&D. For more details concerning RQ calculation, click on Manuals and Overviews from the WRDS Research Quotient database.

RQ can be used:

  • To Link R&D spending to firm growth
  • Link R&D spending to market value
  • Derive a firm’s optimal R&D spending

The WRDS RQ database includes RQ measures for all companies in the COMPUSTAT database that report R&D expenditures. The data covers 1972 to 2010 and is updated annually.  The file allows searching by 4 digit SIC and by GV Key (COMPUSTAT’s unique company identifier).

Table 1 is an example of the output showing some of the default variables.

TableOne

  • “Raw RQ” is the “Research Quotient” that identifies the ability of a firm to generate revenue from its R&D expenditures. The higher the RQ the greater the revenue generated.
  • “RSTAR” is a calculation of optimal R&D expenditure.
  • “RD Ratio” is the ratio of R&D expenditure to Revenue.

In Table 2, for clarification, I have supplied tickers and names of companies together with a measure of “RQ” that I calculated from the “Raw RQ” supplied by WRDS. This RQ is analogous to the human IQ measure with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. An RQ with a mean of 100 is often used by academic writers as a way of making the RQ measure more intuitive.

Table 2 ranks the first 20 companies in the U.S. by their RQ in 2010.

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There are more than 260 four digit SIC codes represented in the 2010 files, but only 10 codes have more than 35 companies. Table 3 collapses the codes into 2 digits, and ranks the average RQ of the largest 15 industry groups.

Table3Formatted

About 78% of the companies in the 2010 file were based in the U.S.  Figure 1 graphs the countries with 3 or more companies in 2010 by average R&D expenditures and average RQ.

Figure1Formatted

The principal developer of the RQ concept is Anne Marie Knott, Professor of Business at Washington University, St. Louis. In a 2012 article in Harvard Business Review, she estimateds that if the 20 largest US firms had optimized their R&D expenditure in 2010, they would increase their aggregate market capitalization by $1 trillion. (Knott, Anne Marie. “The Trillion-Dollar R&D Fix.” Harvard Business Review (90:5) 2012, pp. 76-82.) This article can be accessed using Business Source Complete.

What did they say? Resources for transcripts and audios of Earnings Calls.

Earnings calls are conference calls or webcasts at which a public company’s management team discusses the company’s financial performance from the previous reporting period (usually a quarter). Participants include investors, financial analysts, and others, including shareholders. Reading transcripts from these earnings calls and listening to audio recordings can be a great way to glean information about a company’s performance and plans for its future directly from the company leaders themselves.

Presentation

While archival transcripts of calls can be easy to find, audio broadcasts of earnings calls can sometimes be more challenging to find. Often, companies will only make them available for a limited amount of time following the actual earnings call. If you wish to listen to the broadcast, you will need to keep track of when a particular company’s earnings calls are and how long they make their broadcasts available after the call. For example, Apple only makes their broadcasts available for two weeks after the call. While archives of audio recordings will not be as extensive as those for the written transcripts, you can often find at least the recordings for the last call or two for a given company.

The Lippincott Library has a number of resources where you can access these materials.

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Are You Certified??? Certification Programs for Bloomberg or Thomson One!!!

Many students and potential employees like certifications for Bloomberg or Thomson One. This demonstrates that the student has an understanding of how to use these expensive programs before coming on board.  The learning curve for using these products on the job is greatly reduced.

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Bloomberg, available at Lippincott Library or Huntman Hall, currently offers two certificates.

Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) is a self- paced, 8 hour introduction to finance using 70 Bloomberg terminal functions.  This provides a good foundation for undergraduates or people new to finance.  It covers four topics:  Economic Indicators, Currencies, Fixed Income and Equities. The format is interactive video sessions. There is no cost for this certificate if you use the Library Bloomberg terminals.  You can sign up for a web-based session at a discounted price of $149.00.

BESS is also self-paced and is recommended for individuals with more experience in Finance and Bloomberg.  Again, there is no cost when using the Library Bloomberg terminals.  Sessions are based on written materials.

Once in Bloomberg, just type BMC<GO> or BESS<GO> to get started.

Both classes require that you take quizzes in order to get the certificate.

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Thomson One Investment Bank also offers a certificate program.  Click here for general information.  Once you have viewed the materials for the modules, request a token to take the exam.  The exam comprises 30 questions.  You have 60 minutes to complete the test.  If you don’t pass the first time, you are allowed to take the test a second time.  It is encouraged that you use Thomson One while taking the test.  This is free to students at Universities which subscribe to Thomson.

Remember that Thomson One only works with IE.  Please refer to these postings for further information.

Thomson One and Compatibility:  Internet Explorer Issues 

Thomson One Compatibility and Chrome or Firefox.

Using Capital IQ to screen for company executives and board members

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S&P Capital IQ is a premier financial database that is available for the use of Wharton students in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab here in the Lippincott Library, or through MBA Career Management for MBA students during the academic year. One great feature of Capital IQ is the Screenings tool, with which you can generate a list of companies, equities, transactions, or people based on a specific set of criteria that you identify.

Once you create your screening, you are able to export it to Excel. This is particularly useful for the People Screening function if you are looking to download a structured data set on a group of executives that meet specific criteria. There are not many resources that allow you to do this for individual people as opposed to companies or equities as a whole.

However, Capital IQ’s screening tools are not the most intuitive, so finding the specific criteria you want to include in your screening can sometimes be a challenge. Here, we will show you how to pull structured data on executive compensation history for a set of companies. These techniques can be applied to a wide variety of screenings in Capital IQ.

  • To get started, hover over “Screening” in the ribbon at the top of the page and select “People.”

Cap IQ screenshot 1a

  • For the purposes of this blog post, let’s say that you want to screen for executives from companies in the S&P 500 index. In the first column of links on the Person Screening screen, click on “Indices” in the “Equity Details” box.

Cap IQ screenshot 2b

  • Select “S&P 500 Index” from the list of options.

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  • If you would like to screen for current professionals at these companies, ensure the drop-down is set to “Current Professional.” If you would like to screen for prior professionals, ensure that the drop-down menu is changed to “Prior Professional.” Click “Add Criteria.”

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  • In the 3rd column of criteria on the page, there is an “Employment/Board” window. Click on “Professional Job Functions” in that window to specify which job functions you would like to evaluate in this screening.

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  • Choose the desired job functions from the “Available Items” window. To screen for current professionals, make sure that the “Limit to current job functions only” box is checked, and the drop-down is set to “Current Professionals.” If you are screening for prior (previously employed) professionals, make sure the drop-down menu is changed to “Prior Professionals.” Click “Add Criteria.”

Cap IQ screenshot 5b

  • If you would like to screen for board members as opposed to employees, click on “Board Job Functions” in the “Employment/Board” window instead of “Professional Job Functions.” Choose the desired board functions from the “Available Items” window. To screen for current board members, make sure that the “Limit to current job functions only” box is checked, and the drop-down is set to “Current Professionals.” If you are screening for prior board members, make sure the drop-down menu is changed to “Prior Professionals.” Click “Add Criteria.”
  • IMPORTANT: If you want to look at compensation information for current AND prior employees or board members, you will need to run separate screenings for each set of criteria and then combine them in Excel later. For example, if you were interested in looking at data for current and prior executives and board members, you would need to run FOUR separate screenings: current executives, prior executives, current board members, and prior board members.
  • Once you have selected all of your desired criteria, click on the “Customize Display Columns” tab. This is where you are able to select the information you wish to view about each executive who fits your screening criteria.

Cap IQ Screenshot 7bmarked

  • To display compensation for each executive, click on “Compensation” under “Person Details” in the fourth column. To display available salary information, make sure “Salary” is highlighted. Under time frame, select either “Latest Annual” or the fiscal year of your choice. Click “Add Columns.”
  • To display additional compensation information, such as bonuses, repeat the same steps for each individual criteria.
  • To view options information, click on “Options” under “Person Details” in the fourth column and add  your desired criteria.
  • If you are interested in viewing available education information for the executives in your screening, click on “Education” under “Person Details” in the fourth column. Select your desired criteria, and click “Add Columns”. Repeat for each remaining desired criteria. Note that not all education information is available, and depends on whether it was made public by the executive or the company.

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  • Once you have added all of your desired criteria and column information, click the “View Results” button. This will generate a list of executives meeting your screening criteria. To export the list to Microsoft Excel, make sure that Excel is selected near the top of the screening results and click “Go.” This will generate an Excel spreadsheet for your results.

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  • You can adjust your screening as necessary by clicking “Edit” next to the criteria you would like to adjust. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, click “View Results” again to update the screening. You will need to export the results to Excel again if you haven’t already done so.
  • Your screening is complete! You will be able to use this information to analyze executive compensation for your project.

There are a multitude of additional screenings you can run in Capital IQ, whether you are screening for companies, people, key developments, or transactions. We will focus on other types of screenings you can do in Capital IQ in a future blog post.

Lippincott Library Seminar Room – Open for Business

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Lippincott’s new seminar room and information desk are open for business! Please join us on Tuesday, September 22 in room 242 from 2:30-3:30 for an informal open house to check out the new space. The seminar room and desk area are the first things you will see upon walking through our main entrance on the second floor of the Van Pelt Dietrich Library Center.

LippincottInfoDesk

The Lippincott Library Seminar Room (room 242) will function as a space for classes, workshops and meetings. It seats up to 28 people with a flexible and configurable seating arrangement, ranging from seminar-style seating to small group clusters for collaborative work. Several glass whiteboards allow for an ample amount of writable surface.

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The seminar room includes a full high-definition projection system with ceiling embedded speakers for audio playback. It has a permanently installed Windows PC as well as two sets of laptop inputs supporting both HDMI and VGA connections to the video projector. Wireless presentations are possible through the use of Mersive Solstice software installed on the resident PC. The room supports video and audio conferencing and has a microphone array permanently installed in the ceiling and a high-definition pan/tilt/zoom camera installed next to the projection screen in the front. Skype and Bluejeans are both installed on the resident PC. USB inputs connected to the resident PC are available in the front and back of the room and allow for the connection of auxiliary peripherals to the system such as cameras and visualizers.

We welcome single-use and recurring reservations for classes and academic support activities. To book the room, please see our reservation form. Contact us at  lippinco@wharton.upenn.edu with questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the Open House on Tuesday, September 22 from 2:30-3:30 in Room 242!!

Wharton Students and Faculty: Lippincott Library has the Business Sources You Need!!

Welcome!!  Lippincott Library provides many resources to help you with all of your business research needs. We can help you to :

  • Prepare successful business plans
  • Prep for interviews
  • Screen for investments
  • Win case competitions
  • Write a research paper
  • Much more

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Lippincott Library Seminar Room Construction

If you have visited Lippincott Library in the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly noticed some major changes. As you enter the library, you will immediately encounter the “great wall of Lippincott” – a large barrier that has been constructed around what was once our reference and reserve services desk.

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Thanks to the generosity of the Snyder family, we are building a 28-seat seminar room this summer. The new room will be located just inside Lippincott’s main entrance. It will have a flexible furniture configuration, allowing it to be used seminar-style, lecture-style or to be set up for smaller groups. This project also gives us the opportunity to completely restructure our service desk and build a new staff work room which uses space more efficiently. An interior “behind the wall” shot is below.

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Since we do not have a service desk during the construction period, we are operating a service room out of Room 248 (Class of 1955 Consultation Room). We will continue to provide reserve services from this room, as well as on-call access to reference librarians.

Construction will continue over the summer, but we anticipate the room and new service desk will be open and ready for business at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. We will be posting updates on its progress.

Screening for Alumni-Company Links

Job seekers are often interested in identifying companies that employ alumni from their schools. Here are brief descriptions of four databases that  uncover alumni-company links. The databases report on different although overlapping populations, and vary in the number and type of screening variables they provide. The biographical information given typically includes contact data, employment history, and, if publicly available, compensation.
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Stock Price Archeology

April often brings us a spate of income tax related questions about the price of a stock on a particular date. The questions are usually from people who want to establish the cost basis of a stock for tax purposes.  Many standard financial databases can supply daily prices (high, low, close and volume) at least for the companies on the New York Stock Exchange as far back as the early 1960’s.

Table 1.

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Here are the earliest dates available for daily prices of General Electric Company (GE) on several financial files.

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