Hello First Year MBAs! Welcome to Penn, Wharton and to the Lippincott Library. We want to tell you about some of the resources that are available to you from the library. Please stop by and introduce yourself. Or, visit virtually.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the earliest dates available for daily prices of General Electric Company (GE) on several financial files.
The Lippincott Library has several great resources for finding league tables. However, the majority of these pre-populated league tables are typically geared towards specific geographies and companies rather than industry-specific information. What happens if you would like to look at a league table for a specific industry? You are going to have to construct your own. Fortunately, we have a resource that will enable you to do just that. Continue reading
EMIS Intelligence, formerly ISI Emerging Markets, has traditionally been a great resource for exploring emerging markets. Produced by Euromoney Institutional Investor, it aggregates news, reports, statistics and company information from a wide range of providers. While the focus remains primarily on emerging markets, their recent redesign allows researchers to more easily examine world or global markets, as well as giving them the ability to find information on developed markets. While one still has the option to drill into a specific country, choosing a specific country is no longer required, making it easier to search across multiple countries and regions of interest.
The EMIS Intelligence Search page can be somewhat overwhelming because there are so many options to limit and refine your search. This example shows looking for material on armored vehicles, and limiting the results to research reports using the Publication Type filter.
Once you have run the search, you can also use the Filter options on the left-hand side of the results page to further limit by country, language and more. In the example below, two filters, Country and Publication were used to narrow search results..
Alternatively, you can use the Reports tab to explore the reports that are available. When you select the Reports tab, you will note that Analysis/Research, Ratings Analysis, News Analysis, and Analytical Commentary are automatically checked under the Publication Types list in the Filter By column.
Use the Publications Tab to find reports by a specific provider. For example, to find EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) Industry Reports covering the automotive, energy, healthcare, consumer goods, financial services and telecom sectors, select EIU Industry Reports from the publications list.
These reports cover both developing and developed markets, and include tables that are exportable to Excel, as shown in this example of telecom data from Austria.
In June 2014, the price of oil began to fall from its high of $115 a barrel. The value of the Russian Ruble, as well as the currencies of all major petroleum exporting countries began to drop along with the price of oil. Bloomberg has several correlation modules that allow us to examine the link between market variables. For example, we can quickly explore the relationship between exchange rates and oil prices using Bloomberg’s HRA program.
To plot the Russian Ruble / US Dollar exchange rate against the price of oil in Bloomberg, type: HRA <GO>
Financial databases from Bloomberg to Yahoo Finance can screen equities based on a combination of standard financial variables and ratios, analysts’ estimates, industry and location. But if you want to identify companies with, “Aggressive Accounting Practices”, a high “Fundamental Analysis” score or possible “Sandbagging” (understated or hidden earnings) you will need a different type of stock screener. Try Capital Cube. As can be seen from the Capital Cube menu, the screening options are unusual. Capital Cube creates unique variables by taking the raw financial data from individual companies and comparing the data with averages from a group of peers. For example, a company is tagged as employing “Aggressive Accounting” when “…the company’s net income margin is higher than its peer median while the percentage of accruals is lower than peer median”. Capital Cube states that this situation is usually indicative of a company with an aggressive accounting policy. Capital Cube computes a daily “Fundamental Analysis” score for each company in its database. “The Fundamental Analysis score is calculated by comparing the company’s performance relative to peer companies across multiple attributes like relative valuation, valuation drivers, operations diagnostic, etc.”
Capital Cube uses fundamental data from the FactSet financial database. It includes more than 45,000 companies worldwide.
For additional information on equities screening see the Business FAQ:
For information on FactSet see the Business FAQ:
According to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention, “Never before have the risks of climate change been so obvious and the impacts so visible.” We could add that never before has there been such an interest in sources of information for climate change, energy use and “clean” (non-polluting) technology.
In a previous blog post, Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy. Are there any Alternatives? we described several resources for Penn students that cover clean technology. Here are some additional data sources on clean technology that may prove useful.
Business and economic forecasts that are past their shelf life, such as GDP forecasts for the year 2010 made in the year 2008, might seem to be of little value. But business researchers examine old forecasts to test their accuracy or to better understand the economic climate of a period. It is well known that forecasters almost universally missed predicting the “Great Recession” business decline of 2008/2009. For example, The Economist’s Poll of Forecasters for Jan 12, 2008 (pg. 89) predicted that U.S. GDP would increase 1.8% in 2008 and 2.6% in 2009. GDP actually fell slightly in 2008 and was down 2.8% in 2009.
Here are some sources of historical forecasts that will let you exercise 20/20 hindsight.