Introduction to Bloomberg FX Functions

If you are interested in foreign exchange rates or other information on world currencies, Bloomberg is an excellent resource for that data. In this blog post, we will go over some of the basic FX functions that are available in Bloomberg.

To get started, hit the yellow [CURNCY] market sector key, and then hit the green [GO] key. This will display a menu of the main currency functions, giving you an overview of some of the options available to you when you are looking for currency and FX data.

One of the main FX functions is FXIP, the FX information portal.

1 - FXIP Screenshot

If you type in FXIP [GO], you will be taken to the FX markets overview screen. FXIP gives you a detailed overview of FX information, enabling you to get a quick snapshot of pricing information for various currency baskets. This is a great starting point for FX overview information before navigating to different screens for more detailed information, some of which are detailed below. The default currency for the FXIP screen is USD, but you are able to change that by typing in a different base currency at the amber box near the top of the screen. You can click on the different gray tabs for additional market overview information.

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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.

Table2improved

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.

Create Your Own Industry-Specific League Tables

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

Ruble Regression: Exploring Correlations with Bloomberg.

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>

Ruble regression value latest

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Capital Cube: Not your Father’s Stock Screener.

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. Capital Cube Menu   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 graph

 

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:

 How can I screen for equities using criteria of my choice?

For information on FactSet see the Business FAQ:

Can I access FactSet through Lippincott Library?

A Few WRDS about the S&P 500

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, a key measure of the U.S. equity market, closed above 2,000 the first time on August 26, 2014.The Index includes 500 leading U.S. companies and captures about 70% of available U.S. market capitalization.

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Standard & Poor’s OUTLOOK

The S&P 500 Index first appeared in March 1957. Described as “The Standard 500” in the OUTLOOK (March 11, 1957, p.908) S&P mentioned the “intricate computing equipment applied to the task” of calculating the Index every hour. Today, the Index is calculated every 15 seconds.

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Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record

Oddly enough, S&P didn’t list the stocks that composed the Index in the OUTLOOK. You can find the initial list of 500 companies scattered among the 91 industry subgroups that made up the Index in Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record for 1957. For the subgroup “Confectionery”, for example, the 500 component companies were American Chicle, Hershey Chocolate, Sweets, and Wrigley (p. 29). The Index has undergone many changes since its inception, both in the companies that compose it, and in the way that it is calculated. Currently, only 86 of the original 500 companies are still part of the Index.

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Bloomberg’s PE: A Major Database for Private Equity

Private equity consists of firms and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies. Private equity, as the name implies, is not traded on public equity exchanges.PE bloomberg FIRST MENU

Bloomberg’s Private Equity (PE) database brings together data about PE firms, funds, investors and portfolios. In Bloomberg, type PE <GO> for this menu:

 

 

Search by Firm – Private equity firms are the general partners controlling the operations of the firm.

Search by Fund – Private equity firms direct their investments through one or more funds. Funds are associated with a specific investment strategy.  Venture Capital Funds, for example, are investments in startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. Here is a breakdown of the funds worldwide associated with a specific strategy that is available in Bloomberg.

Strategy           Percent of Total

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  • Venture              28%
  • Buyout               25%
  • Growth                9%
  • Debt                    8%
  • Fund of Funds   10%
  • Real Estate        13%
  • Other                   8%

Search by Limited Partners – Limited partners are the source of investment funds. They include public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, high net worth individuals, and sovereign wealth funds

Search by Deal – Deals can be classified as M&A investment, Joint venture, Spinoff, and Buyback, and then further sub classified as a PE buyout, Infrastructure, Real Asset, Real Estate, Secondary Transaction, or Venture Capital deal. Venture Capital deals include possible subdivisions into Seed, Angel, or Series (A to J).

The screen below shows a search for all PE deals in the past year that had targets in the alternative energy industry.

PE bloom deal screen for alternative eng 417

 

Search by Private Company – Bloomberg lists more than 15,000 companies in which PE firms invest.

  • Clicking on the name of the company will display a record giving the name(s) of the PE firms which include the company in their portfolio, as well as additional information about the company. The record for U.S. Foods, for example, will show that it is held by KKR 2006 Fund.

In addition to its list of PE backed private companies, Bloomberg includes a database of 1.3 million private companies worldwide that are not PE backed.

PE Bloom Private compnay ALL OKOther useful features of Bloomberg’s PE include Funds in Market, which gives aggregate statistics by strategy, and Benchmarking and Fund Comparison, which allow the comparison of funds by such features as IRR (internal rate or return).

Take a look also at Bloomberg’s weekly Private Equity Brief

PE Bloomberg Brief banner

PE Bloom table from PE brief

In addition to Bloomberg, the Penn Libraries have several additional databases that provide details of private equity activity. They include Thomson ONE, S&P Capital IQ (available at Lippincott in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab) , Preqin, and CB-Insights.

Also see our Research Guide:  Venture Capital and Private Equity.

For more information on Bloomberg see our Bloomberg Help Guide and additional posts in Datapoints under the Category:  Bloomberg.

The Long and Short of Preqin’s Hedge Fund Analyst Database

Sometimes called “Mutual Funds for the Superrich” hedge funds are aggressively managed investment portfolios that attempt to generate high returns through the use of strategies such as leverage, long, short and derivative positions.

Preqin’s Hedge Fund Analyst database provides a comprehensive over view of the hedge fund industry. It includes information on hedge fund performance, profiles, managers, fund items and controls. You can search by individual firm (manager) fund, or create lists of firms or funds with the characteristics you want.

For example, to find the ten largest hedge fund managers ranked by assets under management (AUM) click on Hedge Funds in Preqin’s main menu, then on Fund Managers, and finally on League Tables. Continue reading