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The purpose of calculating industry ratios is to evaluate your chosen company's strengths and weaknesses as compared to those of competing businesses in that industry. The ratios, or averages, are arranged by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and/or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. The Sawyer Library subscribes to several resources which provide these ratios, some are electronic, and some are in print.
REF Desk HF 5681 .R25 I525 This print resource from Dun & Bradstreet provides statistics for the widest range of industries, "over 800 lines of business," as defined by SIC code. Includes "typical" balance sheet and income statements with "common-size" financial figures, as well as 14 performance ratios.
REF Desk HF 5681 .B2 R6 This print publication from RMA provides "common-size" balance sheets and income statements, and 16 financial and operating ratios, for over 500 lines of business, by company size groups, organized by SIC code.
REF Desk HF5681 .R25 T86 Troy's Almanac is organized by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). 192 industries are covered, and their performance averages are broken down by 12 categories based on asset size. Each industry is described by fifty performance indicators, which are based on tax returns.
REF. DESK HG4905 .M88 The Mergent Industry Review contains financial information and ratios for 6000 companies in 137 industry groups, and it ranks the top companies in each group by criteria such as revenues, profit margin, return on capital, and the price/earnings ratio.
The financials tab (within a company profile) in Business & Company Resource Center includes the option to compare ratios (as well as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow) between a group of six competitors. NOTE: search using the ticker symbol!
The S&P Industry Surveys cover over 50 major U.S. industries. Each survey includes: Current environment & trends (major players, labor, & regulatory trends); how the industry operates, and influential business/economic cycles; how to analyze a company; and comparative company analysis: tables listing financial data, including revenues, income, profitability ratios and balance sheet ratios for major companies. The Global Industry Surveys, accessible by following the Industry tab in the top banner, cover a small selection of industries across broad regions. Another industry report, Sub-Industry Reviews, provides brief outlooks on a wider range of industries.
First Research features a wide variety of Industry Profiles that are grouped into 11 broad sectors (Construction & Real Estate; Public Services, Education, Recreation; Finance & Insurance; Retail; Food & Agriculture; Services; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Technology & Communications; Transportation, Energy, Storage; Wholesale). Many of the profiles cover businesses not readily found in other sources, such as Title Insurance Services or Optometrists and Opticians. Users may search (by keyword, SIC or NAICS code) or browse the industry profiles, which are updated quarterly. There is also a section devoted to State & Province Profiles, which provide a snapshot of the business climate in individual states and provinces.
IBISWorld provides market intelligence reports for more than 1,000 products and services. The reports are geared help those in charge of procurement of various supplies and services, which in turn may be part of a larger supply chain.
Mergent Online is used primarily for company financial information, however it does have industry reports, covering two dozen broad sectors, (i.e., automotive, food and beverage, insurance, and pharmaceuticals), in three world regions (Asia, Europe, and North America). To locate: from the opening screen choose Report Search tab, then change the default from Equity to Industries. Sawyer Library has a license for three simultaneous users, therefore please "log out" when you have completed your research.
Valueline is known first and foremost as a tool for evaluating stocks, however it also includes one page summaries on the status of a given industry. After entering Valueline, enter a company name or ticker symbol. A customizable company information page appears, with a link to industry information (PDF file).
REF HG 4905 .M88 - Print source: kept at Reference Desk. Numerical data only; includes rankings of companies by various financial criteria such as revenues, return on capital, and the price/earnings ratio.
This page from the U.S. Census Bureau provides the latest information on plans for NAICS revisions, links to tables depicting the 2012, 2007 and 2002 codes, and links to correspondence tables (concordances) between code versions.
The NAICS codes are a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and they apply to Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The purpose is to allow for industry averages and ratios to be comparable between all three North American nations, and to include newer industries not covered by the SIC codes. There are several government websites available for searching the NAICS codes:
This page, from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "allows the user to search the 1987 version SIC manual by keyword, to access descriptive information for a specified 4-digit SIC, and to examine the manual structure."
Print & online versions of the classification manuals:
Use the LexisNexis Company Dossier search screen to look up the company by name or ticker. (From the menu, choose "Companies" > "Company Dossier.") The primary SIC and NAICS will be listed in the Snapshot.