FINA 5801 - Investment Banking: Project 1: Comparable company analysis

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About this page

This page will get you started on the Comparable Companies Analysis project.  First, you have to identify comparable companies!  There are two main ways to identify comparable companies: Industry profiles or surveys, and comparable or peer analysis tools in databases such as Thomson One, Refinitiv Workspace, or Mergent Online.  

Directly below are some sample industry reports, and some resources for finding more industry profiles. 

There is also information about industry classification.  You will need to know about these classificatoin systems for two reasons: 

  1. Some industry profiles (e.g. IBISWorld) are organized based on classification systems such as NAICS.  
  2. Screening tools in the databases mentioned above use these classification systems.

After identifying comparable companies, you must collect financial data on them.  Go to the Company Financials page for more instruction on this.

About industry classification

The purpose of industry classification systems is: 

To define and describe lines of business (i.e. industries) to allow the collection and publishing of data.

NAICS, the system used in North America, works well in some areas, and poorly in others. Its emphasis is on the means of production.  Investing classification systems (TRBC and GICS) focus instead on broader business sectors, sectors defined more by type of investment (e.g. consumer packaged goods vs. luxury goods).  The FactSet Revere system focuses on the supply chain.

Tesla is clearly a car manufacturing company.  But here are some questions you may want to consider:

  • How directly does it compete with traditional auto manufacturers, e.g. Ford, GM, Toyota? 
  • It's also a technology company.  It has developed new technologies for autonomous or self-driving cars and more. Which companies are its competitors for this?
  • Tesla has also invested heavily in battery development and energy storage.  Which companies does it compete with in this sector?