Company Analysis: Home

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About this guide

This guide was written for Michael Browne's courses.  These include:  

  –  BUAD 6000
  –  EXBU 6510
  –  MBA 6040

Here you will find the databases and tools you need to complete your company analyses.  Tools for finding: 

  –  Financials and 10-K filings, especially using the database LSEG Workspace
  –  NAICS codes (in general)
  –  NAICS codes for a specific company using the database Gale Business Insights
  –  Industry ratios in the database RMA e-Statement Studies
  –  Industry reports or profiles in the database IBISWorld, among others.

Use the links in the left margin menu to get to the tools you need.

Off campus access methods (authentication)

Brief description of 3 authentication methods:

  1. New Library Login (OpenAthens):  Many library resources use this method for logging in; requires no setup. When prompted, select "Marquette University Libraries (AZURE)" and then sign in using your Marquette email/password.  
  2. Library Login (legacy version):  This method is quick and requires no setup.  Just login before clicking on library database links or when prompted to do so. A few library databases will not work with it. 
  3. VPN (virtual private network): The VPN requires you to download an app onto both your cell phone and your computer. A few library databases require it for off-campus access. Outline of the steps required for the VPN:
    • Register for Duo Mobile if you haven't already (see "detailed VPN instructions" linked just below).
    • Download Duo Mobile app onto your cell phone. Allow push notifications for it.
    • Download GlobalProtect app onto your computer. Complete GlobalProtect setup on your computer.
    • Find detailed VPN instructions from ITS here.

Report outline

Here's an outline for the Company Analysis report that you will write:

  • Table of Contents
  • Purpose
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Industry Overview Information
  • Financial Analysis with Key Highlight Commentary
  • Ratio Analysis with Key Highlight Commentary
  • Industry Comparisons with Key Highlight Commentary
  • Conclusion and Recommendations

About Workspace

Refinitiv is the big database to use for public company financials  You must:

Create an individual account:

An individual login account is required, no way to avoid it.  Complete Workspace registration instructions are here

Potential problems:

Things to know about the registration process in order to avoid delays: 

 –  You will receive TWO separate email messages: you must open both emails and click on a link. 
 –  The whole process can take about 15-20 minutes -- please be patient.
 –  Problems? Send an email to memref @ We'll work on your account as quickly as possible.

Company Menubar

For a company analysis, start by entering your company's name or ticker symbol in the top left search bar (look for the yellow arrow in the screenshot at right).  By default it usually reads "Sample Layout - Market Monitoring"; just type over that.

Once your company is found, you'll get a second menubar specific to the company.  Here's what that looks like:

Refinitiv WS company menubar

The menubar is circled in yellow above.

The tabs you'll need to use are:  Overview, Estimates, Financials, and Peers & Valuation.

By default you start on the Overview tab; the active tab is always bright blue in color. Right below the menu bar you will see the Business Summary, a basic description of the company's business, and usually just one paragraph in length. Use this for the Company Overview in your report! (See the report outline above.)

Below is more information about the information you should find on the remaining tabs.

Financials Tab

Standardized data:

The Financials tab is where you will find the annual financials for your company. By default, you end up in the Financial Summary.  Here's a screenshot showing what to look for:

Refinitiv WS Financials tab and download

Notice that the Financials tab pictured above is bright blue. Off to the right, look for the Excel icon. Click on it to bring up a menu, and make the following selections:

  • Income Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Cash Flow
  • Financial Summary
  • Operating Metrics

Then click on the orange Export button, bottom right corner of the menu.  This will give you the Standardized data.

You will still need to do this two more times, in order to get the YoY Growth and Common Size data! 

YoY Growth and Common Size data:

Refinitiv WS Financials tab menuBy default, when you click on the Financials tab, you end up in the Financial Summary with standardized data only.  To change to YoY Growth or Common Size data, you must go into the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, or Cash Flow; it doesn't really matter which one though.  See the screenshot at right. 

Once in one of these three parts, here's what to do:

  1. Find the View menu (center of the screenshot below).
  2. Change from the default Standardized to YoY Growth.
  3. Click on the orange Update View button.
  4. Click on the Excel icon (far right) and select Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, Financial Summary and Operating Metrics.
  5. Click on Export at the bottom-right of the Export to Excel menu and download the data.
  6. In the View menu, update from YoY Growth to Common Size and repeat steps above.

Screenshot below shows location of View menu, Update View button, and Excel download icon.

Refinitiv WS Financials tab update view

Getting the 10-K report

While you're still on the Financials tab, notice that there are very small, pale blue circle icons at the tops of the columns. The letter F is inside the circle; it stands for Filings. Click on that to go directly to the filing that the data actually comes from.

Refinitiv WS filings icon

The 10-K report will open in a new window. Scroll down till you see the table of contents. The sections you want to read are in Part II.

Item 7:

The MD&A (Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations)

Item 8:

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.  Read the following:

  1. Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
  2. The Auditor's report: usually you'll find this directly after the Notes. 

10-K report table of contents

Estimates Tab

On the Estimates tab, go to the Statement View and download the data there.

Refinitiv WS Estimates tab and download

Peers & Valuation Tab

On the Peers & Valuation tab, go to Sector Competitors. 

Refinitiv WS sector competitors and ratios

Things to know:

  • The Excel download icon is on the far right.
  • How are the competitor companies selected?  The default mechanism by which competitors are selected is the TRBC classification system; by default this is also at the narrowest classification level. The classification system menu is to the left. 
    • In the example above (Rockwell Automation), there are 25 companies retrieved, including Rockwell. For other companies you may find that this classification system, at this narrow level, will only retrieve a single competitor.  You may need to try a broader level of the classification system, or another classification system:  The other two classification systems to try are GICS and SIC.  
    • You can also add individual companies that you know are direct competitors. 
    • If you're wondering why they were not selected as competitors automatically, that has to do with the vagaries of the classification systems, and with how diversified (or not diversified) the companies are!