How to find Industry Information
Industry Norms and Business Ratios
When starting a business or comparing a company's performance to competitors in its industry, you will need sample financial statements, also known as “industry norms” or “operating ratios”. Data for typical operating items such as assets, debt, sales, profit, labor, advertising, rent, and insurance expense, as well as other financial ratios may be found in the sources listed below. These figures are published by industry groups, banks, and trade associations for use as benchmarks. They are compiled by analyzing the financial statements of companies in that particular industry and calculating the mean or average figure for selected categories.
Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Books
Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Websites
- Lexis Nexis
This is the section of Lexis/Nexis known as Company Dossier
- From the tabs at the top, select: Industry
- Enter an industry name or SIC code in the search boxes and select: Find
- From the Industry list, select your industry.
- For a series of charts, select:Integra Industry Reports
- For a text based report, from the navigation column on the left, under Reports, select: Industry Reports
BizStats is an online source for small business statistics. Provides instant access to useful financial ratios, business statistics and benchmarks.
- Business census.gov
Based on information from the Economic Census.
- Economic Census: Concentration Ratios
All of these reports classify industries by the percent of output accounted for by the largest 4, 8, 20 and 50 companies.
- Google Finance
Features a nicely displayed wide array of industry ratios. Look up a particular company, then the data for the company and the industry are posted side by side.
- Yahoo! Finance Stock Screener
Choose industry, and selected ratios for sales, profitability and valuation. For current year only.
The sources listed below give definitions or explain how ratios are calculated and how they can be used to analyze the financial health of a business or industry. Slide your mouse over the book jacket for more info. Click on it to see the catalog entry.
If you only check out one site, this is the ONE!
These ratio analysis materials were prepared for Biz/ed by Duncan Williamson, a teacher, a freelance author and business consultant who prepares teaching/learning materials for accountants and students of accounting.
- Financial Accounting Standards Board
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports that are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A Forbes Media company that provides clear definitions and tutorials for calculating a variety of financial ratios.
- Motley Fool
A privately-held multi-media company that is a top provider of investment advice and financial information.
PlanWare is one of many software packages for business and financial planning applications. Even though it is a fee based program, the site offers some helpful charts and information.
- Study Finance
studyfinance.com is the web site for students of introductory finance at The University of Arizona. It is designed to serve as a starting point to learn about what finance majors do, how to get started in a finance career, and the finance curriculum at The U of A.