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How are Factors used in the Screen Editor

When you are creating a screen, there are times when it may be useful to compare a variable against a fraction or multiple of another variable. This is where the Factor column comes into play.

Let's say you are looking for those companies whose current price-earnings ratio (PE) is no more than 75% of the median PE for the industry (current PE is less than 75% of the industry median PE).

The screen you would create would look like this:

factorexample.gif

Whatever value is in the Factor column is multiplied by the field or value entered in the Compare To cell. Therefore, PE would go in the Field cell in the Screen Editor and the "<" sign would be used in the Operator. For the Factor cell, we would enter 0.75, which would be multiplied by the Industry PE field we then enter in the Compare To cell. Therefore, 0.75 is multiplied by the Industry PE, so that in order to pass, a company's current PE must be lower than 75% of the Industry median PE.

It is important not to enter values in the Factor column that are intended for the Compare To column. Doing so will create an invalid screen, as you are, in essence, multiplying the value in the Factor column by a null value. If you create a screen and are not able to apply it (the Apply button within the Screen Editor is shaded or grayed out), chances are you have entered a value in the Factor column that belongs in the Compare To column.