The Stock Investor Notebook contains a View tab that allows you to browse through the companies in a list form and then highlight a particular company for further information. The View tab is Stock Investor Pro's "work area" where the results of screen of portfolio are shown.
The companies that appear on the View tab are you entire stock database when you first open the program. When you apply a screen or load a portfolio, the companies passing the screen or that are in the loaded portfolio appear on the View tab.
The company that is highlighted in yellow on the View tab is the "active" company:
It is this company's financial data you will see when going through the tabs on the Stock Notebook. For example, if you select have Johnson & Johnson highlighted, clicking on the Multiples tab will provide the multiples for Johnson & Johnson.
The fastest way to find a company is to type in the ticker symbol at the top-right Ticker Search box. After typing in the ticker and pressing enter, Stock Investor Pro will automatically highlight the company you searched for.
Alternatively, you can look up a particular company in the Stock Investor Pro database by using the Find Company function.
Start by choosing Edit from the main menu and then select Find (Edit--Find):
You can also click on the Find Company icon from the Toolbar or use the Control and F keys (Ctrl + F):
Following any of these methods will open the Find Stock Issue window:
Choose whether you wish to find a company by Company Name (default) or by Ticker and then start typing the name or ticker you are trying to find.
Note that the list of companies will advance closer to the desired company with each letter you type:
Once the company you are looking for is highlighted, click OK:
This will now be the active company in the Stock Notebook and will be the company whose financial data you will see on the various tabs.
You can rank the companies in the Stock Notebook using all but one of the data fields in the program, the sole exception being the Business description.
There are two ways of ranking the companies in the Stock Notebook.
Start by choosing Tools from the main menu and then select Rank (Tools--Rank):
This will open the Select a field to rank window:
The field picker lists all of the data categories in Stock Investor. Click on the + sign next to a data category to list the individual data fields within that category. Single click on the field by which you wish to rank the companies in the Stock Notebook. Then select whether you wish to rank in Ascending (A-Z) or Descending (Z-A) order:
When you are ready, click Ok. It may take several moments for the program to rank the companies in the Stock Notebook. When it is finished, the bottom of the Stock Notebook will reflect the ranking specifics you selected:
From the View tab in the Stock Notebook, scroll to the right until you find the financial field column that you wish to rank the database on. Right-click the financial field column with your mouse and Select Rank By
Again, it may take several moments for the program to rank the companies in the Stock Notebook. When it is finished, the bottom of the Stock Notebook will reflect the ranking specifics you selected:
Financial data is of little use unless investors are able to place it in some context. We can do this through time-series analysis as well as with market or industry benchmark comparisons, which we will discuss later. Another popular way of comparing financial data across companies is with percentile ranking. As you start exploring the data available in Stock Investor, you will run across "percentile rank" data:
Percentile rankings allow you to see how a company "stacks up" against all the other companies in the Stock Investor database.
In this example, we are looking at the % Rank data for Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) price-earnings multiple. The company's current price-earnings value is 23.1. Right below this, we see this puts JNJ in the 68th percentile. This means that, 67% of the companies in the Stock Investor database have a current price-earnings value lower than that of Johnson & Johnson. Similarly, 31% of the companies in Stock Investor have a price-earnings ratio value that is higher than that of JNJ.
Keep in mind that no matter what field you are using Percentile Ranks with, the higher the value, the higher the Percentile Rank. A stock with a PE of 100 will have a higher % Rank-PE value than a stock with a PE of 10.
Also, a higher Percentile Rank value isn't necessarily better. When looking at price multiples in the context of a value-oriented investment methodology, a lower percentile rank is preferable. In contrast, growth or momentum strategies would probably look for higher percentile ranks when looking at items such as earnings and sales growth rates or relative price strength.
Not all fields in Stock Investor have a corresponding percentile rank. The Stock Investor help system (Help—Contents and Index) contains field definitions for all of the data fields in the program. The Help System offers field definition listings in alphabetical order or by program data category. You will find the characteristics of each data field listed, such as a definition, the field’s data table name, its data category, and whether or not it is a field with an available percentile rank value:
With Stock Investor, you are also able to compare select company data against industry and sector medians. Medians are the midpoint values of a data set, where there is the same number of values above and below the median value. This is different from an average where the values of a numbered set are added together and then divided by the number of values. Medians are often preferred for financial values as they are not skewed by outliers—extreme data points that can impact the average value. The sector and industry medians are the median values for those companies in a specific sector or industry group. Only selected data fields in Stock Investor offer industry and sector median (refer to the field’s data definition in the Help System, to see if sector and industry medians are available).
Looking at Johnson & Johnson's current price-earnings multiple data, we see that the median price-earnings value for the Health Care sector is 20.3 and the median value for the Biotechnology and Drugs industry is 20.0. By comparison, JNJ's current price-earnings multiple is 23.1.
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