I’ve not been researching many companies recently and there’s a reason. I was getting frustrated with the various data websites which give financial information on shares. I use these to glance at companies quickly and decide if they are worth a further look. The problem is that sometimes the data just isn’t accurate and you have to go to many different websites to compare and see if they agree.
The other problem is that websites just don’t offer the actual information I’m interested in and I still have to do work for myself.
After a long a gruelling session of trawling through financial statements I decided enough was enough and I was going to make my own tool to compile company data. I’m pretty handy with Excel and getting information from the web is much easier than even I first thought. Coupled with some fancy macro’s and a few simple calculations I’ve come up with a spreadsheet which gets all the information I want, at the click of a button, and presents it in a single page format.
It also pulls through interim results, and calculates a TTM figure. This isn’t a usual thing to be done for UK companies and took me a while to find the data!
It also compares two of the main data sources, Hemscott and Capital IQ to give a check at the bottom of the sheet. If the two disagree then it will show the difference and you probably need to check out the companies annual statements to see what the real financials are. But it’s useful to know to check!
When I’d done this I had a thought. Why don’t I just stick this on my website and let other people use it. They can find problems and maybe even improve it themselves.
So here it is, click the link below to download it.
One important thing to note: this gets data from FT.com, which only supplies 5 year historical data if you’re logged in. You only need a free registration, but you must be logged in through Excel for this to work.
To log in, open a blank excel document and click Data > Import External Data > New web query. In the popup go to FT.com and then log in (click stay logged in too). Then close the box and you’re done.
How to use
Just input the ticker in the box. It must be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Then click the ‘Ticker’ button just above. Wait for it to finish and that’s it.
It is far from perfect, errors will come up from time to time and there are some problems with smaller stocks and certain sectors. And every so often it will break and stop working. Just keep a read only copy and if it stops working, re-open the original, it should then work.
Hope you all find this useful, it definitely saves me a lot of time. Feel free to add any suggestions or errors to the comments below.