Salisbury University Libraries


Holloway Hall

Subject Guide: Business Ratios

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Getting Started:

American Express:  Financial Ratio Analysis

Definitions, explanations, calculators, and more.
What do all those financial terms mean?  This financial glossary, sponsored by WSJ, provides over 6,000 terms which can be browsed by subject or letter OR searched by keyword.

Industry Codes:

Industry codes allow researchers & government agencies to classify businesses by the type of product or service they offer.   2 well-known codes are the Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC Codes) and the North American Industry Classification Codes (NAICS Code).  NAICS has replaced the SIC System and was implemented with the 2002 Economic Census.  Once you locate your company's SIC/NAICS codes, many of the article databases and reference sources listed below can be searched by that code. 

Begin by locating the SIC or NAICS Code that identifies your industry.

Mergent Online
 Blackwell Library subscribes to the U.S. Company Data module.  Off-campus, sign in  using your Gull Card barcode and last name.  Choose Salisbury University as the campus and then click the log in button. 

  • Do a 'Basic Search' for the company name or ticker symbol.

  • Click on the company name on the next search screen.

  • Click on the 'Ratios' tab across the top.
  • Use your browser print to print the page or click on the 'Download to MS Excel' button.

ValueLine Database
Includes a summary/index and 11 editions which are updated on a rotating basis (each edition is never more than 3 months old).  Each edition covers specific industries and provides an industry overview, trends, and a company by company analysis of key players.  Provides industry ratios at the beginning of each section as well as ratios per company.

  • Click on the link to 'The ValueLine Investment Survey Online - Standard Edition.
  • On the left toolbar, click on the link to 'Lookup Company'.

  • Type in your company name or ticker symbol.  (Note:  This version of ValueLine only covers 1700 stocks in 98 industries so all companies are not covered)
  • On the results list, click on the various reports that appear--note the industry your company is categorized in.
  • For an industry report, click on 'Lookup Industry' on the left tool bar.
  • Select your industry.
  • For an overview of the industry, select 'Industry Commentary'.  For all the companies listed for comparison, click on 'Industry - Company Breakdown' and then select the reports you want to view.

Want to learn more regarding how to read and interpret the reports?  See 'How to Use the Value Line Investment Survey Page.'