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Author: BillyCups Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3913  
Subject: most accurate financial statistics on stocks? Date: 4/13/2012 7:08 PM
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Hi,
I have been trying to find reliable "Key Statistics" on companies. I have noticed that Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, www.cnbc.com, Value Line and others may display radically different values for "Return on Equity", "Current Ratio", "Price/Book", etc... for the exact same stock! Most of these sites don't show (or seem to show) when this data was collected. Which is the most up-to-date and reliable of the pay and free websites?
Thanks for any information you can provide!
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Author: zoningfool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3866 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/14/2012 4:57 PM
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Here--data is current, free--and very accurate:

http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3867 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/14/2012 6:45 PM
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I'd second zoningfool's advice. Just look up the original source documents on the SEC site. It's generally not the much slower than looking on Yahoo Finance or one of those other sites, though you will have to calculate ratios, etc. yourself.

The big advantage of calculating the ratios yourself is that you'll know exactly what's going into the calculation. For example, you won't look at the PE ratio and wonder if it's using trailing twelve month earnings, current quarter earnings annualized, next year's earnings estimates, or wonder if the numbers, regardless of method used, are current.

Mike

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Author: BillyCups Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3868 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/15/2012 4:53 PM
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Thanks! I guess http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/ would have the most up to date information available.. but seems very difficult to read. It looks like the only forms useful are the 10-Q ones? Is ALL of the basic financial information found in there? or is there any other form that is pertinent?

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3869 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/16/2012 3:29 PM
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The 10-Q's are the quarterly reports and the 10-K's are the annual reports. These are the forms that sites like Yahoo Finance troll through to build their pages.

Like you said, the forms are more difficult to read than the financial websites you mentioned and are not completely standardized with respect to each other, but that's also a contributing factor to why the sites that automatically build their data off of the source documents are not always right.


Mike

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Author: zoningfool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3870 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/16/2012 3:53 PM
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As sandman said in addition to the 10-Q's use the 10-K's. Also 8-k's containing items 2.02, 8.01, and 9.01. Those filings usually contain the press releases issued by companies when they report earning and will provide additional information (like non-gaap numbers) not found in the Q's and K's but often useful nonetheless.

The SEC filings contain all the basic financial information--statement of operations, balance sheet, statement of cash flow. What they usually won't contain are financial ratios like P/E, quick ratio, etc. You'll have to either figure that out yourself, or depend on the reliability of various financial websites. However in the Q's and K's there is always a discussion in the MD&A (Management Discussion and Analysis) of liquidity and things like dso's and margins are normally provided as well.

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Author: JustMee01 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3871 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/16/2012 4:08 PM
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"Is ALL of the basic financial information found in there? or is there any other form that is pertinent?"

Yes and no.

Company presetnations on their websites have a lot of good information. And much of the metrics that you're looking for like ROE and margins may need to calculated from raw numbers. Sites do that for you, but can make mistakes. Comparing data from Morningstar or Yahoo with your own numbers may help you check your work, so to speak.

For US corporations whose stocks are traded on exchanges, EDGAR is comprehensive. For foreign based multinationals, you'll find some of their information, listed in form 20-F. But, often current reports and proxy statements will not be available. Some people like annual reports. I find them a poor substitute for the 10-K. The results are too edited and the presentations can be favorably slanted. 10-Ks tend to be more like Joe Friday: "just the facts ma'am."

A few Canadian based companies trade on both exchanges and file with both the SEC and the Canadian equivalent of the SEC. The collection of forms for these will be pretty comprehensive at the SEC. For those traded only out of Toronto, you'll need to go to their equivalent (SEDAR).

http://sedar.com/

For some Chinese companies that list here, the 20-F data on EDGAR can be questionable and sometimes late. And current reports are sparse at best.

And even for some US companies that trade over the counter, or worse yet, that only have debt issuances, the amount of infomation on EDGAR can sometimes be sparse. But, for all US traded equities (even those with limited disclosure), EDGAR is the most comprehensive source out there, because its the official depository that everyone else extracts information from.

Getting used to finding your way around EDGAR and learning how to read a 10-Q or 10-K is a useful skill. It's not easy to get used to the docs, but you'll find that each one you read will help you learn how to get through the next more efficiently and effectively. Jsut keep reading and eventually you'll find that you'll start to understand some of it. Tnen you'll get a little more and a little more. It just takes some time...

Peter

(And ask questions. Mike and others have answered plenty of questions for lots of people; especially me...)

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Author: BillyCups Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3872 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/18/2012 1:10 PM
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Ok. Great answers everyone, thanks so much! I will have to get to work!

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3873 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/19/2012 1:44 AM
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Like Peter (JustMee01) said, when you have questions make sure to post them here. That's what we're here for. :)

Mike

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Author: numbrel Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3874 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/19/2012 1:08 PM
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Something that might make the info on the SEC's Edgar easier to handle, is to use the blue "Interactive Data" button for the 10K and 10Q filings. This will bring up the SEC viewer which will show the financial info in tables. You can also download all the tables into Excel.

If you want something that will show you key metrics, you can try http://www.calcbench.com/ This is a customized version of the SEC Viewer (which is open source and available to anyone who has a LAMP server). Just put in the ticker and it will bring up the most recent filing. You can change it to previous quarter/years. They have current ratio, various margins, and other things. And again, you can download the tables into Excel.

If you want to get technical and learn about XBRL, the computer format the SEC requires for quarterly and yearly filings, you can go to the XBRL board: http://boards.fool.com/xbrl-analysis-120050.aspx?mid=2915295...

Unfortunately, XBRL has proven to be more complex in usage than was presented to the SEC when they were considering requiring that corporations use it for financial reports.

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Author: numbrel Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3875 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/19/2012 1:11 PM
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Oh, I forgot, one reason you are seeing different numbers from the various financial sites, is that they "normalize" the data and each site has their own way of massaging the numbers. Sorry, I can't explain normalization.

Barbara

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Author: BillyCups Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3876 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/19/2012 2:16 PM
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Thank you for your input. Calcbench seems to be very good!

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Author: zoningfool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3877 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/19/2012 4:51 PM
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I would recommend doing random checks of the data on any site with the actual SEC filings to gauge the accuracy.

Also, not to confuse matters, but occasionally there is an error in the SEC filings themselves. I have personally found a few and contacted the companies to ask that an amended filing be made. In another case another TMFer (Howard Rourke) spotted an error in off balance sheet obligations for Netflix (the filing said it was $740K vs $740M) and the mistake had never been corrected, so I contacted Netflix and they filed an amended 10-Q within 24 hrs. Companies have to be as accurate as possible in their SEC filings especially because of Sarbanes Oxley which requires the CEO and CEO to sign-off on the documents with the 906 certifications subject to criminal sanctions and enforced by the US DoJ.

You can always tell an amended form by the suffix '/A' after it. The Netflix amended filing was a 10-Q/A. Here it is along with the reason it had to be filed.

http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1065280/00011931251129799...

My point is even the SEC filings can contain errors, but usually do not.

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Author: BillyCups Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3878 of 3913
Subject: Re: most accurate financial statistics on stocks Date: 4/20/2012 2:47 PM
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wow! that is a remarkable discrepancy in reporting their financials!
Thanks NFLX was a stock that was I trying to information on that was radically different between the various websites.

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