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Has anyone purchased the yearly 1700 stock edition of Investment Survey for Windows? If so, I was curious about the feasibility of writing code to query the database. My idea is to selectively pull all required data to an Excel spreadsheet and calculate the target prices for BI.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

FoolishFloyd
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FoolishFloyd,

I've purchased, but not received, the StockInvestor Pro database from AAII (much less expensive than VL). I had similar intentions - to use this program to screen for possible BI candidates from the S&P500. I had planned to then go to the library to get the data from VL of the candidates that looked good. I like the idea of crosschecking data from two sources.

PackerFool
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PackerFool,

Can you keep me posted as to whether you can perform a query on this database and download the data to an Excel spreadsheet?

FoolishFloyd
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I've purchased, but not received, the StockInvestor Pro database from AAII (much less expensive than VL).


Value Line is free at valueline.com for Dow Stocks.

Giambi
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Giambi,

Thanks for the information. But you must understand that my laziness runs much deeper than that. I want the ability [once I program it] to have an Excel spreadsheet go out and query a database. Once the data has been selected it should be dumped into an Excel spreadsheet. It would then automatically calculate the target prices. Ideally I could then follow all 1700 stocks in the cheaper version of VL.

I use the Dow30 VL *.pdf files as I believe you do. However, I have found out that I often mistype a number or even get off a year. This could be due to the massive consumption of barley beverages in college, but it may be due to simple errors that are inherent in larger spreadsheets.

Thanks again.

FoolishFloyd
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I'm planning to do the same with Microsoft Access. I plan on ordering the product soon.
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PackerFool,

Can you keep me posted as to whether you can perform a query on this database and download the data to an Excel spreadsheet?

FoolishFloyd


I'll be experimenting after I get it (sent an e-mail inquiry day before yesterday and haven't heard back yet)and let you know when I have some results. I'm not very experienced with complex functions in Excel, so this may take a while. I'd sure like to automate this as much as possible to elimate as many typos and mistakes as you mentioned.

PackerFool
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I'm planning to do the same with Microsoft Access. I plan on ordering the product soon

crgardner,

Do you mean VL or Stock Investor Pro? I also have Access and wonder if using Access would be better or as easy as using Excel for this? Would love to hear your experiences or any advice you have on this.

PackerFool
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<<Can you keep me posted as to whether you can perform a query on this database and download the data to an Excel spreadsheet?>>
----------

From the Stock Investor Pro user's guide:

"Stock Investor allows you to export the fields listed in a view for the active set of companies."

File types include Lotus spreadsheet, Escel spreadsheet, Xbase database, comma-delimited file, tab-delimited file and key files.
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I just spoke with a friend of mine in upstate New York who said he can get Value Line's electronic version for free on his home computer by using his library card! You might want to check this out to see if other cities do this as well.

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Do you mean VL or Stock Investor Pro? I also have Access and wonder if using Access would be better or as easy as using Excel for this? Would love to hear your experiences or any advice you have on this.


I plan to use Access for VL. Since I don't know how easy it is to take the entire VL database and pump it into Access, what I'm about to write is mere speculation. Nonetheless, if I can get the entire database in Access, I plan to write various SQL queries to run the BI criteria.

Of course, I'm sure it will be next to impossible to get the data into Access.
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FWIW, I had no luck importing the data needed for BI into excel from my Investment Survey for Windows CD (3-month trial). Valueline told me I would be able to export to spreadsheets but it turns out this is not true for all data.

Under "Summary and Index - stock screens", you can create a spreadsheet containing data for the 1700 stocks. Each row is dedicated to one particular company while the column headings each contain a piece of information (relative strength-1 month, PEG, etc...). There must be hundreds of columns.

Unfortunately, the historical data needed for BI isn't available in this stock screen spreadsheet (it's funny because they have every other data point you could possibly imagine). To get the BI data, I have to open the "ratings & reports" PDF file.

The ratings & reports files are located in a dedicated directory on the CD so if you knew how to write code to pull data from the PDF files you would be all set. I think your best bet might be to talk to Adobe about how to pull out the data...if it's possible, they would know, right? I haven't seen anything helpful in the valueline manual.

Sorry for the long post, hope this helps.

vtpete



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I know that I can use a tool like ghostview to convert a value line PDF to text. However, there are some problems:

* The resulting text is readable, but it will take a proper perl or awk script to reformat the data such that it is in CSV or some other format.

* Even if you can write such a script, I don't know if a related tool called ghostscript can read 1700 PDF files in a batch.

I would like to collaborate with anyone technical who reads this board to try to figure a good way to automate this.

If anyone's interested here is the converted PDF to text for Alcoa.

Target Price Range
2003 2004 2005
100
80
64
48
40
32
24
20
16
12
8
6
Percent 12.0
shares 8.0
traded 4.0
ALCOA NYSE­AA 34 18.1 18.7
19.0 1.15 1.8%
TIMELINESS 3 Lowered 5/19/00
SAFETY 3 Lowered 2/2/96
TECHNICAL 3 Raised 1/5/01
BETA .90 (1.00 = Market)
2003­05 PROJECTIONS
Ann'l Total
Price Gain Return
High 65 (+90%) 19%
Low 45 (+30%) 9%
Insider Decisions
MAMJJASON
to Buy 010010000
Options 102305000
to Sell 002021000
Institutional Decisions
1Q2000 2Q2000 3Q2000
to Buy 290 382 274
to Sell 250 203 258
Hld's(000) 592934 650044 644781
High: 10.0 9.7 9.1 10.1 9.8 11.3 15.1 16.6 22.4 20.3 41.7 43.6
Low: 6.9 6.2 6.7 7.6 7.4 8.0 9.2 12.3 16.1 14.5 18.0 23.1
% TOT. RETURN 12/00
THIS VL ARITH.
STOCK INDEX
1 yr. ­20.4 8.7
3 yr. 92.8 25.9
5 yr. 166.0 93.7
CAPITAL STRUCTURE as of 12/31/00
Total Debt $8133.0 mill. Due in 5 Yrs $4100.0 mill.
LT Debt $5267.0 mill. LT Interest $325.0 mill.
(Long term interest earned: 8.8x)
(Total interest coverage: 7.6x) (32% of Cap'l)
Uncapitalized Annual rentals $78.0 mill.
Pension Liability None
Pfd Stock $55.8 mill. Pfd Div'd $2.1 mill.
(1% of Cap'l)
Common Stock 865,517,240 shs. (67% of Cap'l)
MARKET CAP: $29.4 billion (Large Cap)
CURRENT POSITION 1998 1999 12/31/00
($MILL.)
Cash Assets 381.6 313.7 371.0
Receivables 2334.2 2364.1 3815.0
Inventory (LIFO) 1880.5 1618.4 2703.0
Other 428.8 503.8 689.0
Current Assets 5025.1 4800.0 7578.0
Accts Payable 1044.3 1218.9 1876.0
Debt Due 612.1 410.1 2866.0
Other 1611.9 1374.3 2932.0
Current Liab. 3268.3 3003.3 7674.0
ANNUAL RATES Past Past Est'd '97­'99
of change (per sh) 10 Yrs. 5 Yrs. to '03­'05
Sales 4.5% 9.0% 9.0%
``Cash Flow' 2.5% 15.0% 13.0%
Earnings 2.0% 41.5% 17.5%
Dividends 4.5% 11.5% 13.0%
Book Value 2.0% 8.0% 16.5%
Cal­ Full
endar Year
QUARTERLY SALES ($ mill.)
Mar.31 Jun.30 Sep.30 Dec.31
1997 3231 3432 3358 3298 13319
1998 3445 3587 4109 4198 15339
1999 3985 4033 4052 4253 16323
2000 4509 5569 6298 6560 22936
2001 6500 6600 6675 6875 26650
Cal­ Full
endar Year
EARNINGS PER SHARE A
Mar.31 Jun.30 Sep.30 Dec.31
1997 .23 .30 .31 .25 1.09
1998 .31 .31 .31 .30 1.21
1999 .30 .32 .35 .44 1.41
2000 .48 .47 .42 .45 1.81
2001 .47 .54 .57 .62 2.20
Cal­ Full
endar Year
QUARTERLY DIVIDENDS PAID B n
Mar.31 Jun.30 Sep.30 Dec.31
1997 .057 .063 .063 .063 .24
1998 .094 .094 .094 .094 .38
1999 .101 .101 .101 .101 .40
2000 .125 .125 .125 .125 .50
2001 .150
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
8.86 7.93 6.70 11.02 13.87 15.36 15.08 13.91 13.84 12.81 13.86 17.72 18.93 19.79
.96 .70 .67 1.35 2.10 2.23 1.77 1.37 1.28 1.07 1.21 2.13 1.88 2.25
.43 .17 .18 .52 1.22 1.33 .82 .41 .28 .10 .27 1.11 .79 1.09
.15 .15 .15 .15 .16 .34 .38 .22 .20 .20 .20 .23 .33 .25
.91 .83 .80 1.21 1.23 1.23 1.20 1.20 1.15 1.07 .86 1.26 1.44 1.36
5.05 4.98 5.25 5.45 6.47 7.32 7.19 6.87 5.17 4.99 5.52 6.22 6.39 6.48
649.13 650.98 696.40 705.10 706.26 710.43 710.43 710.43 685.84 706.89 714.85 705.26 690.04 673.10
10.7 26.4 26.5 11.9 5.0 6.3 9.6 19.9 31.0 NMF 36.3 11.0 18.9 17.1
1.00 2.14 1.80 .80 .42 .48 .71 1.27 1.88 NMF 2.38 .74 1.18 .99
3.3% 3.4% 3.1% 2.4% 2.6% 4.0% 4.8% 2.7% 2.3% 2.3% 2.1% 1.8% 2.2% 1.3%
10710 9884.1 9491.5 9055.9 9904.3 12500 13061 13319
21.4% 16.3% 14.3% 12.5% 13.1% 18.3% 17.0% 17.8%
689.9 697.9 682.4 692.6 671.3 712.9 747.2 753.6
570.2 279.7 196.3 67.4 192.9 790.5 554.9 761.2
36.5% 40.4% 38.2% 22.8% 29.7% 30.3% 33.7% 31.7%
5.3% 2.8% 2.1% .7% 1.9% 6.3% 4.2% 5.7%
1706.3 1546.0 1083.0 1609.6 1599.7 2089.5 1907.8 1964.4
1295.3 1130.8 855.3 1432.5 1029.8 1215.5 1689.8 1457.2
5163.3 4937.4 3604.3 3583.8 3999.2 4444.7 4462.4 4419.4
10.4% 5.7% 5.5% 2.1% 4.4% 14.7% 9.9% 13.9%
11.0% 5.7% 5.4% 1.9% 4.8% 17.8% 12.4% 17.2%
5.9% 2.6% 1.6% NMF 1.2% 14.3% 7.3% 13.5%
47% 55% 71% NMF 75% 21% 42% 22%
1998 1999 2000 2001 © VALUE LINE PUB., INC. 03­05
20.91 22.19 26.50 31.00 Sales per sh 38.00
2.33 2.66 3.11 3.85 ``Cash Flow' per sh 5.70
1.21 1.41 1.81 2.20 Earnings per sh A 3.80
.38 .40 .50 .60 Div'ds Decl'd per sh B n .80
1.27 1.25 1.10 1.15 Cap'l Spending per sh 1.15
8.18 8.51 13.13 14.75 Book Value per sh C 22.65
733.62 735.50 865.52 860.00 Common Shs Outst'g D 855.00
14.8 20.4 17.6 Avg Ann'l P/E Ratio 14.5
.77 1.17 1.15 Relative P/E Ratio .95
2.1% 1.4% 1.6% Avg Ann'l Div'd Yield 1.5%
15339 16323 22936 26650 Sales ($mill) 32500
17.3% 17.3% 18.7% 19.0% Operating Margin 22.5%
856.2 901.0 1207.0 1375 Depreciation ($mill) 1600
853.0 1054.0 1484.0 1915 Net Profit ($mill) 3270
32.0% 29.9% 33.5% 34.0% Income Tax Rate 34.0%
5.6% 6.5% 6.5% 7.2% Net Profit Margin 10.1%
1756.8 1796.7 d96.0 2225 Working Cap'l ($mill) 5500
2877.0 2657.0 5267.0 4765 Long­Term Debt ($mill) 4525
6055.9 6318.0 11422.0 12755 Shr. Equity ($mill) 19425
10.6% 12.8% 10.0% 12.0% Return on Total Cap'l 14.5%
14.1% 16.7% 13.0% 15.0% Return on Shr. Equity 17.0%
9.8% 12.1% 10.5% 12.0% Retained to Com Eq 14.0%
31% 28% 21% 20% All Div'ds to Net Prof 16%
Company's Financial Strength A
Stock's Price Stability 65
Price Growth Persistence 75
Earnings Predictability 35
(A) Primary shares through '96, diluted after.
Excl. nonrecurring gains (losses): '84, (7¢); '85,
(38¢); '86, 38¢; '87, (48¢); '90, (80¢); '91,
(64¢); '92, ($3.91); '93, (18¢); '94, 52¢; '96,
(12¢); '97, 13¢. Next egs. report due mid­April.
Qrtly eps. may not add to total due to change in
shares out. (B) Next div'd meeting about April
12th. Next ex date about April 30th. Div'd pay­
ment dates about the 25th of: Feb., May, Aug.,
Nov. n Div'd reinvest. plan avail.
(C) Incl. intang. In '99: $1445.0 mill., $1.96/sh.
(D) In mills., adj. for stock splits.
BUSINESS: Alcoa is the world's largest aluminum producer.
Shipped 4,478,000 metric tons of aluminum in 1999. Has 25 busi­
ness units, with 228 operating and sales locations in 32 countries.
Rev's from principal markets in 1999: transportation, 24%; packag­
ing, 20%; distribution, 18%; aluminum ingot, 13%; building and con­
struction, 13%; alumina and chemicals, 12%. Foreign sales about
36% of total. 1999 depreciation rate: 4.9%. Has about 107,700 em­
ployees, 185,000 shareholders. FMR Corp. owns 10.9% of com­
mon stock; Wellington Management, 10.3%; offcrs. and dirs. less
than 1% (2/00 Proxy). Chairman, President & CEO: Alain Belda.
Inc.: PA. Address: 201 Isabella St., Pittsburgh, PA. 15212. Tele­
phone: 412­553­4545. Internet: www.alcoa.com.
Alcoa is coping with challenging mar­
ket conditions. The company's fourth­
quarter profit of $0.45 a share compared
favorably on a year­over­year and sequen­
tial quarterly basis, despite reduced activ­
ity levels in some of its major end markets.
Reflecting softened demand in the con­
struction, transportation, building, and
distribution markets, AA's shipments of
flat rolled and engineered products began
to trend lower in the second half of 2000.
In addition, higher prices for natural gas
and electricity raised AA's energy costs to
more than $130 million last year. On the
plus side, the company achieved its target
of $1.1 billion in annual expense reduc­
tions by yearend. Alcoa has also benefited
from the rapid integration of last year's ac­
quisitions of Reynolds Metals and Cordant
Technologies, which began to contribute to
earnings in the fourth quarter, ahead of
management's expectations. Still,
We have lowered our earnings target
for 2001 by $0.40, to $2.20 a share. Con­
tinued softness in AA's primary end mar­
kets will likely pressure aluminum ship­
ments in the first half of the year. News of
projected production declines by domestic
automakers is particularly worrisome.
Moreover, fundamentals in the oil and nat­
ural gas markets suggest that Alcoa's en­
ergy costs will remain high at least
through the early part of the year.
Further streamlining efforts should
help. In order to receive regulatory ap­
proval for the Reynolds acquisition, AA
agreed to sell its interests in three
alumina refineries and part of a smelter.
Because these assets are being treated as
discontinued operations, their earnings
contributions are not included in Alcoa's
income statements. The company has an
agreement to sell the Worsley alumina
refinery (and other assets) for $1.5 billion,
and the proceeds will likely be used to pay
down debt and repurchase stock.
These shares are ranked to perform in
line with the broader market in the
year ahead. Ongoing advancements in
the company's manufacturing processes
should provide sustained operating im­
provements in the coming years. However,
our earnings projections suggest below­
average appreciation potential over the 3­
to 5­year horizon.
Gerard Feenan January 26, 2001
LEGENDS
9.0 x ²Cash Flow² psh
.... Relative Price Strength
2­for­1 split 2/95
2­for­1 split 2/99
2­for­1 split 6/00
Options: Yes
Shaded area indicates recession
© 2001, Value Line Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Factual material is obtained from sources believed to be reliable and is provided without warranties of any kind.
THE PUBLISHER IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS HEREIN. This publication is strictly for subscriber's own, non­commercial, internal use. No part
of it may be reproduced, resold, stored or transmitted in any printed, electronic or other form, or used for generating or marketing any printed or electronic publication, service or product.
To subscribe call 1­800­833­0046.
RECENT
PRICE
P/E
RATIO
RELATIVE
P/E RATIO
DIV'D
YLD
() Trailing:
Median:
VALUE
LINE

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I know that I can use a tool like ghostview to convert a value line PDF to text. However, there are some problems:

* The resulting text is readable, but it will take a proper perl or awk script to reformat the data such that it is in CSV or some other format.

* Even if you can write such a script, I don't know if a related tool called ghostscript can read 1700 PDF files in a batch.

I would like to collaborate with anyone technical who reads this board to try to figure a good way to automate this.

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I think this will not work for the long haul. Valueline has too many pdf formats. A person has been looking into converting VL pdf files into NAIC SSG data files. He has been able to convert about 50% of the files so far.

His web site tis the following: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TSSW_Excel

his name is Jim Tomas

fossils
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A person has been looking into converting VL pdf files into NAIC SSG data files

What is an NAIC SSG data file? Is it possible to get the 50% that have been converted so far? Would it be possible to convert VL pdf files every week to keep up with their output or is it a very tedious task?

Curious,

ryknow
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NAIC is located at the following web site: http://www.better-investing.org/

They invest in quality growth stocks at good valuations. The methology is very similar to BI, but BI invests in pure value.

An SSG data file is just special file format that stores the finical history of a company for the last 10 years.

The file contains some but not all the data needed for BI judgements.

fossils
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Forgot about VL...

I really do not think it would be possible to convert 100% of the pdf in a weekly fashion.

I would suggest getting another data source instead of a valueline to do this.

Stock Investor Pro from AAII(http://www.aaii.org/simember/si.shtml) is probably your best bet for cheap data.

fossils
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The methology is very similar to BI, but BI invests in pure value.

Hello Fossils,

I hate to nitpick. Just wanted to make the point that Benchmark Investing allows you to invest in "growth" stocks after they've fallen to their downside price target, as a whole bunch of them have today.

Interestingly, a lot of my "value" stocks from a year ago are now listed in "growth" indexes.



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Here are just some of the names that have been changed from growth to value in the S&P Barra Value index:
JDS Uniphase
Nortel
Applied Materials
Sapient
Micron Tech

And the ones that changed from the value to growth index:
Capital One
American Express
Bank Of NY
Hershey Foods
Kimberly Clark
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