Use the Benchmarking section to compare your company or industry results to those of other companies and industries. These comparisons allow you to gauge the quality of your past and projected performance. You can make comparisons on Sales, Sales Growth, Market Share, Asset and Capital Intensity, Return Measures and Operating Margins.

The Information: We have benchmarked several hundred large industries using business segment or company data reported to the SEC. These industries include non-US industry competitors whose shares are traded on U.S. stock exchanges.

Where companies report business segment data, we have gathered operating profits, allocated assets and business segment sales to create the business segment measures. Most benchmarked industries have four or more participants and have available information on each of the top four participants. If the data of interest to you are not available at the Business Segment level, use Company Level Benchmark measures. You may review a list of the industries we have benchmarked.

The Benchmarks tool presents the cross-industry data in the Quartile Ranking Reports. Each report provides the 75th, 50th and 25th percentile values for the results of Sales, Sales Growth Rates, Market Share, Asset and Capital Intensity, Return Measures and Operating Margins across the entire industry database.

How the Information is Reported: The SEC requires each publicly traded company to report information for any business line of the company that makes up 10% or more of the company's sales. We use the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, a unique four-digit code, to identify each industry. The business segments, defined by the SIC code, of publicly traded companies make up the membership of an industry when we present benchmarks using business segment data. We have categorized each company and business segment by its primary four-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. You will need to know the four-digit SIC code for the industry business segment you wish to research. If you do not know your SIC code, you can look it up using our SIC Finder.

You may view the data on two levels:

  • Quartile Rankings using Business Segment Data: Provides key measures across many industries using Business Segment levels of information

  • Quartile Rankings using Company Level Data: Provides key measures across many industries using Company Level information.

The Quartile Rankings information should provide good guidance on relative performance. The current version of this data is based on year end 1997. Over the years, we have conducted several analyses such as this one and have found that the results change very slowly, if at all.

Business Segment or Company Level Data: You have the options of benchmarking against Business Segment or Company data, depending both on your interest and what information is available.

For example: Big Pop Manufacturing Company reports $75 Million in sales from manufacturing soft drinks (SIC 2096) and $15 Million from manufacturing potato chips (SIC 2096) and $10 Million from manufacturing chewing gum (SIC 2067), for total company sales of $100 million.

  • Business Segment data would report the company's sales under each separate industry (i.e. $75 Million under SIC 2086, $15 Million for SIC 2096 and $10 Million for SIC 2067).

  • Data reported for the Company Level would show the company's total sales ($100 Million) under its primary business (SIC 2086).

The Business Segment level of information provides the most accurate picture of industry performance. Business Segment data include operating profits, allocated sales, and allocated operating assets. If you have that level of information about your business, then use the Business Segment measures to compare with your business.

If, on the other hand, you have only Company Level data, then use Company Level information to benchmark with your business. Information on some industries is not available at the Business Segment level. If information on your industry is not available at the Business Segment level, you can usually use Company level information for your benchmarking task.

Other industries have data available both at the Company and at the Business Segment level. Where this is the case, you can use both the Business Segment and the Company level information to gain a deeper insight into your business' and industry's performance.

Quartile Ranking Reports

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