Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ad$pender - The Problem of Zero Results


Ad$pender is usually a wonderful database that gives you advertising budgets for categories of products, companies and brands.  You can use the database from off-campus with your regular net ID and password.

HOWEVER, a common problem is building your query and getting no results.

This is because a data point is missing. Instead of n/a in your results, you just get a big fat zero for the whole thing. Through trial and error, you'll have to adjust your query in order to get results.


I'll let AdSpender explain.

What does “There were no results for the report you requested” mean? This means that there was no activity found for the report you ran. This could happen for a number of reasons. For example, the brands included in your report may not have had any activity during the time period you requested, or perhaps dollars or ratings were not yet available for the time period you included in the report. In this situation you should check data availability or change some of your selections before running your report again.

Note: This tutorial is excellent, but it starts with the old library page. AdSpender still works exactly the same - just find Ad$pender here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What Do P/E Ratios Really Mean?

Taken from p. 143 of Active Value Investing, the classic book from Vitaliy N. Katsenelson.

P/E (price per earning) refers to the amount of money stock investors are willing to pay for the stock as reflected in its stock price. First, determine how much the company is earning per share. Then check the stock price. Divide the current stock price by the earnings per share number. You have the P/E ratio!

So is a high P/E a good or bad sign? Depends.

A new growth stock will typically show much higher P/E ratios than an established company. Once a company stops growing rapidly, the P/E ratio will actually decline. 

Katsenelson quotes the legendary Benjamin Graham as giving a P/E figure of around 8 as about right for a company with solid fundamentals but low growth.

Katsenelson includes a cool chart on p.143 that shows appropriate levels of P/E in relation to expected levels of growth.