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Company & Industry: Industry Ratios

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Industry Codes

What is an industry code?

It is a numeric method of classifying/identifying companies by their main line of business for the purpose of monitoring industry performance.  Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is a 4-digit code in use until the signing of the NAFTA treaty.  In 1997 a 6-digit system known as the North American Industrial Classication System (NAICS) replaced the SIC code.  Canada and Mexico are included in NAICS system.

Why is this important?

  • Easy to identify specific companies with in an industry.
  • Many companies have more than one industry code.
  • Several print & electronic resources uses these codes for grouping related companies and industries.
Where can I find an industry code? 

There are a variety of resources to use to locate an industry code for a specific industry.  Tthe resources are listed below are good starting places.

Finding Industry Ratios Using Mergent Online "Advanced Search" tab

  1. Select the "Advanced Search" tab.
  2. Uncheck the databases that are not relevant for your search. (USA Inactive, International Company Active, International Company Inactive.)
  3. Select the "Industry Codes" tab located in the middle of the page (below the International Company Active & Inactive checkboxes.
  4. Select "Primary NAIC*" - "enter" in the industry code in the search box.
  5. Click ">>submit" button.  (If you are not sure of the industry code use the Look-up NAICS option.)
  6. Click "View" (far right) to see a list of companies with that NAIC code.
  7. Use the "checkboxes" to select specific companies to compare or use the "All" option to compare all the companies. 
  8. Select "Add Currently Selected Companies" or "Add All Companies" from the pulldown menu located at the top left below the Mergent Online logo.
  9. Next, go the "My Mergent Tools," gray box, Far right side of page.  Click on the "+" (plus) and choose "Company Analysis List" link. A new window will open.
  10. Select the "Company Comparison Report." top of page to the right of  My Mergent Tools header.
  11. Use the ">>" button to add all the companies.
  12. Click "+" to expand Select Data Items (CorporateInformation, Financials, or Ratios.)  Use the ">" button to add data to the "Report Items" box.
  13. Industry Average - click the "checkbox"
  14. Next, select a "Date range"for comparison.  To compare multiple years, hold down the control key and click on the year or years to be included in the report.
  15. Results Format: Select either "Years Across" or "Years Down" radio button for displaying the results.
  16. Use the pulldown menu to Select a format: HTML, PDF, Word, or Excel, then click the "Create a Report" button.

compare screen

Visual Guide to Finding Industry Ratios

Industry Ratios Books