Basic information on financial databases: cook books, tips and tricks & economic news

This blog contains schematic easy to grasp - hands on - help in performing searches in economic databases, making work sets and making them inter-exchangeable between the databases.

* Disclaimer. I am not a finance professional. Most posts are the result of personal findings.

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Units in Compustat: hundreds, thousands or millions?

Many students got questions on the amount in which their output data is expressed. It matters whether you talk about thousands or millions.

When there is a question mark ? behind the data item, it is easy to check the units.
For instance, North America: Market Value (MKVALT)
!! This CAN vary (thousands, millions etc.)  !!

When the ? is absent, the best thing is to consult the online manuals.

Choose manuals and overviews

Compustat online manual (expressfeed)
Free search under TAB search.

What does this mean for your output?

What can happen is something like this:

 AT is Total Assets, expressed in millions.
The American notation of numbers works like this:
1,000 (thousand), 1,000,000 million etc

0.1 tenths, 0.01 hundredths, 0.001 thousandths etc.
So, 7230.4070 reads times million = 7,230,407,000

Where in e.g. Netherlands it works like this:
1.000 (thousand, 1.000.000 million etc
0,1 tenths, 0,01 hundredths, 0,001 thousandths
The number would in that case look like 7230,4070 times million

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