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Financial planning: Profit -- Industry comparisons

To compare your business with others in the industry, you can find published profit ratios in several places, including:

  • Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios -- Financial ratios of 800 different industries. Annual.
    Dun's Analytical Services, Murray Hill, N.J.
  • Analyst's Handbook. -- Statistics and ratios for those industries represented in the S&P 500 Index. Annual with monthly supplements. Standard & Poor's Corp., N.Y.
  • Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios -- Contains recent figures about an industry's performance. The information is compiled from Internal Revenue Service data. Leo Troy, Prentis Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
  • Annual Statement Studies -- Contains financial and operating ratios for more than 360 lines of business. Annual. Robert Morris Associates, Philadelphia, Pa.

Other print resources:

  • Dun's Business Rankings -- Ranks more than 7,500 top U.S. companies in 152 industries, including privately owned companies. Companies are ranked by size within their industry and within their state. Dun's Marketing Services, Parsippany, N.J.
  • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys -- Contains information on major industries and financial comparisons of leading companies in each industry. Standard & Poor's Corp., N.Y.
  • US Industry and Trade Outlook -- Provides evaluations and projections of major industrial and commercial segments of the U.S. economy. Standard and Poor's, U.S. Department of Commerce, DRI/McGraw-Hill, N.Y.
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Electronic Resources:

  • TechSavvy.com -- Search a database of new products, manufacturers by name or product, and other online services. Subscriptions are free.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics -- Government statistics and reports on employment, prices and living conditions, compensation and working conditions, productivity and technology, and employment projections.

  • U.S. Census Bureau -- Government data on agriculture, manufacturing, construction, international trade, and retail and wholesale goods in the U.S.

Most of the print publications can be found in the reference section of the library. Or for a fee you can register to use the Business Owner's Toolkit Power Tools online to search these and other industry databases for business profiles and company credit reports.


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