UMGC Library

Business Research: Financial Ratios

Finding Financial Ratios for Industries

Financial ratios show the mathematical relationship between two numbers related to an industry's performance. Once a ratio has been calculated according to the relevant formula, the ratio can be used to help determine how well a particular industry is doing.

Here's how to find industry ratios in various UMGC Library databases:

Business Insights: Global

  • Login to Business Insights: Global. 
  • Click on the Industries link from the menu bar toward the top of the database's home page and then on the link for Plunkett Reports.
  • Use the search box on the left-hand side of the page to search for an industry by keyword or NAICS code. The resulting report will include ratios and analysis for the industry.


  • Login to Hoovers
  • Enter an industry's name, SIC code, or NAICS code in the search box on the database's home page and use the drop-down menu next to the search box to select Industries.
  • Click on the industry link on the search results page.
  • On the industry information page, below the "Market Research" heading on the left-hand side of the page, click on the All Market Research Reports link and scroll through the list of available reports to select relevant report(s), such as RMA Industry Norms reports.


  • Login to IBISWorld
  • Enter an industry's name or NAICS code in the search box on the database's home page
  • Click on the link for a relevant industry report from the search results
  • On the industry report page, click on the Key Statistics link from the menu on the left-hand side of the page and then click on the link for Industry Financial Ratios from the resulting sub-menu

Mergent Online

  • Login to Mergent Online
  • Click on the Industry Analysis tab on the database's home page and then select from the among the available industries and/or regions.
  • On the industry search results page, click on the PDF icon to open an industry report, which contains data that demonstrate industry performance.

Nexis Uni

  • Login to Nexis Uni
  • Click on the Menu link in the upper left-hand corner of the database's home page and then on Company Dossier.
  • Enter the name of a company in the industry of interest in the "Company name" search box and click on the company's name on the results page.  (For example, if you're interested in the airline industry, you could search for Southwest Airlines.)
  • On the company snapshot page, click on Industry Knowledge from the menu on the left-hand side of the page and then click on the link for Industry Overview.
  • On the industry overview page, click on the link for Ratio Components to see financial ratios for the top companies in the industry.

Additional Resources

The UMGC Library contains many resources that can be used to find  more information about what financial ratios are, how they're calculated, what they can be used for, etc. A sampling of these resources is given below:

  • Financial ratios - provides information about five categories of ratios: profitability, activity, liquidity, leverage, and market value
  • Financial ratios - provides information about four categories of ratios: profitability/return on investment, liquidity, leverage, and efficiency
  • Financial ratios - provides information about many types of financial ratios: profitability, asset utilization, leverage, liquidity, market value, and common size, as well as cautionary information about the use and interpretation of financial ratios
  • Business ratios and formulas: A comprehensive guide (2nd edition) - per the preface for this e-book, "There are nearly 200 measurements itemized in this book. Each one is accompanied by a complete description, an explanation of the calculation, an example, and cautions regarding its use."
  • Financial ratios: How to use financial ratios to maximise value and success for your business - per the foreword for this e-book, the book looks at financial ratios from the perspectives of customers, employees, suppliers, the community, and shareholders
  • Intermediate accounting for dummies - this e-book presents 10 ratios for financial statement analysis, in addition to numerous other accounting-related topics
  • Analysis of financial statements (3rd edition) - per the description for this e-book, the book's "authors demonstrate the nuts and bolts of financial analysis by applying the techniques to actual companies"