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Business Research

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:

ABI/INFORM Collection

Login to ABI/INFORM Collection.

Enter an industry’s name in a search box on the database’s home page. Then scroll down the page and, in the Document type: section, check the box next to “Industry Report.”

You may need to re-sort your search results by publication so that the most recent industry reports appear at the top of the list.

Industry reports may include financial ratios.

Gale Business: Insights

Login to Gale Business: Insights.

Scroll down the page, click on the Browse All Industries button, enter an industry’s name or its six-digit NAICS code in the search box, and then click on the industry's name on the search results page..

The Plunkett reports available from the "Industry Reports" section contain industry ratios.


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.

Another option for finding industry ratios in Hoovers is to enter the name of a company in the industry of interest in the "Search for a company" box at the top of the database's home page. (So, for example, if you were interested in the footwear manufacturing industry, you could use Hoovers to look up Nike or Skechers, etc.)

On the left-hand side of the company information page, click on the Ratio Comparisons link in the "Financials" section. You’ll then see financial ratios for the company that you searched for, as well as for the industry and sector that the company is a part of.


Login to IBISWorld

Enter an industry's name or NAICS code in the search box. (Note that IBISWorld uses 5-digit NAICS codes.)

Click on the link for a relevant industry report from the search results.

On the industry report page, click on the Financial Benchmarks link from the menu on the left-hand side of the page and then on the links for Financial Ratios and for Key Ratios.

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
    • This encyclopedia entry (from the Salem Press encyclopedia) provides information about five categories of ratios: profitability, activity, liquidity, leverage, and market value.
  • Financial ratios
    • This encyclopedia entry (from the Encyclopedia of small business) provides information about four categories of ratios: profitability/return on investment, liquidity, leverage, and efficiency.
  • Financial ratios 
    • This encyclopedia entry (from the Encyclopedia of management) provides information about many types of financial ratios: profitability, asset utilization, leverage, liquidity, market value, and common size. It also provides cautionary information about the use and interpretation of financial ratios.
  • Business ratios and formulas: A comprehensive guide (3rd edition)
    • ​​​​​​​Per the preface for this ebook, "There are nearly 250 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."
  • Intermediate accounting for dummies
    • ​​​​​​​This ebook 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 ebook, the book's "authors demonstrate the nuts and bolts of financial analysis by applying the techniques to actual companies"