Financial analysts, investors, lenders, auditors, and many others perform ratio analysis to help review and evaluate a company’s financial statements and financial performance. This analysis allows the stakeholder to gain an understanding of the financial health of the company and gives insights to allow more insightful and, hopefully, more effective decision making.

In this lab, you will access XBRL data to complete data analysis and generate financial ratios to compare the financial performance of several companies. Financial ratios can more easily be calculated using spreadsheets and XBRL. You will (1) select an industry to analyze, (2) create a copy of a spreadsheet template, (3) input ticker symbols from three U.S. public companies, and (4) calculate financial ratios and make observations about the state of the companies using these financial ratios.

The company and competitor you should choose from are:







Home Depot






Under Armour








Best Buy




Christian Dior






Anheuser-Busch inBev


Heineken Holding


1. Open a web browser and go to drive.google.com.

2. If you haven’t done so already, sign in to your Google account.

3. Go to http://tinyurl.com/xbrlratios. You will see a spreadsheet similar to Lab Exhibit 8-3A.

4. Click File > Make a copy. . . as shown in Lab Exhibit 8-3A.

5. Rename your spreadsheet if desired and click OK to save a copy to your Drive. A new tab will open with your copy of the spreadsheet. You may now edit the values and formulas.

6. Referring to Lab Exhibit 8-3B for your industry’s ticker symbols, in the Main Company Ticker field, input the ticker of the company you would like to focus your analysis on and press Enter. In a moment, the value on the spreadsheet will change to Loading. . . and then show your company’s financial figures.

7. In the Most Recent Year field, enter the most recent reporting year. It may be the current year or the previous year.

8. In the Period field, enter either FY for a fiscal year or Q1 for 1st quarter, etc.

9. In the Round to field, choose the rounding amount. 1,000 will round to thousands of dollars; 1,000,000 will round to millions of dollars.

10. In the Comparable 1 Ticker field, input the ticker of a second company you would like to compare with your first company.

11. In the Comparable 2 Ticker field, input the ticker of a third company you would like to compare with your first company.

12. Take a screenshot (label it 8-3A) of your figure with the financial statements of your chosen companies.

13. First, review the Facts sheet (or tab) to determine whether there are any values missing for the companies you are analyzing. Describe what impact (if any) the missing data have on the ratios. Once you have determined whether any data are missing, you have a chance to find some interesting trends and comparisons in the data. You will click through the sheets at the bottom to review the ratios. To aid in this analysis, the template also includes spark lines that provide a mini-graph to help you quickly visualize any significant values or trends.


Submit your Excel file separately. Submit your Word document with the analysis of the ratios and the answer to each of these questions.

Q1. Review the 14 financial ratios and make some conclusions or judgments about the values, trends, or comparisons with the other companies. For example, if one company has a significantly higher debt-to-equity ratio than the other two, what might be driving this.

Q2. Has the company you are analyzing seen any major changes in its ratios in the past three years? Which of the three companies is most liquid in the most current year?

Q3. How has your company managed short-term liabilities over the last three years?

Q4. Analyze liquidity, profitability, financing (leverage), and activity for your company. Where is it strong?

Q5. Consider the DuPont framework to interpret the results and make sure you make a judgment about your company’s financial position based upon the data.

Your well-written paper must be 2500 words in length, in addition to the title page and reference page. It must contain 6 references (at least 4 of which are scholarly/peer reviewed). The paper should be formatted according to the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.).

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