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CompuStat North America

CompuStat North America consists of annual and quarterly report data of listed American and Canadian companies. The annual report data starts in 1950; the quarterly data in 1961. In the module Executive Compensation (Execucomp) you can find data of salaries of the Boards of Directors of a selection of American listed companies. This selection is based on the S&P 1500.


CompuStat North America is part of Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS). You find WRDS in the list of financial databases on the website of the EDSC. To get access to WRDS (and CompuStat North America) you need a VPN-connection. WRDS also asks for your e-mail-address. Enter your ERNA-e-mail-address. WRDS sends a link to the entered e-mail-address; this link is valid for 14 days. After these 14 days you can request a new link. 

CompuStat North America consists of several modules, for example Fundamentals Annual with annual report figures and Fundamentals Quarterly with quarterly data. You first have to click North America at the left side of the screen, then you can choose annual or quarterly data. The EUR has no access to the grey links.

Retrieving data

Here we use Fundamentals Annual as example; the steps you have to take are the same for each module. You have to follow four steps to retrieve data:

Step 1: What date range do you want to use?
Here you specify the time frame of your request. You can choose between Data date (the reporting date) and Fiscal Year. You set the period by editing the dates by using the dropdown menus.

Step 2: How would you like to search this dataset?
Here you have to select for which companies you want the annual report data. The identifiers you can use for these companies are:

  • TIC = Ticker
  • GVKEY = Global Company Key 
  • CUSIP = 9-digit CUSIP
  • CIK = Central Index Key, of the SEC

You can also make a selection on industry level (you will get data for multiple companies in one request):

  • SIC (click here for more information)
  • NAICS (click here for more information)

The identifiers can be entered in several ways:

  1. Manually enter Company Code – If you already know the Ticker or CUSIP, you can enter them manually. Click the link Code Lookup to search for the identifiers.
  2. Upload file containing Company codes – If you already have a list of Tickers, CUSIPs or GVKEYs, you can save them in a text-file. You can upload this file here.
  3. Retrieve saved codes from myWRDS – Here you can search a previously saved list of codes.
  4. Search entire database – Use this option in combination with Conditional Statements, for example only those companies with an IPO-data after January 1, 2009 or more than 1000 employees. You can select the requested items in the dropdownmenu.
TIP: do you want to download data of companies which are part of an US index, like the S&P 500? You can do this by first downloading that list of constituents from Index Constituents, also a module in CompuStat North America. Click here for the manual.


Remark: Check the identifier marked under What format are your company codes? If you enter CUSIPs at option 1, 2 or 3, you have to mark CUSIP as format.

Step 3: What variable types do you want in your query?
At this step you mark the variables you want to download. The variables are divided in several categories, which means you sometimes have to search to find them.

TIP: Click at the top of the page on Dataset List to search the complete list of variables (with CTRL + F). Under Manuals and Overviews you can find the CompuStat Online Manual, which contains the definitions. Use the right mouse click to open Dataset List or Manuals and Overviews, and open these pages in a new screen. Then you can switch between the search screen and the definitions or variables list.

The categories are:

  • Identifying information, like  SIC-code and IPO date. Mark at least Company Name, this name is not automatically entered in the report.
  • Company Descriptor, for example Accounting Standards.
  • Balance Sheet Items, like Total Assets and Long Term Debt. CompuStat has not always a logical notation, for example Total Assets is Assets – Total.
  • Income Statement Items, here you find for example Income taxes, Revenue
  • Cash Flow Items, like Debt at Beginning of Year, Interest Paid
  • Miscellaneous Items contains for example Employees
  • Supplemental Data Items, like Total Market Value

Step 4: How would you like the query output?
Here you mark the format of the data, most people choose Excel (.xlsx).

Click the button Submit Query; a new screen opens and the downloading starts.
The output appears as a link to a file. Save the file before opening the file.

When you enter your e-mail-address before clicking Submit Query, you will receive an e-mail with the link to the file. This file is active for 48 hours.

TIP: In older articles you sometimes find references to for example DATA128, taking from CompuStat. This notation is not used anymore. Under Manuals and Overviews you can find a document (Variable Translations - Compann Compqtr and PDE) where you can search the name of the item in the current version of CompuStat.