Starting analysis

This is an old customer-specific support page designed originally for freelance-analysts of a client.
We can not delete this old page as there are plenty of analysts' old excel-files including this page as a link. Also if there was some renewed interest in freelance-analysis from one of our clients, this page can be referred to.
However, the information on these pages is no longer updated and it is partly outdated.

If you are not a freelance-analyst, please refer to other support-material on Valuatum www-pages


Note! This document describes the process of doing analysis in practice.



Here below are listed the individual steps you need to do in producing research with our system.

  1. Registration
  2. Choosing a company (company reservation)
  3. Find Information about companies for the analysis
  4. Different tools to save the analysis
  5. Basics of the Excel model
    1. DB2Excel - Copy company data from database (prefilled excel model)
  6. Doing estimates in practise
  7. Long-term estimates
  8. Analysis is ready - How to put it into Database
  9. Justifying your estimates
  10. Filling out company background info
  11. Analysis is ready for the public eye - Ask for feedback
  12. Continuous analysis (updating numbers and comments)
  13. Year change and model updating

1. Registration

Not currently possible!

2. Choosing a company (company reservation)

Next you have to choose a company on which to do analysis. This is done by using the company reservation system accessible from the analyst main page.

It is possible for an analyst to analyse more than one company at a time, but further companies can be reserved only when the analysis on the first company reservation is ready and in the database (of course you can also cancel your reservation and reserve another company). When you have reserved a company, you will be provided with the Excel model needed for doing the analysis.

3. Find information about companies

Where to get information about companies?

The easiest and often also the best source of information is company stock exchange releases. E.g., from all Finnish companies, you can find all the releases at Helsinki stock exchange www-site.

  • Click advanced search and you can search database easily by companies.
  • Open the company's latest financial report to know what happened in the last period.
  • Read also the Outlook for future.
For more information: Where to get information about companies?

At this point you probably rush to read the stock exchange releases from the company you have selected to analyse. And as you read those releases, you kind of start analysing the company. Therefore we would like to say a few words about what is important in the analysis, even though these things are originally written for instructions for the phase where you start to change the estimates (phase 6).

So we recommend that you read this text already now before reading the company disclosures:

Focus on these things in your analysis

Future estimates are probably the most important thing in analysis, and you should really put effort in them. First you should concentrate in the short-term estimates. The basis for the short-term estimates is the current situation in the company: the management guidance, cyclical situation, as well as analyst's own assessment of the competitive situation and market. You should also try to find out what other market participants and research providers think of the company's future: The difference between your view and the consensus is crucial for the pricing of the company and you should always comment on it - if only there are consensus easily available for your target company. In Valuatum Platform there usually is consensus available for 3/4 of all companies, so you have about 75% change to find consensus estimates really easily.

It is also highly recommended that you start writing down all the observations about estimates and reasons behind them. Just open notepad or MS Word (or some similar program) and write down important things. You can use these comments later when you are writing your forum messages, thus, they will definitely not be a waste of time. We also strongly recommend that you read instructions about forum comments and commenting your estimates before you determine what your short-term estimates are. Reading first forum comment instructions and knowing what kind of notes you should do, it is easier to make useful notes while contemplating your estimates

Management guidance. Management has, or at least should have, the best view how things are going and developing in the company. This does not mean management guidance would always be accurate. However, if you decide to go against guidance in your own estimates, you should have very good reasons to do so, and you should also tell them to others (in forum comments). You can also check how reliable management guidance has been in the past. If guidance has been too optimistic (or too pessimistic) in the past, you should take this into account (and let others know about it - they can't read your mind). Remember also that the company's situation changes all the time; e.g. if the guidance made by the management is not going to be fulfilled, the management has to publish this information without delays.

Order book and its development. If the company operates in a field where order book is relevant and thus company reports it, then order book and its development can help you to form a picture how things are developing in your company. The importance of order book is very different among companies; however, it is still worth studying if it is available. See how order book has developed and compare that with net sales. How have they correlated in the past? And what is more important, what can you expect to happen to net sales in the future quarters based on current reported order book?

In addition, one more small thing with which you can easily spoil otherwise good analysis: remember also to take into account the seasonal variation of sales and ebit.

4. Different tools to save the analysis

There are three tools to save the analysis:

  1. Excel model (the most comprehensive one)
  2. Browser model (quick and easy to use)
  3. ValuModels (somewhere between those two, requires Java Runtime Enviroment)

For a comprehensive analysis, we recommend you to use the Excel model for which you find instructions below.

The ValuViews may be useful in some special occasions. First of all you can use it from any computer with internet connection: e.g. in internet cafe anywhere in the world without any access to Microsoft Excel. With browser model is might also be easy to start analysis for the first time. Then there has be a good enough analysis from the chosen company already in the database as you can not (at least currently) fill in all the historical parameters with browser model.

ValuModels is somewhere between Excel Model and Browser model: it is more comprehensive than browser model and more easy to use than Excel model as everything is in the same window and quarter and divisional level can easily be accessed in "tree-structure". Furthermore you can change any level in sales and ebit (group, division, quarter and any of their combinations) as the model has formulas to each direction: from bottom up as well as top-down allocation. However, ValuModels has also its weaknesses: it runs on java (requires Java Runtime Environment in your computer) and it is sometimes unstable and might fall dawn and then you lose your numbers (you must save your work often if you use ValuModels to change your estimates).

5. Basics of the Excel model

Opening the Excel model

Get an empty Excel model from the analyst section the web interface.

Open your Excel model just like any other Excel workbook. Model includes some macros. Excel might warn you about them, but when you just click "enable macros" the model should open without problems.

But if Excel could not open our macros, it's because your Excel's security level is set to be very high or high. In this case you should change your Excel's security level to be medium. You control these in the Security dialog box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab, Macro Security button).


In some cases you might also pump into "Circular reference" -problem announcement when opening the Excel model. Put iteration on to avoid that.

More info about this: Circular reference problem

5.1. DB2Excel - Copying and using ready made information (prefilled numbers)

DB2Excel (from DataBase To Exce) is a tool that enables you to copy all the historical (and estimate) data from any other company/analyst from Valuatum database to your Excel model. So it enables you to start with prefilled model and you should absolutely use it as there is no sense that you would input all the historical data that has been inputted already by some other analyst. Click here for more detailed instructions about how to use DB2Excel.

Starting WITHOUT prefilled numbers
Some analysts might also need our Empty Excel-Model Step-By-Step Guide (located in Valuatum's old web pages). It is especially needed if you cannot obtain prefilled model but instead you have to input even all the historical numbers by yourself. Empty Excel-Model Step-By-Step Guide is also more detailed than this document so also other analysts might find help for some problematic situations from there.

What sheets are used?

Once you have opened the Excel model, you should see something like first picture below in front of you. This is the help sheet of the model. To get to the other sheets, click on the sheet names on the lower bar. Sheets that actually are important to you right now are I-main and I-divQ (I stands for input).

Help sheet, I-main sheet and I-divQ.

Information on the sheets

I-divQ sheet has income statement figures in divisional and quarter levels from few years of history and few years of estimates. All the other information can be found in I-main sheet. There you can find all balance sheet figures, share information, long-term estimates (both income statement and balance sheet), and everything else needed.

Output sheets

You can also browse information at output sheets like O-quarter and O-overview, but remember that you are not allowed to change anything on output sheets. All changes to figures must be done at input-sheets: I-divQ and I-main.

Past figures at I-divQ sheet

All the quarters where the numbers have already been reported has to marked as passed (with "x" in row 4). With past quarters the actual figures are inputted in cumulative section beginning from row 147.

So check the row 4 at I-DivQ-sheet and see whether all the historical quarters are marked as passed quarters.

E.g. if the interim report for Q1 has already been published, the column for Q1 estimate figures should be marked as passed with an x mark and the background color should be gray.

If the interim report of the first quarter in white

  1. has not been published, you can continue to the next chapter.
  2. has been published, do the following:
  • Update cumulative figures

Hiding and unhiding rows

You can open and close different parts of workbook by clicking + and - signs on the left side and on the upside in the I-divQ sheet. You can also press 1 or 2 in the left up corner. 1 will close all sections and 2 will open all of them. It is handy to keep all the other information out of sight that you are not processing; thus, it helps you a lot if you start to use the Excel-file with these +/- signs.

Important rules

You are allowed to Enter and change values in the (input) cells that are with blue font color.

You are NOT allowed to

  • change any formulas in the output cells that are in black font
  • remove or add any rows or columns (you can however hide them)

If you need to do own calculations that need space, then you can also add own sheets and make links from them to the input cells. But never add rows to current sheets of Valuatum Excel model like I-main and I-divQ.

So the key rule is that change only blue input cells, not black output cells.

Enter all absolute numbers in millions (of euro for example).

More information about Valuatum Excel model can be found from Excel manual.

6. Doing estimates in practise

Do you already know what is most important in doing short-term estimates? If you do, then please proceed, but if you do not please get back to chapter 3 where the most important things in analysis were described.

Read the latest company result announcement and/or annual report once more and then change the estimates as you think they should be changed:

What figures to estimate

The most important figures to estimate are

  • EBIT (operating profit)
  • Net sales

Where to input the estimates

The near-future estimates are done in the I-divQ sheet. There you will find the divisional information by quarters.

Input estimates in the white cells with blue font.

Making changes to the model

The future estimates can be done with absolute or relative numbers. You can put absolute figure of net sales to ESTIMATES Net sales ABS and relative net sales growth %. Let's say, you believe that your company's one division will have a rise of 15 % in net sales in Q4 of the current year (see picture 6.2). Just put 15 % to Q4 of that division. You can also input your estimates as absolute figures. Thus, if you believe that net sales will be 150 million euros in Q4 of the current year, simple put the number 150 to Q4 sector of this division. However, you need to remember one thing:

Absolute figures dominate the relative ones. This means that if you, or someone else, has filled in both an absolute figure (150 millions in this example) and a percentage (15%), then the percentage becomes unrelevant, and it no longer matters what in the growth % (15 % in this example) is as the absolute figure (150 mEUR) dominates.

Remember: all changes must be done with figures in blue font. Do not change, e.g., the info fields in black font.

INFO fields

You will also find INFO fields on i-DivQ -sheet. They are only informative as they gather different estimate paths together: you can change an estimate either in absolute terms or with percentages and the quarter in question might already be in the past and then the real historical values are inputted in the cumulative section. Therefore it is practical that we have info fields where the real and uninterrupted series of both past figures and estimates is shown. And that is why we have INFO fields. You must not input anything to INFO-fields (as you see they are in black font) so if you would like to change estimates, you use periodic estimate fields (above the info fields) and if you have to change historical figures, then change the cumulative figures on the bottom of the sheet.

Make other estimates

In the similar way you can make your own estimates about EBIT of the company. There is also a possibilty to use absolute figures or relative ones (EBIT%). After EBIT move along to the income statement (see picture 6.3). When you have done all future estimates (in I-divQ sheet you should make them current year+three years ahead) for these three (net sales, EBITs and income statement), you are ready to move along to the I-main page.

Inputting history figures and changing quarter

As you probably have current prefilled Excel model, you do not have to update the model by inputting e.g. quarter figures in past quarters (you only have to check that they have been inputted correctly by the analyst whose model you use). However, sooner or later, as time passes, you have to input also past quarter-figures. They are inputted in cumulative section and not in periodic section as estimates. More info about changing the year can be found behind this link.

Updating previous quarter

It is possible that you have received such a prefilled excel-model where not all historic quarters are updated. In that case you have to input the old historical figures. A tutorial for it will be published later on here. In case you need the instructions now, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


7. Long-term estimates

7.1 Background of long term estimates

The basis for the long-term estimates should be the long-term growth of the sector in general. For more information see: Estimating long-term growth and profitability

Income statement parameters

Right in the beginning of the main sheet you will find the income statement parameters. You have filled some of them (net sales and EBIT %) already in I-divQ sheet until 2009, but other estimates should be done here: as you see from the font colours, they must not be changed here (otherwise the links would be destroyed).

Balance sheet parameters

Most of the secondary estimate parameters are connected to the balance sheet. Again it is natural to keep things in a certain level.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

WACC also is an important factor in the estimates especially when calculating DCF / EVA fair value. More information at: WACC - Parameter guidance


8. Analysis is ready - How to put it into the database?

When to update?

There is no limit how often to update a model to the database. You can do it whenever you have changed estimates or any other figures in the model. Of course models should be updated after interim and fiscal year reports.

Preparations for your PC

If you have empty model -version 445 or later, you don't need to do any preparations and you can proceed straight to the next section.

If you have version previous to 445, you have to do some preparations before you can update your analysis to the database. More information: Prepare your personal computer for inserting model

Prepare company in the database

Before you can update figures to database using the Excel model, you need to Prepare company in the database.

Possible problems:

There is no proper industry for my company.
There is no ticker(s) for my company.

Update analysis to database

After you have filled the Excel model with your estimates, you can put it to the database over the internet with only one click. "Update to the database" button is located in the main page.

You will receive an email

In this email you will find a link. Use this link to open your analysis from the database. Note that your analysis is not yet shown anywhere in the freelance analysis pages - You cannot get there in any other way than using this link. Use it to open your analysis.

Open your analysis with the link

Now your analysis is in your screen as it would be shown to a customer. You should check your figures and estimates once more, because now they are shown in more graphical and illustrative way. You might also want to think about the valuation of your share again. When everything is good, move on to next phases.

Check historical information

Check the historical data. You have probably made your analysis based on data that other people have gathered and prepared. Nevertheless, you are responsible for all the figures in your analysis. This means you have to check the historical data, especially, if the old analyst of the company in question (whose figures you use) is not among the best analysts according to the admin points. The following figures are the most important ones and should be checked by everyone at least for last few years. They can be found at either Background, Overview, or Quarters pages in Company views pages in the system.

  • Number of shares (Background)
  • Net sales (Overview & Quarters)
  • EBIT (Overview & Quarters)
  • EPS (Overview & Quarters)
  • Balance sheet total (Overview)

If figures are not correct, see Excel manual.

Att: you can ask us to do first database update if you encounter any problems

About 5-10% of our analyst encounter some problems when they try to put their first analysis into the database. So far all of these problems have been solved, but in some cases it takes some time to solve the problems (by us at Valuatum). Thus there should be some quick way for the analyst to pass these problems and go on with the analysis.

The solution for this is: If you encounter any problems then you can always send the excel-file to us by e-mail and we put it into the database. It requires only one press of a button at our side and thus takes about 5 seconds by us and thus it is no problem if we have to do this couple of time on behalf of you.


9. Justifying your estimates

Now that you are sure about your estimates and the reasons behind them, it is time to explain them to the others. This is extremely important. At this point it should be clear to you why your estimates are as they are. Hopefully you followed the instuctions and took notes already when doing the estimates. Remember that others cannot read your mind - If you haven't explained it in the forum, there is no way people could guess that you have thought about it when preparing your estimates. And use graphs along with your comments as instructed below.

How to write forum comments?

Technically writing messages is very simple. You can find forum messages below each analysis page. Just press Write a new message and then the message page on the right will open up.

What kind of message should I write?

Forum messages should explain and justify your estimates. To do this you should be able to tell all the relevant things you have thought about while doing estimates. You should also tell how your estimate are relative to management guidance and to consensus estimates (if available).

Use graphs

It is recommended to use also graphs with your forum comments. They make your text much easier to read and with them it is much easier to make grounds for your estimates. As you e.g. describe how the past financial performance has been and what you have estimated for the future quarters and years, it is very recommended to use graphs between your text. It is very easy to insert graphs from your company views -pages. And it is also not too difficult to insert images from your own.

Guide for using graphs and images in forum comments

Look at examples from current top analysts

To get a better picture about forum messages, you can easily find good examples of them. You can go Analyst rankings page and see what the top analysts have done. Press "View"-link to look at the ones with best admin points and you should have a good idea what the good messages could include and look like. Analyst rankings page can be found behind a link in customer main page. In upright corner there is a link "All Companies". Put mouse over it, and new selections will open up. Choose the last one, Analyst rankings.

An example of initial forum message: see the demo analysis.


10. Filling in company background info

Where should I fill in the background info?

When you see your analysis in the screen, in the upright corner you see link "analyst". Choose that and the analyst page will open in front of you.

Now you can see link called "Edit company background info" below chapter 5. Choose that and you will come to the page where you should see your company. There is also selection between Main information and Financial bulletin. You have to fill them both.

Financial bulletin is very important for automatic analysis update watcher: if you have not filled in the financial bulletin dates (or if your analysis is unupdated for over one week after some quarter result) then automatic processes are going to rank your analysis as "non-current".

Using prefilled background info

You can use already made prefilled background info that other analysts have filled before you (if there has been analyst before you).

You can "auto-fill" this information pressing "Use prefilled values", selecting the analyst whose information you want to use and pressing "Prefill fields". All the prefilled information will now appear to the fields. Remember to check information. It is likely that some information needs updating.

When the Main information is done, save it by clicking "Update information" in the end of the page. By doing so, you will arrive to a page seen in picture 10.3. You can click Update Company Views for this company and information will come to your analysis. You can see the information clicking Background in the next page.

After this, fill in the Financial bulletin in a similar way.

A rare situation, when the company hasn't announced the dates the financial information will be released, may occure. Then you have to approximate the releasing date, and make a clear comment in to the backround page and to the forum that these dates are not announced by company, but they are approximated by you according to the information you have. After the company announces the date, you can update the dates and delete the comments.

11. Analysis is ready for the public eye - Ask for feedback

Where should I ask for feedback?

You should ask for feedback when your analysis is ready to be rated. Asking for feedback happens through Analyst pages. There you will find a link called "Ask for feedback from administrator".

Asking for feedback

You have now the page on the left in front of you. First select the company your want to be graded from the list. Then choose a "comparison analysis": Analysis you think is about the same quality as your analysis. If you think selecting one is difficult, just choose one with points you think you at least deserve. Write some comments explaining why your analysis is at least as good as the comparison analysis. In the case of re-rate you should also write what improvements you have made (based on the last feedback comments). Do not ask feedback via email, because it causes difficulties in the system.

Finally you will receive an email

When your analysis has been rated, you will receive an email. In this email you will find points you received, comments about your analysis and improvement suggestions. There will also be a link, which will lead you to points page. There you can compare your points with others.


12. Continuous analysis (updating numbers and comments)

After the first update and the preparations involved with it, you do not have to spend much time anymore with the model itself: it is very fast (couple of minutes) to update the historical numbers with each quarter and it also goes quickly to update the future estimates when needed.

You can find detailed instructions in the Excel model manual on how to update the model after the company has announced its interim reports and Q4 results.

Most of the time thereafter goes to the most essential things: Assessing the company´s capabilities, competitive situation, future demand, changes in environment and how all these things together shape the future financial performance of the company. And you should not only think these things by yourself but put these thoughts to company forum as arguments for your analysis.

13. Year change and model updating

Finally a few special things that you should remember in the long-run when you do your analysis:

Year change after annual report

When the company publishes an annual report (usually in February-March), you should change the year in the Excel model.

Updating your Excel model to the latest version

We continuously update the Excel model and try to make it better. When you would like to update your model to the latest version, you can do it with the following instructions:

Adjusting splits and stock issues

Splits and stock issues must be adjusted in the excel-model. This is very easy and fast to do (takes about one minute) if you only know what has to be done in the model:

Automatic calculation of quarterly estimates

At the end of each year, the next year quarterly estimates have to be calculated by allocating your full-year estimate to the four quarters. To automatically create quarterly figures that can be used as a basis for your estimates, follow these instructions: