Getting Started with Value Line

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Value Line is a resource of investment research and advice: rankings of large to mid-cap stocks, mutual funds, options, convertibles, and special situation investment opportunities; company, industry, and market reports and commentaries. It also includes educational articles, a glossary of investment terms and investment tools.

COVERAGE: over 6,000 stocks, 18,000 mutual funds, and 200,000 options and other securities. Rankings are based on the “Value Line universe” of approximately 1,700 stocks, including more than 500 non-U.S. stocks.

UPDATED throughout the day: stock quotes, with a 15-minute delay; and company news. Updated daily: P/E ratio, dividend yield, market cap and other vital statistics and overall performance of the U.S. Stock Exchange and global exchanges. Updated weekly: rankings and commentaries.

How to access Value Line

  1. Go to tpl.ca and enter Value Line in the search box.
  2. Click on Access Online under Value Line.
  3. Enter your library card number and PIN.
  4. Type apple in the Search Box and select the appropriate entry. Do not click on the Quote button.

Search Box

At the top of the report is a three-part banner of summary information. Click on the bars at the right end for the different parts:

1st banner: snapshot of a stock’s key measures
• 2nd banner: estimates and projections
• 3rd banner: dividend and volatility information

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Click on “PDF Reports” for the most recent four quarterly company reports.

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For quarterly INDUSTRY REPORTS of the company’s industry, click on “View more” under “PDF Reports,” then select from the “Find a report” menu.

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The SAFETY and TIMELINESS RANKS are at the top left of the report.

The SAFETY RANK (1-5, highest to lowest) measures the total risk of a stock relative to the other stocks in the Value Line universe for the next 6-12 months.

It’s calculated from a FINANCIAL STRENGTH rating (top right of the report) and the stock’s PRICE STABILITY score.

• FINANCIAL STRENGTH (A++ to C) is based on an analysis of the company’s balance sheet. A strong balance sheet suggests that the stock price will be less volatile.
• PRICE STABILITY is based on a ranking of the standard deviation (a measure of volatility) of weekly percent changes in the price of a company’s stock over the last five years

The TIMELINESS RANK ranks the approximately 1,700 stocks in the Value Line universe relative to each other for price performance for the next 6-12 months.

“Stocks ranked 1 offer you the highest price growth potential [but] are often more volatile than the overall market. If you’re a conservative investor, you may want to select stocks with both high Timeliness and Safety Ranks, because stocks with high Safety Ranks are likely to be more stable.” (“How to Read a Value Line Report”)

The blue squares under the safety and timeliness ranks represent companies in the same industry. Roll your cursor over a square for the company’s name. Click on a square to go to a company report.

COMPANY REPORTS also include the sections:

COMMENTARY
• financial data like valuation, earnings, sales
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS and BUSINESS OVERVIEWS

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Roll your cursor over the title band of a section and click on the squares to increase or decrease the width of the section to 1/3, 2/3 or the entire width of the page.

• Click on "Hide" to remove the section.
• Roll your cursor onto the sidebar on the right side of the page to add hidden sections to the page.

The COMMENTARY section is an appraisal by Value Line analysts of financial statements, press releases and stock performance to find out “what is really going on” with a company and its stock. A company is fully reviewed four times a year.

• Supplementary reports are published after important company updates. To access the latest of these (also called “Research Notes”), click on the Dashboard tab, then on “Supplementary Reports” in the Quick Links box on the top right of the page.

The INDUSTRY ANALYSIS section is the most recent of the quarterly industry reports you get to by clicking on “PDF reports” at the top of the page. This section includes a list of, and comparison to, some of the other companies in the same industry.

For a complete list of companies in Value Line that are in the industry, click on the Browse Research tab at the top of the screen.

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Then select the industry from the alphabetical list of industries under “Industry Screens.”

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Companies are listed alphabetically on industry screens. Click on a column heading to list them instead by SAFETY or TIMELINESS RANK, or by the values in any column. Use the “Customize Columns” button at the top left of the page to change the columns that display in the table.

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For INDUSTRY OVERVIEWS (not the same as industry analyses), click on the Markets tab, then on the Industries tab. The overviews aren’t in alphabetical order. Nor is there one for every industry listed under “Industry Screens” on the Browse Research page.

On the Browse Research page, select a “screen” from under “Predefined Screens” for a customized list, e.g.:
• Small cap stocks with above average yields
• Companies with significant estimated dividend growth
• Best performing stocks
• High returns earned on total capital

To customize lists yourself, click on the Find Ideas tab, then on the Screener tab.

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You can start with one of the “Predefined Screens” from the Browse Research page. They’re on the left of the Find Ideas page, under “Value Line Preset Screens.” Then add criteria from the menus below: “Basic Criteria,” “Annual Ratios,” “Balance Sheet,” etc. Or you can build a list from scratch.

Click on the Model Portfolio tab on the Find Ideas page for four models that “illustrate how various investment strategies can meet their goals.”

The original print publication—The Value Line Investment Survey (VLIS)—was published in three parts:

• Part 1, Summary & Index
• Part 2, Selection & Opinion
• Part 3, Ratings & Reports

These parts, updated weekly, are available in the Quick Links box on the Dashboard page.

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Summary & Index [pdf]. Includes screens not in the list of Predefined Screens on the Browse Research page, e.g. from “Industries, in order of Timeliness Rank” to “Highest Growth Stocks”; and financial data and industry analyses.

Selection & Opinion [pdf]. Includes economic and stock market commentary; recent developments of model portfolios.

Ratings & Reports is available as a web page by clicking on “VLIS Current Issue.”

 

For more information or for help, call Answerline at 416-393-7131.