Guide to using Capital IQ

What is CapIQ?

CapIQ (short for Capital IQ) is a market intelligence platform designed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).  The platform is widely used in many areas of corporate finance, including investment banking, equity research, asset management, and more.

The Capital IQ platform provides research, data, and analysis on private and public companies to help finance professionals perform an analysis.  This analysis may support transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, as well as investment recommendations, such as those made by equity research.

CapIQ is used extensively in financial modeling.




What information does CapIQ provide?

Capital IQ provides a wide range of information and data for its clients.  The main categories of information provided by CapIQ include:

  • Real-time market data (i.e., stock prices)
  • Financial information (financial statements)
  • Valuation (financial modeling)
  • Research estimates (from sell-side equity research)
  • Qualitative data (transcripts and other items)
  • Global market data (international markets)
  • News and events (press releases, analyst calls, etc.)
  • Fixed income information (prices, yields, etc.)
  • Credit ratings and research ratings
  • Security pricing and valuation


What is CapIQ used for?

Capital IQ is widely used by finance professionals for many aspects of their day-to-day jobs.  Some of the most common uses of CapIQ include:

  • Research companies and industries (investment banking, equity research, and others)
  • Develop investment targets and ideas (asset management and portfolio management)
  • Build and update Excel models (financial modeling)
  • Monitor companies and markets (equity research and asset management)
  • Quantitative research (hedge funds)
  • Manage data and general analysis (broad use in corporate finance)
  • Build and update presentations (investment banking)
  • Analyze credit risk (commercial banking)
  • Manage risk & exposure (risk management)


Benefits of using CapIQ

Capital IQ can save you lots of time.  As a financial analyst, it’s critical to get an analysis done as efficiently as possible, and time is of the essence.  Instead of manually downloading an annual report, 10-K, or 10-Q  from EDGAR and then manually inputting that information into Excel, it can be much faster to query the data in CapIQ.


Excel plugin

Capital IQ has an Excel plugin that allows you to embed data queries from their database directly into your spreadsheets and formulas.  You can pull information such as revenue, EBITDA, EPS, individual analyst estimates, IBES estimates, share prices, balance sheet items, cash flow items, and much more.


Dynamic presentations

CapIQ also has a PowerPoint plugin that enables you to create charts, graphs, and tables that automatically update without having to copy and paste each time you need to refresh or change information.  This can be a huge time saver for financial analysts who often spend a great deal of time moving back and forth between Excel and PowerPoint.


Use in financial modeling

Capital IQ is a powerful tool for financial modeling professionals.   By incorporating CapIQ’s Excel Plugin with a traditional Excel workbook, analysts can create much more dynamic financial models and build them faster.  By incorporating historical company information, combined with equity analysts’ forecasts, it can automate a large part of the financial model building process.  CapIQ also offers bespoke templates for the clients, where they can create industry-specific and company-specific models for them.


More financial modeling resources

If your career goal is to be a world-class financial analyst and perform industry-leading analysis, then the CapIQ platform will likely become a part of your daily life.

If you’re looking to break into a career in investment banking, equity research, FP&A, Treasury, or other areas of corporate finance, then our financial modeling courses are a great place to start.

Additional free CFI resources include:

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