Properties in Depth–Lesson 2

Hi. Welcome back. In this lesson we will dig into properties. Properties are the backbone of Equities Lab. They are the database of stock records. Each stock record has many fields of information. Each field is called a property. The Equihack language is one way to gain access to this trove of information.

So you may be wondering what properties are available for me to use in this trove of information. Can I look at them in the raw? How do I access them when writing an Equihack screener statement? We’ll work on giving you answers in this lesson.

You used a couple of properties in the first lesson, P/E and Market Cap. You were told there are thousands more to pick from. Let’s see how your find them.

Go to the Tools tab in the lower left corner. Click on it.

Locate the dark blue area at 9 o’clock on your screen with the open “Filter by” box in it. This is where to start when you are looking for something like a property.

Many of Equihack’s tools are displayed in the area below this box. These tools include Properties, Operators and Formulas. We are only interested in Properties for now.

You isolate the display to show just Properties by highlighting the square blue ledger sheet icon immediately to the right of the empty Filter by box. Click on it a few times to see how it works.

You know when just the properties are listed; they are dark green; all the words start with capital letters; most are preceded with a green arrow we call a disclosure triangle.

You can scan down the list of Properties using the slider bar to the right.

Click on one of the disclosure triangles. The list pops open showing the actual properties within. Actual properties are identified with a square ledger sheet icon. These are the properties with the data you want to use.

As you scroll over property names, notice the information in the box to the right changes.

At the top, there is a definition of what the value is. At the group level, you see a listing of the properties in the group.

When you roll over an actual property within the group, you see the same definition but the names are broken down by quarters and years.

Look at the last line in the description box: Keywords. These words are an alternate way to find collections of similar properties. Let’s look at ways to search for properties.

One good way uses the “Filter by” area at the top of the list. Let’s play with it…

Enter “depr” in the Filter by box. As you type, notice the choices below change. We were looking for “Depreciation” properties—quite a list shows up. As you scroll down you see the depreciation value on the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statements and as part of the EBDITA value. Wow!

Back out the “depr” and enter “bal”. Notice that all the possible entries on a balance sheet are listed. “Balance Sheet” is not a property. It is just one of the keywords to help you find properties that are available.

Notice the third entry: Reinsurance Balances Payable. When we read the description to the right, we see it is only available for companies in the insurance industry. Using this property in a general purpose screener might exclude all stocks except some in the insurance industry. Be careful.

An interesting Keyword to use is snapshot which produces

a much shorter list of key balance sheet properties.

I also like to use the Keyword “ratios” and “computed.”

Let me show you a quick way to see what information is in these properties. You don’t even have to use the Equihack language to do this. Go to the Home page.

Type aapl in the Research Stock box:

You see a graph that in this case starts in the fall of 2012 when Apple’s price was high, the green line. It is compared to Cash, flatlining in the middle and the S&P 500, the brown line at the top. Apple recovered handily 3 years later. Let’s add some other properties.

Click the Tools tab:

Click Tools. Notice the box at the far right called “Show in Results”. We are going to add a couple of Property Names in this box. Start with P/E. Drag it over. Then find EPS. Drag it over.

Then click the Results tab again and wait a couple of seconds.

Now you see the same chart for Apple with two additional lines: the red one for PE with a red scale to the right, and the blue one for EPS 1 Quarter ago with it’s blue scale to the right.

This lets you see the day-by-day values for four Properties over a three-year period. In addition, you can evaluate a number of relationships. For example, during 2013 and 2014 Apple’s price was going up but earnings were going down. The red P/E suggests that this increase in price was due to expansion of the P/E ratio for reasons rather than historical earnings.

Let’s go back to the Home screen and click Create Stock Screener. Give it any name and press Done.

You can enter a selected Property’s name several ways:

Select Prompt

Click or Drag

Enter Code Name

Enter Shortcut

  • Enter part of a Plain English Name in the box and select a prompted choice,
  • Find the desired Property in Tools and click on it or drag it to your screener,
  • Enter a Code Name which is an abbreviated Plain English name spelled exactly the way Equihack expects, or
  • Enter a Short-Cut Name that I’ll show you how to create.

Let’s use the prompting feature. I want the screener to test the most current Accounts Receivable balances in records. I start by typing acc

A number of prompts appear starting with Accounts Payable. If I pull down the slider to the right of the prompts, I finally come upon “Accounts Receivable 1Q” which I click on. It fills the box. I can move on.

To find a Property to drag to your screener, look in Tools. If not already open, click the Tools tab in the lower left corner. Scroll down or type acc in the Filter by box.

The Accounts Receivable group is the second choice. Click it to open a list of Properties within. See the one you want: “1 Quarter Ago. If the cursor is still pulsing in your screener’s box, click on the property and it will appear in the box. Another choice is to simply drag it to the empty box in your screener and you are done.

The third and fourth ways to enter a property are based on understanding what we call a “Code Name”. This is the unique name Equihack uses to find a field of information in each record it reads.

Not to worry—they look very-much like their plain English names. In fact, you have already been using them!

Go back to Accounts Receivable in Tools and highlight the first one again: Accounts Receivable 1 Quarter Ago. Look at the definition area to the right. The Code Name shows within parentheses on the second line: Accounts Receivable 1Q. You can enter that Code name if you want.

Short cut names come from Code Names. Notice that each word starts with a capital letter. A number followed by a capital Q or Y are also words in the Code Name. This Code Name consists of four shortcut elements: AR1Q or simply ar1q.

Just enter the shortcut: ar1q. Equihack prompts you with the Code Name for your shortcut. Roll over it and it even gives you the definition of the Property you about to select.

Click it and Equihack fills in the Code Name without typos. Easy?

Actually that covers about 95% of what you need to know about entering Properties. Let’s stop there and dig into the system’s Commands next–the Verbs in Equihack.

Thanks for listening and watching. I’ll see you in Lesson 3.