Can you trust data from Financial Websites?

Normally to find financial ratios, earnings etc. for a company, I just visit Yahoo! Finance and generally assume their data to be correct inspite of all the disclaimers. However this may not always be the case. Let’s take an example where things are really messed up at financial sites – e.g. BX – The Blackstone Group, which recently went public and I’m one of the many who actually bought some stock only to see it lose a lot of its value over the last few days but I’m keeping it.

Let’s take a look at what financial sites say about it’s earnings, P/E etc.

Yahoo! Finance – EPS (TTM) = 12.41, P/E=1.91

Google Finance (Reuters) – EPS (TTM) – NM, P/E=8.82

Morningstar – Data Not Available

MSN Money – EPS = 2.68, P/E=11.10

Scottrade – EPS(TTM) = -2.54 (yes that is negative)

Of all the above, I’d say Morningstar is the best since they at least don’t publish something they don’t know. No data is better than faulty data.

2 thoughts on “Can you trust data from Financial Websites?

  1. JPM says:

    Interesting observation. I would think that they have some variations in the way they calculate the above. However, some of the values you’ve illustrated are really strange! Hopefully they were all at the same time?!!?

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