FAQ: MoneyTree and Insider Reports

andreas.com FAQ: MoneyTree and Insider Reports

PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Moneytree

Every quarter, PriceWaterhouseCooper (a major accounting firm) publishes a study on VC funding in the USA. Based on reports from dozens of VC companies, the study is a list of VC companies, amount of investment, the sector of investment, and the companies that recieved funding. Companies that got funding in the last 12 weeks are in the process of adding staff and projects. In short: if you’re looking for a job, then this is a good place to look.

The report is named Moneytree and has its website at www.pwcmoneytree.com. A summary of this report is published quarterly in the San Jose Mercury News.

Don’t fire off a resume to every company. That’s just a waste of time.

  1. Pick a sector that you understand or where you have experience (for example, if you have experience in semiconductors, then look in that sector.)
  2. Narrow the list down to companies within commuting distance.
  3. Study the short list of companies to see how they are doing. For example, use Yahoo’s finance pages (http://finance.yahoo.com) to see their investor reports.

How to Research a Company

Before you apply to a company, learn about it. Find out what it does, how it’s doing, and its market and competitors. There are excellent web resources to do this.

  1. For example, you hear about an opening at Nuance. Let’s see what we can learn abou it. Go to http://finance.yahoo.com.
  2. What is the company’s stock ticker symbol? This is the company’s three or four-letter stock market acronym, such as msft (Microsoft.) If you know it, type it in at Enter Symbols. If you don’t know it, click Symbol Lookup and enter Nuance.
  3. It replies that Nuance Communications is NUAN. Click that to go to the company’s financial report.
  4. At the right, you can see a chart of the company’s stock price. Click 5Y to get an overview of the stock price over the last five years. Nuance peaked in Sept. 2000 at over $160/share, and has dived ever since to about $3/share. Not good news. But then again, every stock has fallen.
  5. Just under the price chart, you can see the volume chart. This shows much activity there is. Nuance has very little activity during 2002, which is perhaps a good thing. No major rush to dump the stock.
  6. About halfway down the page, click on Profile. This gives us a summary of the company. In the middle, we can read a description of the company.
    “Nuance Communications develops, markets and supports software that enables enterprises and telecommunications carriers to automate the delivery of information and services over the telephone. The Company’s product line consists of its speech recognition, voice authentication and text-to-speech products. Nuance’s products and services help businesses offer personalized services, such as voice dialing of numbers in stored personal contact lists and access to stock portfolios and other customizable information. The Company also offers services to facilitate the development, implementation and support of applications operating with its software.”
  7. Now you know what Nuance does. Read this description carefully and be able to repeat it. In the interview, the managers will ask you if you know about the company.
  8. Below is an Expanded Business Description. It has more details. Click that and print out the page.
  9. At the end of the Expanded Business Description. you will find a list of Nuance’s competitors. Visit all of them and do the same research. See what is going on in the voice recognition industry. In less than an hour, you can become a total expert on the state of Nuance’s industry niche. You might find a company that is doing better than Nuance. Or, if you interview at Nuance and they don’t hire you, try the competitors.
  10. Under Financial Summary, we can read about the company’s financial condition. You don’t want to join a company that is about to collapse.
  11. There’s much more at the financial page. Look around at the various links and learn about the company.

See? With a few clicks, you can learn a great deal about a company. This works best, of course, if the company is public (it’s stock is traded on the stock market.) If the company is private (either they don’t want to be public or they’re pre-IPO,) then it can become a challenge to learn about the company; they’re not obligated to release much information. But if you can find a few competitors who are already public, then you can visit their sites and learn about the industry.