The time was 2007 when I first discovered the beauty that Google Finance was. It was a moment between ZOMG-BACON and ZOMG-DONUTS to know that they had Indian stocks. What more, the graphs were utterly sexy and I could zoom in and out on the price-time graphs all day long. They even had graphical descriptions of news and dividend payouts that appeared and disappeared with the zooming in-out action! PHUN!
But amidst all this frolic, one certain feature, the stock screener, the all important tool that big-fat hedge fund managers probably need to decide which third world firm they want to laden with their billions, didn’t include Indian scrips. (They still don’t.) Heck, I even noticed that Google Finance took little note of special trading sessions, bank holidays and the mahurat trading by completely botching up the prices. I rebounded with MoneyControl who, although didn’t have those SexyGraphs™ but were far better as portfolio managers even despite the inherent lack of a stock screener.
And then, @BombayLives tweeted about Screener.in along with a superlative adjective which made me involuntarily click the link.
— Satish Vijaykumar (@bombaylives) October 1, 2012
And sure enough, when I landed on the page, it was an analytics junkie’s fix. Lists upon lists of stocks sorted by growth factor, the magic formula, healthy cash flows, the works. They have a stock specific page full of some more data bacon.
And here’s the kicker. THEY HAVE SQL STYLE QUERIES, MACHA! Before I go all geeky on you, SQL is a language to interact with databases and Screener queries are pretty much similar.
Let’s say I want companies with a market capitalization of over 1000cr with a quarterly YOY profit growth of 20% and a price to earnings ratio of less than 12. I’ll write a query like.
Market Capitalization > 1000 AND
YOY Quarterly profit growth > 20 AND
Price to Earning < 12
You can go pretty darn crazy with these things till you feel like they match up to your investment ehtos. They’ve even got custom ratios like ‘Growth Factor’, the Piotroski score and what have you. You can happily go and create more screens and custom ratios to your hearts content (think programming, class derivations and the like)
You can even create screens by clicking on the ‘Show Variables’ button to mix and match visually.
I know this sounds maha complicated and you must be like ‘abbey yaar, I’d rather get a data administrators job’, but once you get used to it, you’e going to feel utterly saxay. Happy and saxay.