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Sources of easily parsed detailed financial data on stocks

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Apr 10, 2020 7:39 pm

The back story: As you can see from my alias here, I’m a value investor, but I don’t like conventional stock screening tools. PE ratios and price/book ratios are too crude and have too many inequities. The stocks with rock bottom lowest multiples are mostly imposters and not real bargains. You’ll never ever find top quality stocks like Fastenal or Coca Cola on the lowest PE or lowest price/book lists. I believe in free cash flow, but stock screeners don’t cover that criterion, probably because there’s no official definition.

What I’m aiming for: I’d like to create and use an algorithm that automatically crunches the numbers and gives me estimates for the intrinsic business value for THOUSANDS of stocks. This requires having accurate and easily parsed balance sheet data, income statement data, and cash flow data going back several years. Yes, I know computer programming, so I’m not concerned about writing the algorithm. No, the SEC’s EDGAR site won’t work, because the financial statements aren’t in a uniform format. No, XBRL won’t do, because much of it is inaccurate or unavailable for most companies.

My question: Who provides detailed balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement data on stocks in a format that’s easily parsed and at a reasonable price? I think Bloomberg offers this, but the price is overkill. Do Morningstar or Zacks work for you? What other services should I consider?