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What are Financial Tables?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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Financial tables are collections of financial data which are provided in the form of a table. Tables are well suited to display of financial data because financial information often includes a lot of discrete individual entries which read most easily when they are laid out in a table format. At first glance, financial tables can look like gibberish because they are crowded with numbers, letters, and obscure symbols, but once one understands how to read them, they are packed with information.

Financial publications usually publish financial tables as part of their reporting, with the content of the tables varying depending on the publication. Companies use tables to provide information about their financial health, with this information being included in annual reports, prospectus materials, and so forth for the benefit of potential investors as well as current ones. Tables are also sometimes used in broadcasts, in which case they may be displayed on a screen behind a commentator or analyst so that she or he can point to specific entries of interest.

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The table includes a series of rows and columns which may provide information about the performance of options, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and currencies. Individual entries are listed in the rows, usually, while the columns are filled with different values. For example, a financial table for stocks would list each stock in a separate row, and the columns would provide information about the high and low trading points, the code used on the stock exchange to refer to the stock, the change from previous trading days, the record high and low over the year, and so forth.

Tables classically include things like listing prices, trading volume, percentage change, dividends, yields, and any other quick financial data which might be useful or which the law might require be disclosed for the benefit of investors. People can compare different financial tables to look at progressive changes in values, or look at a single table to get a quick hit of market activity on a given day. Many software programs for investors allow them to build their own tables for custom investment profiles.

Financial tables online are often designed to be linkable. This allows additional information to be embedded into the table. For example, each stock name could link to a profile of the company which provides more information. Likewise, various values in the table could link to other useful data which people might find informative when reading the financial table and evaluating potential investments.

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