Search of the Month: Retail Same Store Sales Breakdown

This is the second in our Search of the Month series. Check out the first article here! E-mail us at with powerful searches that you think should be featured.

If you’ve ever tried finding details of revenue growth drivers for companies in the restaurant or retail space, you may have found it difficult. That’s because this information is not broken down in GAAP metrics or other standardized financial reporting, but it tends to be discussed in quarterly earnings calls.

Normally, an analyst would need to listen to the call or dig through the transcript looking for these numbers, but using Sentieo they can find it with a simple search and save it for later use.

There are components to retail sales growth that are typically discussed on earnings calls:

(1) Opening more stores and (2) comparable store sales, which breaks down into:

a. Selling more at existing stores (more transactions)

b. Increased pricing per unit (higher average ticket size)

We opened up DocSearch and entered the following query: transactions NEAR10 OR(increase decrease). This brings up references to increasing or decreasing transaction volume along with synonyms. We used NEAR10 because the word transaction might be before or after the indicator of change and might not be right next to it.

We narrowed down our search to mentions within earnings call transcripts:


Then we also filtered down by sector:


We got some interesting results. We found Floor and Decor Holdings (FND), whose team had their Q4 2017 earnings call a couple weeks ago.


Their call included the following mentions of transaction growth:


The quote above tells the following:

  • Comparable store sales increased 16.2%
  • Comp increase was driven largely by transaction growth (more transactions)
  • Transactions increased for the year
  • Average ticket size increased for the year (Prices increased)

It would have been difficult to have found this information outside of Sentieo, but we found it in seconds, with just a few clicks.

The Habit restaurant chain reported earnings on 2/28, and provided even more detail:

The comparable store sales decline of 1% was broken down into a transaction (traffic) decrease of 3% and an average transaction amount increase of 2%.

Searches like these can help you quickly isolate the important information you need and incorporate it into your research without spending extra time poring through documents.

Advanced User? Try These Queries for More Focused Results

If you’re an advanced Sentieo user, you can make this query even more precise by removing synonyms of increase and decrease that could produce false positives for this search. Normally, you would use quotes (“increase”) to search for exactly those words and exclude synonyms, however, this would also exclude stemming, which is helpful for this case. Stemming allows you to not only search for a specific keyword, but also to find the variations of the stem of the keyword. Using our example above, let’s say we want to search all variations of the word increase, such as increased, increasing, increases, but not improve, higher, or growth. To include these words, we’ll need to put carets in front of the main stem keyword instead of putting quotation marks around it (^^increase). These will turn off synonyms but leave on stemming.

The final search would be: transactions NEAR10 OR(^^increase ^^decrease)

Sentieo notebook conferences

Sentieo’s Guide to Conference Season

As earnings season winds down, equity analysts start thinking about investment bank conferences and upcoming meetings with management. While the largest concentration of conferences happens in July and September, conference season happens year-round, so we thought now would be a good time to share our guide.

As conference season begins, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You and your team are getting ready to catch a flight, prepping for multiple days of back-to-back meetings. You want to be as prepared as possible, to ensure that you get the most out of your time away.

As former analysts, we’ve been in your shoes, so we put together a quick guide to help you out.

Get Mobile

When you’re on the road, your mobile device is your best friend. Don’t miss anything while you’re gone; use a mobile cloud software that allows you to review documents and financials while traveling — anywhere, anytime.

Reference financial data and prior conference transcripts on your tablet and phone during meetings with management, so your questions are sharp and you get the most out of your meetings.

With mobile access, you won’t fall behind if you’re away from an onsite data terminal. (And try not to forget your phone charger at home).


Prep Your Questions

Prepare and store your questions for conference meetings within a system that you can access while you’re in the meeting room, ideally from your mobile device. You’ll need a mobile app that stores any notes made by you or your team.

As the meetings occur, keep organized and also take notes within your mobile app. Tag them by ticker, topic, or your own keywords for easy retrieval after the trip.

Use note templates to have your questions ready and make sure you capture all the necessary information. Check out this example in Sentieo:

Go to your Sentieo Notebook, and choose your pre-made note template.

Sentieo template notes


Add your notes for the meeting, and save with the appropriate tickers and tags, for easy retrieval when you get back to the office.


Here are some topics you may want to ask questions about:

  • Emerging competitors 
  • Competitive positioning
  • Organic growth
  • Key drivers of standard and one time costs
  • Capital allocation
  • Capex
  • M&A
  • Dividends
  • Buyback
  • Problem areas/weaknesses the company is facing
  • Plans for raising capital


Collaborate with your team in real-time, whether or not they are at the conference, to ensure that you maximize the value of your meetings.

Add images from presentations that haven’t yet been released publicly directly in your notes so you don’t lose them.


Listen Carefully and Read Management’s Body Language

Management presentations will typically seem optimistic, but look for clues and ask tough questions to get to key nuggets of information. Try to scope out and take notes on indicators such as:

  • Management speaker confidence
  • Openness about risks (generally thought of as a sign of genuine enthusiasm)
  • Covering one’s neck (i.e. subconsciously seeking to protect a vulnerable part of their body) is a sign of discomfort, as is adjusting a tie, loosening a collar, or rubbing the forehead.
  • Executives who are uncomfortable with what they are saying often use “distancing language,” changing pronouns from “I” and “we” to “the company.”

Some other things to look out for in management presentations:

  • Comments on liquidity: trends in cash flow (or lack there-of) on balance sheet
  • Use of credit lines (are they too dependent on these?)
  • Press activity (press releases, PR firm hiring, poaching talented executives, new product announcements, focus on research and development, or R&D)



When there’s downtime, talk to people from other teams and make friends. Your conversations could spark an idea, or you could make a valuable connection.


Investment Bank Conferences in 2018:

We compiled a list of webpages with the dates for investment bank conferences, below for your reference. There are a few large banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) and smaller firms that do not have lists, but this should help you make sure you don’t miss any upcoming conferences.


Keep organized, and enjoy conference season!


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Sentieo Named 2018 HFM Best Fintech Provider to Hedge Funds

HFM Award SentieoLast night at the Yale Club in New York, Sentieo was presented with the 2018 HFM U.S. Hedge Fund Technology Award for Best Fintech Provider to Hedge Funds. Arib Rahman, VP of Product at Sentieo, proudly accepted the award for the team.

According to HFM, the HFM US Hedge Fund Technology Awards recognize IT and software providers serving the hedge fund sector that have shown exceptional customer service and innovative product development over the past year. Sentieo has demonstrated excellence in the following:

  • Customer acquisition and satisfaction
  • Revenue growth
  • Brand development
  • New product development
  • New thinking and innovation

Alap Shah, the CEO of Sentieo and a former equity investor himself, stated: “We’re honored to be awarded by HFM and are excited to continue delivering a comprehensive product for equity investors that includes easy document search, alternative data, collaboration, and many other cutting edge features that they want and need —in order to be efficient and ultimately more successful.”

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Sentieo Earnings Guide Part 2: Using Alternative Data to Predict This Week’s Earnings Announcements

Note: The content of this post references an opinion and / or is presented for product demonstration purposes. It is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute, nor is it intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

As earnings season continues into another exciting week, the Sentieo team has been making their predictions about earnings using alternative data from Sentieo Mosaic. The team accurately predicted the Netflix, Snapchat, Twitter, Skechers, and GrubHub beats, and in Part 2 of our guide, we will be sharing our thoughts on Trupanion (TRUP) and Hubspot (HUBS).

Our Methodology: Why Does This Data Predict Earnings?

In the graphs below, we are presenting Quarterly YoY growth in Google Trends, Website Visits (Alexa Panel), and Twitter Mentions. In all cases, we have compared the data against quarterly revenue growth. Alternative datasets like these are offered in the Sentieo platform and can provide an edge in analyzing consumer-facing businesses, as they often have a high correlation with revenue growth and are available ahead of traditional financial metrics for the period. As consumer behavior shifts more and more towards digital, indicators like these have become more predictive of tech and consumer company results. Below each chart is a link to the interactive version of the graph.

About Hubspot (from Sentieo’s Equity Data Terminal)


Prediction: $HUBS – 2/13 AMC – Beat and Raise


Interactive Chart

Consensus revenue growth expectations (dotted black line) are calling for revenue growth decelerations for Q4 (ending 12/31) and Q1 (ending 3/31). The Sentieo Index (blue), however, is showing a slight acceleration in Q4 and is showing a continued acceleration based on quarter-to-date data for Q1. This suggests a potential beat-and-raise for HUBS this afternoon.

About Trupanion (from Sentieo’s Equity Data Terminal)


Prediction: $TRUP – 2/13 AMC – Beat


Interactive Chart

YoY Google Trends (green) has shown a decent correlation to Revenue Growth (black) over past twelve quarters while Twitter Mentions (blue) has correlated a little bit better over more recent quarters. Consensus expects revenue to see a large deceleration for Q4 (dotted black line).

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Sentieo Earnings Guide Part 1: Using Alternative Data to Predict This Week’s Earnings Announcements

Note: The content of this post references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

With earnings season in full force, the Sentieo team has been making their predictions about the earnings announcements from major companies, using alternative data from Sentieo Mosaic. The team successfully predicted the Netflix and Snapchat beats, and in this report we will disclose our thoughts on TWTR, SKX, SODA, and GRUB.

Why does this data predict earnings?

In the charts below, we are presenting Quarterly YoY growth in Google Trends, Website Visits (Alexa Panel), and Twitter Mentions. In all cases, we have compared the data against quarterly revenue growth. Alternative datasets like these are offered in the Sentieo platform and can provide an edge in analyzing consumer-facing businesses, as they often have a high correlation with revenue growth and are available ahead of traditional financial metrics for the period. As consumer behavior shifts more and more towards digital, indicators like these have become more predictive of tech and consumer company results.

Below each chart is a link to an interactive version of the graph.

Twitter ($TWTR) – 2/8 Pre-Mkt – Revenue Beat


Interactive Chart

After years of struggles, Twitter finally seems to be taking the steps it needs to come into the modern era and properly engage and monetize its massively unique user base and content. By increasing character limits, improving navigation, driving more usage through better notifications and alerts, and by focusing more on video, Twitter is growing DAUs and revenues again. The stock has surged recently but there appears to be much more upside. Website Visits to  (Total Visits = red line) have shown a strong relationship to TWTR’s revenue growth (black line) historically. The website visits data is pointing to a meaningful acceleration for FQ1 (12/31) while Street estimates are not.

Skecher’s ($SKX) – 2/8 Pre-Mkt – Revenue Beat

Sentieo Skechers

Interactive Chart

Google Trends searches for Skechers (green line) and Website Visits to (red line) have accurately signaled major inflections in $SKX’s revenue growth (black line). The Google Trends data, which has the best correlation, is calling for a huge acceleration in FQ1 (12/31). However, the FQ2 (3/31) Google Trends data (based on 4 weeks of data) is signaling a very large deceleration.

When you peel back the onion, you see that this is a tale of two geographies. The international business has driven all of the recent growth acceleration, while the U.S. seems to be off to a bad start in FQ2 (see below).

Interactive Chart

If we overlay international wholesale revs, we can see that the Street is way too low on the international business:

Interactive Chart

While the U.S. side is off to a tough start to 2018, we think the biggest point of surprise on the print will be the massive reacceleration in international during FQ1, and the likely improved FQ2 guidance for international.

Overall, we expect a beat on the upcoming earnings call as laid out in detail in our recent blog post.

GrubHub ($GRUB) – 2/8 (9AM CT) – Revenue Match/Beat and Raise


Interactive Chart

$GRUB’s YoY Website Visits (Alexa Panel- red line) have shown a strong relationship with revenue growth (black line). The website visits data has also moved in the same direction as revenue growth and agrees with consensus expectations for an acceleration for the 12/31 quarter. So far in the next quarter, the data is continuing to accelerate with consensus revenue estimates expecting a deceleration, signaling a potential change in guidance coming on the call.

SodaStream ($SODA) – 2/14 (Pre-Mkt) – Revenue Beat and Raise


Interactive Chart

YoY Google Trends searches for Sodastream (green line) have moved in the same direction as revenue growth (black line) during each of the last 6 quarters. Google Trends and Consensus Revenue are in line for FQ1 (12/31) but are massively diverging for FQ2; this suggests a likely beat and raise for the quarter.

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Is Skechers (SKX) Management Guidance Too Conservative?

Skechers USA (SKX) is a lifestyle and performance footwear brand that was founded in 1992. We looked at Skechers’ recent performance using Sentieo Mosaic to assess how they will perform on their next earnings call on Thursday of this week.

SKX started off with a strong rally in October that included an earnings beat and raised guidance. However, Skechers still hasn’t gotten the deserved love from the market yet.

SKX trades lower than its peers, both in the shoe segment and in the athleisure industry, trading at just 9.5x full-year EV/EBITDA, quite a low multiple compared to its closest peers. The chart below plots 2018 CY EV/EBITDA vs. 2018 CY Revenue Growth, showing that Skechers is not getting the multiple it deserves based on revenue growth.

Skechers Revenue Growth vs Multiples

The Street seems to doubt Skechers’ profitability since margins have been a bit volatile in the past. It seems that the market has only started to recognize Skechers’ growth recently, after seeing the better-than-expected operating margins last quarter. Skechers operates in a segment of the footwear market that doesn’t give the company the pricing power and margin stability of a market leader like Nike.

In any case, as the most recent earnings release showed, the Street didn’t properly forecast Skechers’ operating margins. Analysts questioned the company’s ability to deliver necessary operating leverage while the domestic market was showing signs of uncertainty. Operating margins were roughly a 20% beat over analyst estimates, and only part of the better-than-expected EPS was a result of a more favorable tax rate.

The strong rally during the past few months was bolstered by the buzz around Trump’s tax reform and the positive effects that a lower tax rate would potentially have on Skechers’ bottom-line. However, it seems that the market has failed to keep up with the pace of Skechers’ improving fundamentals.

The black line in the chart below shows the YoY revenue growth, with the solid part showing and actuals and the dotted part showing analysts’ expectations. The Sentieo Index (which includes alternative data sets such as Google Trends and Twitter) demonstrates Skechers growth potential (dashed blue line), while Wall Street has very low expectations for revenue in the next few years, forecasting a significant deceleration (again, dotted portion of the black line). Analysts haven’t adjusted their expectations enough, and it’s likely that a big revenue beat is coming both in Q4 and in the following quarters.

Sentieo Index vs Revenue YoY

Wall Street continues to be skeptical about Skechers’ acceleration, despite underestimating Skechers’ revenue growth for four consecutive quarters and getting the margin picture completely wrong. Analysts also don’t seem to understand that Skechers’ management is offering particularly conservative guidance numbers, and has been mentioning better-than-expected results for a while.

In Q2, the management offered the following guidance:

Management Guidance – Q2

Both revenue and EPS were far above those levels, surpassing the higher end of the management’s guidance.

Something similar occurred in Q2, when revenue growth definitely surpassed the upper end of the management’s guidance. In the excerpt below, management highlights that the results were well above their own expectations:

Skechers Transcript – Sales

Perhaps management wants to set expectations low, or perhaps they have actually underestimated the sales acceleration. In any case, it’s probable that they have undervalued the potential growth in Q4 just as they did for the previous two quarters.

With sales guidance for Q4 at $860 to $885 million, the implied Y/Y growth rate would be between 12.5% and 16%, basically just in line with Q3’s growth rate even if we use the higher end of the guidance range.

The Sentieo index tells us something different. Since management has provided its guidance, the index has significantly accelerated, showing a strong confidence in Skechers. The guidance for Q4 was provided just before an inflection point of strong acceleration, shown by the Sentieo index dotted line below:

Sentieo Index and Guidance


We’ll be tuning into the earnings call on Thursday to see if Skechers has underestimated their performance again. To continue tracking SKX, and to study other tickers using our alternative dataset tools, sign up for a free trial with Sentieo.

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Analysts: Go From Hours of Tedious Table Data Entry — to None

Sentieo Table X

How TableX Helps You Find, Organize, Audit, & Extract Non-Standard Data

Tired of digging through documents and manually inputting numbers to build your models? As former analysts ourselves, we built Sentieo’s TableX from the ground up to save you hours of unnecessary work — with functionality you can’t get anywhere else. We built TableX years ago, and have been making continuous improvements to the natural language processing technology in order to add functionality and make it more accurate. Stay tuned for some major upgrades over the next two months as we level up the technology.

What Is TableX?

Table X helps analysts find, organize, audit, and extract data easily.

Let’s say we want to look at Apple’s iPhone units sold. We open up Sentieo Document Search, enter the Apple ticker, and query “IN:TABLE iphone NEAR10 units.” (See screenshot below). We choose the 2017 FY10K and see the mention of iPhone sales highlighted in yellow.

Sentieo Table Extraction

From here, we can do a few things. First, we can Export Table to Excel (see 1 below).

Sentieo export to excel

When you click this button, Sentieo will download a cleanly formatted Excel file for you, saving you countless hours of copy-pasting and formatting:

Sentieo Export

Let’s say that you would also like to reference this table at a later date. Simply press the Highlight Table button (see 2 below) to send a copy of the table to your Sentieo Notebook:

highlight save table

The table will automatically get tagged with the appropriate ticker, and labeled for easy search and recall. You can see the saved table below in our Notebook:


One of the most useful TableX tools is Similar Tables, a feature that is unique to Sentieo. If you click the Similar Tables button, you can easily compare similar tables from different points in time.

similar tablesThis function allows you to compare your current table to its historical equivalents. On the left is the table we just found (Q4 2017), and on the right is a similar table from the prior quarter. If you click “Next” on the far right, you can see the table from Q2 2017 and earlier. Similar Tables saves analysts hours of time they might usually spend searching for, exporting, and comparing historical tables side by side.

Time Series takes table comparison one step further (see 4 below).

time series

With Time Series, you first choose the data you’d like to compare over time. (See checked row below: “iPhone”)

time series iPhone

After selecting the line item(s) you want to examine, Sentieo will crawl through and extract values for this line item in any document type that you checkmark on the left hand side (see below).

iphone time series closeup

You also have the option to Export to Excel and dump the numbers into your model, Open in Plotter to visualize any trends in the data, or Save Series in order to reference these values at a later time.

This all works well for SEC filings. But what if you want to extract a table out of a PDF research report or investor presentation. Our technology can handle that too. All tables in PDFs have an “Export Table” button to put that data directly into Excel, like this table on Netflix Streaming drivers from a JPM research report:

Check out the video below for a full walk-through of all TableX features, with the use case being that you’re on the phone with Apple’s management team and they’re talking about the iPhone’s pricing power. You need to check if what they’re saying ties to the financial data — in under 120 seconds:

Stay tuned for TableX updates to come! We’re a month or so away from a TableX release that will make data extraction and analysis even easier. To try it out for yourself, get a free trial of Sentieo today.

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Will Netflix ($NFLX) Beat Subscriber Growth Estimates this Quarter?

With earnings season upon us, we’ve got our eye on Netflix, one of the first earning calls of the week.

We used Sentieo’s Mosaic feature to quickly plot a couple graphs on Netflix, which we anticipate will beat estimates in subscriber growth based on alternative data.

SentieoCheck out the Google Trends (green dash), Alexa Website Traffic (red dash), and Twitter Mentions (light blue dashed) for $NFLX above. They have all led subscriber growth movements (solid blue). For Q4, analysts are expecting a subscriber growth to decline from 26% in Q3 to 23% in Q4 (dotted line). Google/Twitter/Alexa are trending up, suggesting upside to consensus estimates.

We also looked at the Twitter mentions for specific Netflix shows below. The second season of Stranger Things was described as “one of the biggest entertainment phenomena on the planet” by Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos at the UBS conference last December. The cultish following of the show is certainly reflected in the chart below by the huge spike in Twitter mentions when it was released around Halloween.


We’re eager to log into Sentieo and check out Netflix’s full 8-K that it released today, as well as its press releases, presentations, and much more. You can view all this too by signing up for a free trial of Sentieo. Why not get your research done faster?

Search of the Month: Corporate Social Responsibility

With this week’s bold announcement by Laurence Fink, founder and chief executive of BlackRock, we thought it’d be a perfect time to show you how to search for the CSR initiatives of public companies within Sentieo.

This week, the executives of many large public companies received a letter from Fink which suggested that they not only make profits for shareholders, but also that they engage in social good if they desire the backing of BlackRock:

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” (NY Times)

With climate change, workplace culture, and data security making headlines recently, we wanted to see how much companies are really discussing corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental social governance (ESG).

We did a quick search in Sentieo to find mentions of these themes in earnings calls transcripts, press releases, presentations, and sustainability disclosures (red bars below), as well as keyword mentions on Twitter (green line below).


There has been a drastic increase in public companies’ focus on “social good” topics over last 10 years, mirrored by a parallel jump in Twitter mentions. We expect this trend to only continue in the next few years as announcements like BlackRock’s become more common, and companies take a closer look at contributing to sustainability projects, growing workplace diversity, and giving back to their communities.

A few well-known companies appearing in our search results that are already incorporating corporate social responsibility into their future plans are: Hasbro (HAS), Cisco (CSCO), and Herman Miller (MLHR). Check out one of Hasbro’s press releases below:


Cisco (CSCO) also had a full report on 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility:

Cisco CSR

We also used Sentieo Plotter to plot the mentions of “corporate social responsibility” across Cisco’s documents over the last 10 years (red), Cisco’s stock price (blue) and Twitter mentions of “corporate social responsibility” (green). All three have steadily increased over time.


As both consumers and investors take a more critical eye to how products and services are created and delivered — demanding full transparency — public companies will need to take an honest, internal look at their social impact and how it will affect their ability to succeed in the future.

To perform your own searches on corporate social responsibility or any other keywords you need to research, try our free trial of Sentieo. We always want to hear your feedback and ideas for the product.

Sentieo Quarterly Report: A Linguistic Analysis of Q4 2017

Today we’re revealing our very first  Quarterly Report a summary of last quarter’s top keyword searches, as well as a detailed sentiment analysis across all industries. We used Sentieo to analyze earnings call transcripts to discover what companies talked about most last quarter versus the same quarter in 2016.

We also compared the sentiment of management and analyst sections of transcripts, and graphed these data points so you can easily see trends or discrepancies between the two. We’ll be publishing these reports every quarter, so you can stay updated on information that could impact your investment decisions this year.

Here are some interesting themes that came up in our research:

Keyword Trends:

  • Trump mentions have leveled off over the past few quarters as the buzz about his presidency has died down

  • Crypto mentions have doubled in the last quarter and are poised for another jump next quarter

  • Artificial Intelligence mentions have doubled in the last year as it has become a major buzzword in the tech sector

Consumer Sector

  • Philip Morris IQOS smoking system a market leader

Healthcare Sector

  • Puerto Rican healthcare crisis was a key focus

Real Estate Sector

  • While the San Francisco real estate market cooled off a bit, Amazon was mentioned by a lot of real estate companies with regard to “HQ2”

With Sentieo Document Search, and with this report, we are starting down the path of quantifying linguistic data. This report is actually a preview of some exciting features that are currently in development for the Sentieo platform. We’d love to get your feedback on what you liked and didn’t like and what you want to see in the product.

You’ll see our fully fleshed-out analysis in the downloadable report, which covers these industries and many more.

Check out this sample page of our report about the utilities sector:


To read our full analysis of the utilities industry and other verticals, influential companies, and trending keywords/concepts, download the full, free report!