Save More Time with Sentieo’s New Category Search

About Sentieo Document Search

Clients love Sentieo’s industry-leading Document Search for its depth, precision, and workflow integration. Users save hours with the ability to search across all companies, watchlists, individual entities, or by excluding tickers from searches.

Easy document specification with our IN: function covers the most common document types. (For example, search just 10-Ks or just transcripts). Our in-section search lets you search within a specific document section (in:10k MD&A or in:transcript), or by speaker (statements by CFO, by analysts, etc). You can also search PPT presentations, or get very granular document-level controls like “8-K Credit Agreements.” Filter down your search by industry classifications, geographies, market caps, and timeframes. 

Add another layer with our large library of Boolean operators, like “OR” for parallel searches and “BEFORE/NEAR/FAR” for proximity and order control. In the background, we have three levels of synonym control for the thousands of synonym/acronym groups. For example, sales and revenue will “pick up” each other, so you don’t need to know the exact term that the company uses in order to find what you’re looking for.

Machine learning-based Document Search will dynamically suggest synonyms based on your specific query, in addition to autofilling text in your query based on your document set. And if you do not have a query, Sentieo will suggest trending terms based on the searched ticker.

We have extensive Document Search statistics that let you see real trends, and you can drill down quickly with one or two clicks. Imagine seeing all companies that mention China within 25 words of Vietnam, clicking on Consumer Discretionary, and then seeing the top companies that mention your query most frequently. You can also do a “search within a search.” 

On the workflow side, you can save all positive hits as a watchlist for future work (for example, all Industrial companies with a market cap over $1 bn that mention Mexico in their 19-K Risk Factors). You can even automate your workflow with saved searches. All of our searches can be saved and turned into email and/or desktop alerts at the frequencies of your choice.

Highlight and label text as you read, and these annotations will be all stored and automatically ticker-tagged in your Notebook. You can even call out your team members with comments: “are you ready to take a look at this note on [x]?” Take screenshots from presentations and use the web clipper to bookmark webpages. All of your internal documents including uploads, emails, notes, and built-out theses are searchable, too. 

So What’s This New Category Search?

We’ve had in-table search functionality for years, enabling users to find numbers that are broken out in tables. For example, find mentions of EMEA Revenue only in tables, rather than everywhere in the doc. In our latest release, we’ve taken locating numbers to the next level. 

With the newly-released v3.9, users can search for specific types of numbers based on our very extensive categorization system. A Category is a set of keywords which are not synonyms but have similar meanings or constructs.

Category search allows you to search for an entire class using one search term. You can now look specifically for categorized numbers, such as currency, percentages, duration, length, area, temperature, volume, and a lot more. So now finding the “sales growth percentage” or “production volumes” takes a second. 

Moving forward, we will show a few examples of what is now possible in Sentieo’s Document Search.

In this query below, we are searching transcripts for revenue growth within 10 words of a percentage. You can also see how “revenue” picked up “sales” as a part of the synonym search. 

Swapping out the percentage from the query above with the currency categorization, we can look for currency amounts, like dollars or euros. 

Staying on top of KPIs is also easy with our new numbers categories. You can search for specific information like oil/gas production volumes or leasable area in real estate. 

You can search 8-K Credit Agreements for leverage ratios using the Ratio classification:

Need to call up a company? Search all filings (in:CF) for the headquarter phone number listed on the front page. 

The numbers we classified do not even need to be numeric. As a part of this update, we have fractions, time periods and more. 

These are just a few of our new Document Search use cases. Sentieo offers many more categories that help you find exactly what you need, faster.

To find out more about our new Category Search, or any part of Sentieo’s research workflow solution, please get in touch.

Word On The Street: The Most Popular Transcript Keywords Of 2018, By Sector (An Annual Report By Sentieo)

Every year, thousands of pages of earnings call transcripts are generated and analyzed by equity analysts for signals about how individual companies — and the market — will perform. Our 2018 Word On The Street report demonstrates how Sentieo’s Document Search and Transcript Sentiment tools make that data more accessible to researchers.

How It Works

We used Sentieo’s natural language processing technology to scrape all the earnings transcripts published in the last year. We then processed and cleaned the data to distinguish the keywords in the text. We highlighted the words in each transcript that occurred on the greatest weighted average basis. We also eliminated filler words (like “or”, “and”, etc.) and conducted analytics on the cleaned data, like part-of-speech tagging (picking out nouns and verbs for semantic analysis) and sentiment analysis (quantifying the tone of the text).

Natural language processing powers the Sentieo platform’s document search and transcript sentiment functionality, putting its users at the forefront of financial research technology.

The Most Popular Transcript Keywords Of 2018, By Sector

Our 2018 report spans all sectors – from consumer discretionary to utilities. Here’s a sample page of our report on the Consumer Staples sector. For the full, free report, please download it here.

We want to hear your thoughts on this report, or any of our other whitepapers! Your feedback is welcome at For a free trial of Sentieo or to learn more, get in touch here.

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You May Be Losing Money By Not Redlining Language Changes in 10Ks

As 10Ks get longer and more complex, it gets harder and harder to find the material financial information within them. In fact, the average number of pages in a 10K has grown almost 34% over the past 8 years. We used Sentieo data to create the graph that shows this increase below.

Data Source: Sentieo

The HBS finance paper Lazy Prices shows that this rich information is hidden in 10Ks and investors are missing it (or at least taking their time incorporating it into stock prices).

The HBS paper explains how:


Changes to the language and construction of financial reports also have strong implications for firms’ future returns: a portfolio that shorts “changers” and buys “non-changers” earns up to 188 basis points in monthly alphas (over 22% per year) in the future. Changes in language referring to the executive (CEO and CFO) team, regarding litigation, or in the risk factor section of the documents are especially informative for future returns. We show that changes to the 10-Ks predict future earnings, profitability, future news announcements, and even future firm-level bankruptcies.


Finding changes across 10Ks seems like a time-consuming chore. However, with a redlining tool like Sentieo, you can see these changes in seconds. Let’s use the same example that the authors used in the report: bioscience/medical product company Baxter International (BAX). Follow this two-step process:

1. Enter the ticker BAX and the query IN:10K to pull up all of Baxter’s 10Ks.

2. Focus on the years where the biggest changes in 10K language were said to occur: the 10Ks from 2008-2009. Click the redlining icon, checkmark “All changes,” checkmark “Compare with (YoY) 10K – q4 2008,” and click the “Apply” button.

See the 10k below, after we applied Sentieo redlining. As the HBS report discusses, mentions of the words, “scrutiny,” “regulatory,” “laws and standards governing” were added to this 10k when compared with the one from the previous year. The purple text shows new language:


There was also a change in language regarding “stopped shipments” (versus “hold shipments” in previous 10K) of the company’s COLLEAGUE infusion pump product. Another addition was “substantial additional charges, including significant asset impairments” (versus just “additional charges” in the last 10K). See the revised copy in purple below.

Many news headlines flooded the media in the months following this 10K’s release in 2010, possibly resulting from the addition of these more regulatory-related and overall more negative words to the 10K. The HBS report explains this in more detail, including the fact that the stock price ultimately plummeted as a result:


For instance, a New York Times article published on April 24, 2010 reported that the FDA was clamping down on medical devices – in particular, on automated IV pumps used to deliver food and drugs. From the article: “The biggest makers of infusion pumps include Baxter Healthcare of Deerfield, Ill.; Hospira of Lake Forest, Ill.; and CareFusion of San Diego.” The article went on to quote an FDA official commenting that the new, tighter regulations would slow down the FDA approval process for automated pumps. Then, on May 4th (just 10 days later) the New York Times reported that the FDA had imposed a large recall on Baxter: “Baxter International is recalling its Colleague infusion pumps from the American market under an agreement with federal regulators that sought to fix problems like battery failures and software errors.” Moreover, the stock returns of Baxter International moved substantially surrounding the New York Times articles. In the two-week period around the articles, Baxter’s price burned down more than -20%…the price remained depressed, not reverting over the subsequent 6-month period. In contrast, we see no significant reaction to Baxter’s own disclosure of its 10-K on February 23, 2010, nearly two months before the news articles were published.


Looking at the stock price over time using Sentieo Plotter, one can see the drastic dip in 2010 after the 10K was released in February.

The HBS report also showed that companies with 10-K content changes generally demonstrated substantially lower future stock returns versus other companies without changes:


We first show that firms that change their reports experience significantly lower future stock returns. In particular, a portfolio that goes long “non-changers” and short “changers” earns a statistically significant 34-58 basis points per month – up to 7% per year (t=3.90) – in value-weighted abnormal returns over the following year. These returns continue to accrue out to 18 months, and do not reverse, implying that far from overreaction, these changes imply true, fundamental information for firms that only gets gradually incorporated into asset prices in the months after the reporting change. As all publicly traded firms are mandated to file 10-Ks (and 10-qs), the sample over which we show these abnormal returns is truly the universe of firms (not a small, illiquid or otherwise selected subset).


The importance of following 10K language changes — and using a redlining tool to quickly spot them — is clear. Seeing these linguistic clues ahead of time can help you predict the direction a price will move.


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What Is GDPR, Which Companies Are Talking About It, and Why?

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, over the past few months. If you haven’t, it’s very likely you have at least been receiving a few emails about privacy policy updates from the software products that you use. If you’ve been researching GDPR, you may have even noticed that the official GDPR site has been so overloaded with visits that it has slowed and sometimes even become unreachable.

So what’s all the fuss about? In this post, we’ll explain why.

What Is GDPR?

GDPR is the European Union’s new data privacy law that was written to further ensure the transparency of companies’ data collection and privacy. It has specifications for businesses around how they handle personal data such as user email addresses and phone numbers. GDPR is only really supposed to apply to the EU and EU residents, but because so many companies do business in Europe, American companies must also show that they are also GDPR compliant — all by today, when the law is officially implemented.

American companies have been updating their privacy policies and explaining, at the very  least, how they:

  • Capture, use, store, and secure user / customer data
  • Capture and use cookie data
  • Capture and use location/mobile data
  • Share user data with company employees, partners and third parties, if applicable
  • Obtain user consent to receive marketing communications

We decided to deep dive into how companies are talking about GDPR and the necessary compliance preparations. We used Sentieo’s DocSearch to search for mentions of GDPR across SEC filings, call transcripts, press releases, presentations, and global filings. We can see below that mentions have definitely escalated over the last two years, especially as we got closer and closer to the date of implementation: May 25, 2018.



We also see that there was an initial spike shortly after European Parliament adopted the regulation on April 14th, 2016. GDPR has been in progress for the past 6 years, as the timeline below shows:

  • January 25th, 2012: GDPR proposal released.
  • October 21, 2013: The European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has orientation vote.
  • December 15, 2015: Negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission (Formal Trilogue meeting) result in  joint proposal.
  • December 17, 2015: European Parliament’s LIBE Committee voted for negotiations between the three parties.
  • April 8, 2016: Adoption by Council of the European Union
  • April 14, 2016: Adoption by the European Parliament.
  • May 24, 2016: Regulation entered into force, 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
  • May 25, 2018: Its provisions are directly applicable in all member states.

(source: Wikipedia)

We took a closer look at the companies with the most mentions of GDPR. The top five companies included Varonis and Talend, which are both companies that offer data-centric services. Varonis (VRNS) is a leader in data security and analytics, focused on protecting enterprise data. Thus, the GDPR mentions in its documents often refer to the products it provides to prepare its customers for GDPR.

Talend (TLND), a software integration vendor, also heavily referenced GDPR during its May 10th earnings call. Michael Tuchen, Talend’s CEO & Director even mentioned that Talend would even be “assisting Virgin Money UK with meeting regulatory requirements, including the EU’s GDPR.”

IBM had the third-most mentions of GDPR in its documents, and has even conducted a study on the subject: Majority of Businesses View GDPR As Opportunity to Improve Data Privacy and Security. Here is part of their press release about the study that came up in our search:

Last year, IBM itself also began to offer solutions to help their customers become more compliant with data regulations. Here is part of a June 2017 press release detailing those solutions:



GDPR is definitely inspiring organizations to more closely examine their data policies, especially in light of Facebook’s data breach and consumers’ increased understanding of privacy. We anticipate that most businesses will view data transparency as an essential part of their future strategies. This goal of transparency has allowed for some businesses like Varonis, Talend, and IBM to offer up specific compliance solutions for this use case, since compliance can be a complex process for most organizations without the right support. On the other hand, B2B companies in the software and targeted advertising businesses that derive a significant proportion of their revenues from the EU may face challenges from the GDPR.

As we’ve seen with the example of Facebook, non-compliance and cloudy communication can result not only in legal struggles, but also become a public relations nightmare with which no organization wants to be associated.

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Sentieo Use Case: Is The MGM Lion Ready to Pounce As Supreme Court Allows States to Legalize Sports Betting?

On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states), opening the door to legalizing the estimated $150 billion in illegal wagers on professional and amateur sports that Americans make every year. (New York Times)

We immediately jumped into Sentieo to see how various companies were taking the news. We pulled up a search for “PASPA” and its synonyms.

Mentions of PASPA in documents have certainly spiked in the last 3 months as companies have been eagerly awaiting the announcement:

We looked at the companies mentioning PASPA the most in their documents and found a few companies that will likely see positive impacts. They include:

    1. William Hill – bookmaker based in London that is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index
    2. Stars Group – Canadian gaming and online gambling company traded on Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange
    3. 888 Holdings – headquartered in Gibraltar, one of the world’s most popular online gaming operators & platform providers
    4. MGM Resorts International – American global hospitality and entertainment company
    5. Sportech PLC – online gambling and entertainment company headquartered in the United Kingdom,  traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol SPO

Here is the stock of Stars Group, with a large spike on May 14th:

All of these companies, except for MGM, had massive gains on Monday as the news hit the wire.

We dug a bit deeper into the MGM documents, and a May 10th Analyst day presentation caught our eye. Here’s a close-up:

On the call, MGM Chairman and CEO James Murren beat his chest on (correctly) predicting the outcome of the PASPA decision and tries to show that MGM Resorts’ primacy in the sports market and the overturning of PASPA would be a massive opportunity for the company. The accompanying slides from the presentation outlined the opportunity.

MGM was eagerly awaiting the PASPA announcement and is sure to already be pouncing on the opportunity to become even more of an “undisputed leader in sports.”

Unfortunately, for the company, the stock has not moved up accordingly since Friday. This is either a terrific investment opportunity, or a hope unrealized.


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Dropbox vs. Box: The Story of Enterprise SaaS Multiples

The Dropbox IPO on March 23 was big news, as the market welcomed the newcomer with a 35% surge on its first day of trading. The stock has been hovering around $30 ever since then, almost double the initial IPO range of $16-18, making it one of the most valuable publicly-traded enterprise SaaS companies. With the company’s first earnings call coming this afternoon, we decided to take a closer look.

While the IPO was a success, there remains some skepticism about the valuation, especially when compared to Box, Dropbox’s closest peer. Both companies operate in the field of cloud storage and file hosting. It’s no coincidence that they even share similar names.

Let’s take a look first at valuation metrics. For enterprise SaaS companies that are still rapidly growing, traditional valuation ratios like PE and EV/EBITDA are not as relevant, so we looked at Enterprise Value to Sales multiples, along with key operating metrics across a broad range of enterprise SaaS companies, using Sentieo’s Comparable Analysis feature:


Dropbox’s EV/Sales multiple comes in at around 9.6x 2018 forecasted revenue. Box, meanwhile, operates at 5.8x revenue multiple, well below the 9.6x median for its peers. This valuation gap could be justified if Dropbox is growing faster or has a higher margin business. FY 2018 growth for Dropbox is forecasted at 20.5% vs. 27% for Box and Dropbox earns gross margins of 71.2% versus 73.3% for Box. However, Dropbox enjoys much higher operating margins with a 21.4% adjusted EBITDA margin compared to -3.2% for Box.

By digging deeper into the operating margins, we find that the difference between the two companies seems to come down to the approaches of their growth strategies. Dropbox has grown primarily through a highly efficient marketing function and self-serve model, while Box has grown through a traditional, and more expensive, enterprise sales model.

This leads us to a key metric used in the SaaS industry: the magic number. The magic number is a ratio used to measure how efficiently a company grows its annualized recurring revenue relative to sales and marketing expenses. Here is the formula:


We can quickly find the numbers we need to calculate Dropbox’s magic number using Sentieo’s Document Search, and then export the table to Excel.


Here is the result:


As a rule of thumb, a SaaS magic number above 1 is good, and a number below .75 is concerning. Using the same process as we did for Dropbox above, we found that Box had a magic number of 0.38 in the most recent quarter, and 0.31 is the prior two quarters. This clues us in to why Box has such an abysmally low multiple for a SaaS company. But it doesn’t explain why Dropbox is priced at a premium to SaaS peers despite lower than average growth and margins.

We believe the secret lies in the Atlassian story. We first wrote about Atlassian right after the IPO two years ago in: No “High” in $TEAM: Why Atlassian Will 10X Or Get Acquired. Since then, the stock has been on a tear, almost doubling with quarter after quarter of revenue beats. Atlassian’s success has earned it by far the highest revenue multiple in its peer group at 16.9x 2018 sales. We believe this is primarily due to its efficient, self-serve, marketing-driven growth model and ability to upsell existing customers a broad suite of offerings. Atlassian had a magic number of 1.68 in the most recent fiscal quarter.

Dropbox’s IPO marketing materials make it clear that they want to be seen as the Atlassian of cloud storage, with many discussions of the benefits of the self-serve model, 500 million users, and individual accounts being upsold into enterprises.

Why Dropbox Is Overvalued vs. Box

This story hides some major issues with Dropbox. Their strategy for years has been to go after the consumer cloud storage market, which never made sense, as that market is highly competitive and has limited revenue potential. Box decided long ago to pivot to the enterprise, while Dropbox went through numerous failed acquisitions and internal initiatives, attempting to build products in everything from email to payments. They built a strong consumer brand in the process but ultimately decided to double down on enterprise. We think it’s too late.

The cloud storage and file hosting industry, including all the related services, doesn’t seem to be protected by a particularly wide moat. All of the major technology names are active in this field as well, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. All of these companies have the added advantage of pre-existing customer relationships. The main advantage Dropbox would need is the ability to provide differentiated services to enterprises. However, we haven’t seen evidence of Dropbox’s ability to effectively build differentiated enterprise products. As they are forced to expand their market, we believe they will face stiff competition that will make it more difficult to grow. On the other hand, the 500 million users may be the key to unlocking growth within enterprises that enterprise sales teams couldn’t effectively crack.

Meanwhile, Box’s stock has been on a tear over the past few weeks, especially after famous tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya gave a bullish presentation on the company at the Sohn Investment conference and the company has raised guidance.

We’ll be watching the language closely as Dropbox reports earnings today. The street seems to be expecting the company to beat estimates and raise guidance, leading to an increase in the stock as insiders come up on their lockout period. We don’t necessarily expect the company to disappoint in its first earnings call, but we’re bearish on the long-term outlook for the company.

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Introducing Sentieo’s Game-Changing Transcript Sentiment and Linguistic Analysis Features

Over the last year, the Sentieo team has been investing heavily in NLP & data science. We were very excited to release the Sentieo’s Transcript Intelligence Report, which is the first of many features built on a powerful new technology that lets us dissect documents and help you find insight.

There is signifcant amount of academic research that supports the idea that changes in sentiment among those in company management, as well as those working as analysts, do indeed have some relationship with stock returns.

Management is typically a negative predictor of stock returns. When management seems overly excited about the future, this may indicate that the stock will underperform. (See “Manager Sentiment and Stock Returns,” Journal of Financial Economics). On the other hand, when investor sentiment is low, subsequent returns are relatively high on a subset of stocks (high volatility stocks, unprofitable stocks, non-dividend-paying stocks, extreme-growth stocks, and distressed stocks), consistent with an initial underpricing of these stocks. (See “Investor Sentiment in the Stock Market,” Journal of Economic Perspectives).

Our Transcript Intelligence Report provides automatic analysis on how sentiment and keywords for a given company have changed across quarters. The analysis easily splits out Management Sentiment vs. Analyst Sentiment. Let’s use Netflix as our example.

First, we open up Sentieo Document Search and search for Netflix transcripts. We choose a transcript in the left hand navigation, and see a “View Linguistic Intelligence Report” button at the top of the document in the right hand pane.




We’re taken to the full Transcript Analysis page, and can now dive into the analysis!



Sentiment Scores

Sentiment scores are generated by tagging each word in the document as positive, negative, or neutral using a dictionary designed for financial documents and applying a formula to generate a score for each section. The formula for sentiment is below:

The number (typically a decimal value below 0.1) is a percentage that should be considered on a relative basis, rather than absolute.

Management Sentiment

The following chart shows sentiment for Management commentary and Q&A answers on eight quarters of earnings calls. Sentiment is calculated as positive word % of total words – negative word % of total words.





Analyst Sentiment

The following chart shows sentiment for Analysts from the Q&A section of eight quarters of earnings calls. Sentiment is calculated as positive word % of total words – negative word % of total words.




Management-Analyst Sentiment Spread

The following chart shows the historical spread between Management and Analyst sentiment.

The spread between the two would suggest divergences in sentiment. For example, if the spread turned negative, then it is possible that management has turned less bullish while analysts have remained bullish, thereby signaling the potential for management to disappoint in future periods.




Conference Calls Sequential Comparison Word Cloud

The comparison word cloud shows the biggest changes in average keyword frequency between the 2018-04-16 conference call and the 2018-01-22 conference call for NFLX.*





Analyst vs Management: Keyword Differences

This is another comparison cloud showing the major average differences between management and analyst keywords on the 2018-04-16 conference call.


Management Top 15 Keywords

This table shows the top 15 keywords by frequency referenced in the past eight quarters of earnings calls. This provides a visual view at a glance into what is being discussed on the earnings calls over time.




Analysts Top 15 Keywords




Sign up for a free trial of Sentieo to get the sentiment report for Netflix and any other ticker you follow.

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From Crypto to Interest Rates: A Sentiment Analysis of Q1 2018 Earnings Calls

Today we’ve published our second Sentiment Analysis Report, which summarizes last quarter’s top keyword searches and provides detailed sentiment analysis across all industries. We used Sentieo’s brand new Transcript Sentiment Analysis feature to analyze earnings call transcripts and discover which topics companies discussed the most last quarter, versus the same quarter in 2017. (See our previous report here).

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 publish 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:


Sentiment Analysis

Management versus investor sentiment is diverging.

Our sentiment analysis on transcripts shows that a decoupling is taking hold between the language from company management and market participants. Management continues to be upbeat during earning calls and presentations, while sell-side analysts and investors are taking a more cautious stance. To learn more, download the full, free report.


Keyword Mentions

Two substantial highlights from the various themes we cover in this report are related to cryptocurrency and Trump.

While mentions of crypto have continued to ramp up, two companies in particular had a surge in references: IBM and

IBM, with its Watson program and early involvement in the emerging fintech scene, is a recurring leader in the category. What’s new is that as concepts are maturing, bigger and more influential ecosystem players are now making moves: IBM recently revealed that it has been meeting with executives from commodities trading platforms, large corporations, and perhaps most importantly, central banks, to explore cryptocurrencies and blockchain in their operating models. (CoinDesk) also made the headlines as possibly the first $1bn+ listed company dipping into crypto funding with an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). The stock fell sharply year to date (-40%), in part in reaction to the Securities and Exchange Commission starting an investigation on’s subsidiary that did the ICO. (Investopedia)

With this report, we are starting down the path of quantifying linguistic data. This report is a real use case of the exciting new features we recently released, like our Transcript Sentiment Report function, which is part of Sentieo Document Search.

Below is a sneak peek of the report: a sample page about the information technology sector.

To learn more about the companies, industries, and regions where crypto and other themes are being most discussed, download the full report, which covers this sector and many more. To find out more about how to run your own sentiment analysis with Sentieo, sign up here for a free trial.


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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)

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Sentieo Document Search Weighs In On The Elliott / Arconic Battle

This article was originally published in Forbes.

Earlier this year, Elliott Management, a $31 billion activist hedge fund led by legendary manager Paul Singer, fought a long drawn out battle with Arconic, a metals engineering and manufacturing spinoff of aluminum giant Alcoa. Among the issues to arise from this fight was a particularly nasty corporate governance revelation about a hidden pension liability that takes effect upon a change in control.

At Sentieo, we watched from the sidelines with interest as the story developed, leaning on our indexed repository of public financial documents to uncover the material facts of this case. Our analysis revealed that potential “corporate governance risk” is a hidden aspect of equity investing that even sophisticated investors like multi-billion dollar hedge funds may not have adequate tools to assess.

Here are the facts (throughout the article below we’ve provided links to source documents in our Sentieo public document viewer):

On November 23, 2015, Elliott filed a 13D with the SEC which indicated that it had built a position of over 5% in Alcoa with the intention to influence the company’s management and board of directors.

On February 1, 2016, the company, still known as Alcoa, announced its intention to appoint three Elliott nominees to its board of directors. In November of 2016, the former Alcoa split into the new Alcoa, a pure-play aluminum producer, with the remains of the old company becoming Arconic, specializing in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing for customers in aerospace and automotive.

Exactly one year later, Elliott Management published a letter to Arconic pointing out that their attempts to privately coax management into making improvements had not succeeded and they felt the need to move their arguments into public view.

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