Reuters defensive play: acquires StarMine

Reuters defensive play: acquires StarMine

Summary: Reuters is acquiring StarMine for an undisclosed sum. StarMine provides specialized analysis and equity research tools to 350 investment companies.

TOPICS: Laptops

Reuters is acquiring StarMine for an undisclosed sum. StarMine provides specialized analysis and equity research tools to 350 investment companies. To me this is a defensive move. At one time, Reuters, along with Bloomberg and Thomson had the provision of real-time information for the investment banking market to themselves. But as more information becomes publicly available and investment weblogs become more popular, investment analysts are increasingly turning to other sources of information. There are other threats. When the SEC adopts XBRL it should make cross company comparison much simpler because the XBRL format makes filing data interactive and requires a standardized approach. That may be a few years off but the pressure is on with the UK already mandating XBRL filing by 2010. To date only some 40 US filers have adopted XBRL with Microsoft being the first for documents like 10-K and 10-Q.

While the SEC mulls whether to mandate XBRL, it gives companies like Reuters a breathing space during which they can carve out a position by providing solutions that remove a level of work. But that may not be enough. As Brian Sommer recently said:

I made a career out of scouring divorce proceedings, civil suits, IPOs, anti-trust filings, secondary offerings, etc. Today, I can do this far faster and more efficiently from my laptop with an active Internet connection. Now, the amount, velocity and power of such information is tremendously useful for researchers, analysts, litigators and prospects.

That was in the context of investigating software vendors but the same techniques apply to any industry.  Reuters has a lot more than information provision in its portfolio but as time goes on, I expect to see those types of service become increasingly commoditized.

Topic: Laptops

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

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  • There?s a downside to it..

    Maybe it?s a great way to get new data resources, but how accurate will it be? There?s no proper way to verify the accuracy and reliability of the data you acquire and that?s because you lack controll of the Source systems of the data.

    Note: I write data, because information is an interpreted substract of data as Knowledge is an interpreted substract of information..

    Then about the process:

    They collect data, which they cannot controll; Store it into their databases; Transfer it into a Datawarehouse and created Cubes and reports based on the datawarehouse contents and sell those to their customers.

    Which step should they remove? the first? If they do that, then they?ll find out very quickly, that "SH#T in" means "SH#T out"!

    Another question that comes forth; Who is paying for information that?s not reliable and accurate?

    On the bright side: I still have lot?s of work to do for a lot of customers, which by the way is testing the procedures for Management Information (both from a business and a technical perspective) :-)
    Arnout Groen
    • An excellent point

      But that's what we have IR/PR for isn't it? ;)

      To your wider point, Brian's MO kinda says it all - information is always incomplete so the more you can get from elsewhere, the more likely you are to be better informed.

      Of course the coming of XBRL combined with the hammer of SOX should, in theory, take care of most issues. Provided of course you can rely on audit certificates. Which, sadly, is looking increasingly unlikely.