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Kathy Panagopouloskathy.panagopoulos@morningstar.com
Morningstar Introduces New Stock Diagnostics Tool in Popular Quicktake Reports

CHICAGO, May 22, 2003 – Many people are wary about investing in stocks – either because they've been burned in the past or because they are overwhelmed by detailed financial information they don't fully understand. To help investors make sense of the data and make better decisions, Morningstar introduced a new online tool, Stock Diagnostics, that explains – in plain English – the performance, valuation, profitability, financial health, dividend policy, growth rates, and earnings trends for some 7,000 stocks the research firm tracks. The new tool, part of Morningstar.com's popular Quicktake® Reports, will be offered free for a limited time at the company's investment Web site, www.morningstar.com. Then it will only be available to Morningstar.com Premium Members.  

"We built Stock Diagnostics to help investors put key data in context. Often, it's not a question of having enough information, but rather, making sense of it to determine which stocks might fit into a portfolio," said Haywood Kelly, chief of securities analysis for Morningstar. "By comparing a company with its peers and highlighting specific strengths and weaknesses, we hope to give investors a way to get their arms around past performance and future outlook. Stock Diagnostics is designed to complement our Analyst Reports, which are written by Morningstar experts and explain a stock's strategy in great detail." 

Morningstar Stock Diagnostics is a text-based tool that provides meaningful context to statistics, complex methodology, and long-term performance information and helps investors understand key financial terms. Topics covered include:

  • Performance – The stock's historical returns are compared with its industry and the S&P 500 Index.     
  • Valuation – Ratios such as forward price/earnings, price/sales, and price/cash flow are used to determine whether a stock is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued.      
  • Profitability – Calculations such as five-year return on assets (ROA) and five-year average net-margin determine how much money the company has made for shareholders compared with its industry peers.     
  • Morningstar Style BoxSM – The proprietary nine-square grid captures the style characteristics of an individual stock in terms of value, core, or growth orientation and market capitalization and compares this data with other those of other companies in its industry.     
  • Earnings Trends – Analyst earnings estimates provided by Multex, highlighted to show potential weak or strong points in a stock.     
  • Dividends – A company's dividend yield and five-year dividend growth percentages are compared with its peers'.

To access Stock Diagnostics, Premium Members simply enter a ticker or stock name in the Quicktake® Report box at the top of every Morningstar.com page. The Stock Diagnostics link can be found across the top of the stock Quicktake® Report between the "Snapshot" and the "Analyst Research" tabs. 

About Morningstar.com Premium Membership
Morningstar.com Premium Membership is available for $109 a year or $11.95 a month.  The service includes access to Morningstar Analyst Reports on 1,000 stocks and 2,000 mutual funds, Stock Analyst Notes, Fund Analyst Picks, Premium Stock and Fund Screeners, and Portfolio X-Rays®, which help investors evaluate their entire portfolio at the individual security level.  It also includes Morningstar® ClearFutureSM, a leading online retirement planning service.

About Morningstar, Inc.
Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc. is a global investment research firm, offering an extensive line of print, software, and Internet-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, institutions, and the media.  The company is a trusted source for investment information, data, and analysis of stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and variable annuity/life subaccounts.

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