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Bloomberg Terminal & Capital IQ

For use in connection with the Valuing and Modeling M&A and LBOs course



As part of your project for the Valuing and Modeling M&A and LBOs course, you will need a variety of corporate data. Two (2) sources for this data are the Bloomberg Terminal and the Capital IQ database.

  • The Law School Library has a Bloomberg Terminal located in the Research Room (Room #353, located outside the Reference Area on the 3rd floor of Langdell).
  • Capital IQ can be accessed on any computer after you create an account.

Please see the sections below for additional information about each resource.

Bloomberg Terminal

Getting Started


  • Hit <Enter/GO> to start

  • Then complete the Login/Password as follows:

Login Name:       LANGREF (ALL CAPS)

Password:           BLOOMBERG (ALL CAPS)

  • Hit <Enter/GO> again.

New in 2022: Bloomberg now requires that you create a personal account to use the Bloomberg Terminal. To create an account (after you open Bloomberg using the Login/Password above), select "Create a New Login" and follow the instructions (using your HLS email address).

NOTE: If you do not see the above options (i.e., all you see is the Windows desktop), you will first need to open the Bloomberg Terminal. To do so, double-click on the icon that shows a double-monitor on a green background. 

 Bloomberg Terminal Icon

Log out (2 options):

  1. Type: OFF
  2. Right click, choose EXIT, then OK


Keyboard & Navigation:

GREEN KEYS = “Action Keys”

  • <Enter/GO> = The "Enter" key on a regular keyboard
  • <Menu>: Use this key to navigate back to the previous function used (i.e., “up a level,” and ultimately back to the main menu).
    • If there was no previous function, it will display a list of related functions
  • <End/Back>: Use this key to navigate back to a previous screen (like the Back button on a web browser)

RED KEYS = “Stop Keys”

  • <Esc/Cancel>: Use to cancel the current function

YELLOW KEYS = Correspond to different market sectors

For example:

  • <F2/Govt>: Use to access data re. Government securities
  • <F3/Corp>: Use to access data re. Corporate debt
  • <F8/Equity>: Use to access data re. Equity shares


  • Command Line: Near the top of the screen (where the blinking cursor is and where you enter commands)
  • Orange/Amber Filter Options: Can use to further refine data by filtering or searching (e.g., limit results based on date, region, company, etc.)

Getting Help (3 options):

  1. Hit <F1/Help>: When viewing any screen, use this option to get a pop-up window providing additional information about the screen you are on (i.e., the current function you are using, such as MA or RV).
  2. Hit <F1/Help> <F1/Help> (“Help! Help!”): Use this option to go straight to the Bloomberg Help Chat (they are extremely knowledgeable and helpful).
  3. Hovering: Use this option to view quick, helpful text by hovering the cursor over a term on the screen.

Finding Company Information

Find a Ticker Symbol:

  • Type the company's name in the Command Line (top of the screen)
  • Then hit <F1/Help> to see general information about the company
    • The general information often includes the ticker symbol (can then either click on the ticker letters in the description or type them in the command line)
    • If you don’t see the ticker symbol or correct company, select #2 (Companies) – on the left panel – and then select the desired company from the list.

Information about a Specific Company:

  • Type the company’s ticker symbol in the Command Line (top of the screen)
  • Hit <F8/Equity>
  • Then hit <Enter/GO> to see the main menu of options.
    • Some specific options you may find useful are (listed by shortcut commands):
      • RV for relative value for peer group analysis.
      • GP for price graph
      • FA for financial analysis.
      • EE for earnings estimates.
      • DES for company security description.
      • CN for company news.
      • BRC for broker/analyst reports
      • ANR for analyst recommendations.
      • HG for historical price graph.
      • HP for historical price table.
      • MGMT for management profiles.
    • Click on the option or type the shortcut command in the Command Line (after you have “loaded” a particular security). Then hit <GO>.

Screening Companies

To Identify Comparable Companies:

  • First, get to the Equity screen for your company. To do so:
    • Type the company’s ticker symbol
    • Hit <F8/Equity>
    • Hit <Enter/GO>
  • Then type RV (for Relative Value) or select RV from the menu of options
  • Options:
    • You can then modify the displayed data by selecting different options using the orange/amber colored filtering tools (e.g., Comp. Source, Region, Industry Classification, etc.).
    • You can also use the gray tabs (e.g., Comp Sheets, Markets, Ownership, etc.) to view different information.
    • You can change the data displayed in the columns by selecting different options listed under the selected tab (also in gray).

Screening M&A Transactions

To Screen for M&A Deals:

  • Type: MA, then hit <GO>. This will show you historical M&A transactions (sorted by size, industry, region & adviser)
  • Click on 91) Advanced Search (on Red bar) to limit by certain criteria. For example:
    • To set Date Range:
      • Click on 11) Date Range (under Deal Criteria category)
      • Select parameters
      • Click on 1) Update
    • To search on Deal Status:
      • Click on 13) Deal Status (under Deal Criteria category)
      • Select criteria
      • Click on 1) Update
    • To search by Country or Region:
      • Click on 23) Region/Country (under Company Universe category)
      • Choose a region from the list on the left by clicking on the “+”
      • From the expanded list, choose a country by clicking on it
      • Click on 1) Update
    • Then click on 1) Results at the bottom of the page to view the filtered results
    • Click on 91) Edit Search to return to the main search screen and make changes to the criteria
  • Click on 5) Deal List tab for a complete list of results (otherwise, the default is viewing the “Overview” tab)
  • To add additional columns of data, click on 99) Edit Columns
    • Can browse data items by clicking on the “+” symbol next to the data type to expand and view all options
    • Click on the data type to select it
      • E.g., Under Description, add Seller Country
    • Click on Close to add the data field to the results list
  • Click on 92) Actions (top of screen)
    • Select Output, then Excel to download M&A data
  • NOTE:
    • If you click on an individual deal, there is a “Deal Comps” tab (left panel) that will show comparable deals
    • Click on a target company’s name to get more information
    • To look for M&A deals for a particular company, enter the company’s name (or ticker symbol) in the search box on the M&A main page (or see below)

The MADL Command:

  • Alternatively, once you’ve loaded a specific company, type MADL, then hit <GO> to see M&A transactions involving that company.

Finding Research

Equity Research Reports (RES):

  • Type RES, then hit <GO> to see the main search page for all equity research reports
  • Use the orange/amber search bar to find research on a particular company, topic, broker or keyword.

Bloomberg Intelligence (BI):

  • Type BI, hit <GO>, then select a desired industry sector
  • On the industry dashboard:
    • The “Comp Sheets” tab will list competitive peers in that industry (determined by BI analysts)
    • The “Data Library” tab contains company-specific data

Bloomberg Research Portal (BRC):

  • Type BRC, then hit <GO> to see the Research Portal screen for a single security
    • OR, Type RES ALL, then hit <GO> to see All Research available
  • Navigation:
    • Top Menu Bar: Shows options available (e.g., access All Research, Custom Searches, Settings, etc.)
    • Side Panel: Shows filtering options available (e.g., refine by Asset Class, Analyst Action, Content Type, etc.)
    • Headlines: In Center panel – click to view

Capital IQ

Getting Started

Creating a Capital IQ Account:

  • Go to the Harvard Capital IQ page.
    (You can also follow the link in the HOLLIS record for Capital IQ :
    • Click on New User? (upper right corner). You will be asked to submit an email address (it must be a current Harvard email). You will then be asked to check your email to continue.
    • Follow the link in the email and provide the requested information. Click Register. You will be told your account is set up and to check your email for further instructions.
    • In a new email, you will be told to reset your password. Follow the link. The page may take a while to fully load. Supply a password that meets the requirements and confirm. DO NOT attempt to log in on this page.
  • Go back to the Harvard Capital IQ page and log in with your newly created password. You will be asked to read and agree to the terms. Once you do so, you will be in Capital IQ.
  • For subsequent visits, use the Harvard Capital IQ page or the HOLLIS record for Capital IQ and log in with the credentials you just set up.

If you have any difficulties, please email (standard business hours) or Capital IQ Support (available during evenings, weekends, and other extended hours). You can also call Capital IQ Support at: 888-806-5541.

Getting Started

Capital IQ navigational tabs

Logging into Capital IQ will initially bring you to your Dashboard ("My Capital IQ"). At the top, you will see the main Search Bar and a number of tabs. This Guide will focus on the information available in the "Companies" and "Screening" tabs.

Using the "Help" link in the upper right can also lead you to a lot of useful information.

Be sure to click on the "MORE" links to see additional HELP topics.

Below are some links to useful introductory topics (login to Capital IQ required):

  • Getting Started Help Page (includes a link to Training Videos at the bottom)
  • Search Tips and Shortcuts (how to find Companies, Funds, Securities, People, Industries, and more)
  • Company Profiles (information on both Public and Private Companies, as well as Investment Firms and Funds)
  • Financials (information regarding the financial data available on Capital IQ, Financial FAQs, and 
  • Screening (how to narrow down the universe of Companies, Equities, Transactions, People, and more)
  • Excel Plug-in (information on exporting data to Excel)
Capital IQ's Customer Support is excellent. You should not hesitate to reach out to them using the telephone numbers or email link at the top of the page. I often find it helpful to email them first because they will write out step-by-step instructions. If something is confusing, I can then call them and ask for clarification. (It can be challenging to take notes while talking on the phone and typing on the keyboard!)

Finding Company Information

Company Profiles

A quick way to access information about a specific company is to pull up the company's Profile. You can do this by:

  • Start typing the company's name in the main search bar — the "Top 5" suggestions will appear as you type.
  • Select the appropriate company to view its Profile. (You will notice you are now operating within the "Companies" tab -- highlighted in red.)
    • The Company Profile gives you quick access to all information and data relating to the company.
    • The initial, default view is the company's "Tearsheet," providing a general summary of the company.
    • See the left margin for detailed navigation options.
  • NOTE: On the left margin, your "Most Used" information is at the top and "Financials/Valuation" information is ~1/3 of the way down.


Company Profile

Company Financials

  • To find financial data for a company, start with the "Key Stats" link (under "Financials/Valuation" in the left margin of a company's Profile).
    • Additional financial data can be found using the tabs running across the displayed spreadsheet (or listed below "Key Stats" in the left margin).
  • To find forward looking data (e.g., Next Twelve Months/NTM), click on the "CIQ Estimates" link under "Estimates" in the left margin.



Finding Comparable Companies

Comparable Companies

Below are 2 ways to find comparable companies (there are probably other ways, too). 

The Easier Way:

  • Pull up the Company Profile (see Company Profiles, above) for a representative company (e.g., Netflix).
  • Click on the "Quick Comps" link under "Peer Analysis" in the left margin. This will bring you to a pre-defined (by Capital IQ) list of companies comparable to the company you originally identified.
  • You can remove companies from the list by using the checkbox to the left of a comparable company's name.
    • Then click on "Delete" after opening the "Options" menu, located above the list.
  • You can add companies using the "Add Companies" link located above the list.
  • You can save a revised list of comparable companies for future use by clicking on "Edit" and giving the revised "Comp Set" a new name.


Quick Comps


The More Difficult Way:

If you are working from a list of criteria (as opposed to a representative company, described above) you can create a Comp Set from scratch.

  • Start from "My Capital IQ" (your personalized Dashboard).
  • Click on Comp Sets to see any Comp Sets you've previously created.
  • To create a new Comp Set, click on the "Create New" button.


Create New Comp Set


In the window that appears:

  • Give your new Comp Set a name,
  • Click on the "Screening" button (to the right of "Add Companies"), and 
  • Click on "Save."

NOTE: If you click on "Save" immediately after naming your Comp Set, the "Screening" option will disappear -- so do not click "Save" too soon.)


This will bring you to Capital IQ's Company Screening view.

  • Select the criteria you want to use to identify desired companies. For example:
    • Geographical Location and/or Industry Classification (under "Company Details"),
    • Valuation (under "Financial Information"), etc.
  • Each time you click on a link to begin selecting specific criteria, a new box will appear. 
    • Select your specific criteria, then click "Add Criteria" in the bottom right corner of the new window.
    • The companies that meet your criteria will be listed in the right margin ("Results Preview").
    • You can edit (or delete) your criteria by clicking "Edit" or "X."
  • Click on "View Results" to see more detailed information for each of your companies.


Company Screening Criteria


To add specific screened companies to your new Comp Set:

  • Select the companies you want to add by checking the box to the left of each company's name.
  • Click on the "Save to List" button and the companies will be added to the Comp Set identified above (e.g., "Lisa's New Comp Set").


Company Screening Results

Screening M&A Transactions

M&A Transactions

You can screen M&A transactions in a variety of ways.

You can start with a specific company and use the links on the left margin to find "M&A/Private Placements" involving that company (under "Transactions") or "Comparable M&A Transactions" (under "Peer Analysis").

  • Click on any company name link to go to the Capital IQ Profile for that company.
  • Click on an "Announced Date" link to see Transaction Details.


Capital IQ Company M&A Transactions


When you are looking at the details of a particular transaction, you can click on the "Find Similar Transactions" link to see Transaction Screening set up with similar criteria (which you can further edit).


Alternatively, you can start from scratch and use the Screening tools to identify transactions that satisfy specified criteria.

Hover over the "Screening" tab and then click on "Transactions."


Capital IQ Transaction Screening


This will bring you to Capital IQ's Transaction Screening view.

  • Select the criteria you want to use to identify desired transactions. For example:
    • Dates, Primary Features, or Valuations (under Transaction Details).
    • Additional criteria is available under M&A Details.
  • Each time you click on a link to begin selecting your specific criteria, a new box will appear. 
    • Select your specific criteria, then click "Add Criteria" in the bottom right corner of the new window.
    • Transactions that meet your criteria will be listed in the right margin ("Results Preview").
    • You can edit (or delete) your criteria by clicking "Edit" or "X."
  • Click on "View Results" to see more detailed information for each of your companies.


Capital IQ Transaction Screener View

Finding PE/VC Investments

PE/VC Investments

You can identify potential PE/VC investment opportunities using Capital IQ's Idea Generation or Targeting tools, both are located under the "Screening" tab.


Capital IQ PE/VC Screening Tools

Idea Generation

The Idea Generation Screens are templates to help you get started.

  • Start with a pre-built screen.
  • Add/subtract criteria to get exactly what you want.

For example:

  • Click on the link for the pre-built "LBO Targeting" screen
  • The Company Screening page is set up with criteria designed to highlight attractive LBO targets. 


CapIQ Idea Generation Screens


You can then use the Edit and/or Delete tools on the right to modify the pre-selected criteria to fit your needs. 


Capital IQ's pre-built LBO Targeting Screen

Find Buyers or Investors

The Targeting tool named "Find Buyers or Investors" offers criteria to help you identify specific types of potential buyers or investors.

  • Use the first 5 horizontal tabs to specify an industry, keywords, transaction type or stage, geography, etc.
    (Remember to click the Add to Criteria List button!)
  • Then use the additional tools on the right to further refine the selected criteria.
    • Using a green check mark means a specified criterion is required (as opposed to "nice to have").
  • When you run the search, your results will be ranked based on how closely your criteria is met.

Here is more detailed information from Capital IQ on how to construct this type of search.


Capital IQ Targeting Tool - Find Buyers or Investors