Datastream provides current Betas and pre-formatted expressions to calculate historical betas for quoted companies around the world. In order for Datastream to display Beta calculations, at least 2½ years of data are required. Data is not held historically although it is possible to use formulae to calculate historic Betas.

Current Betas

  • From the menu options choose ‘Static Request’. A search form will appear.
  • Click on the orange ‘Find Series’ button beside the top search box. This will take you into the Navigator where you can search for the company you want. Type the name of the company in the search box, e.g. BP, and select the correct company from the options displayed.
  • Next click on the ‘Datatypes’ button. Ensure ‘Equities’ is displaying in the drop down box to the left of search box and type in “Beta”
  • Click on ‘Search’ and from the options displayed select ‘Beta (WS) – WC09802’.
  • Leave the date box empty.
  • Click on Submit and the latest beta value will be displayed.
  • Results can be transferred to Excel.
Current Beta in Datastream

Historical Betas

  • This time, select ‘Time Series Request’.
  • Click on the orange ‘Find Series’ button and follow the steps above to find the company you need.
  • Then click on the ‘Expression Builder’ icon – below the orange Datatypes button. You will be taken to the Expressions page.
Expression Builder and Expression Picker
  • Make sure that Expression Picker tab in the top left hand corner is selected.
  • In the Search For boxes choose ‘Any’ and then enter beta. Click on Search and a list of relevant expressions will be displayed.
  • Select BETA, MONTHLY, 5 YEARS by clicking on the code ‘458E’
  • Enter your time period, e.g. -2Y, and frequency e.g. Quarterly.
  • Click on ‘Submit’ and your values will be displayed.
  • Results can be transferred to Excel.
Beta in Datastream

Datastream is accessible on-campus in the School of Management via the VMWare application. Please ask if you need any assistance.

If all of this sounds a little complicated and scary, why not have a read of our Beginner’s guide to sourcing a company Beta too.

If you have any questions on Datastream or on sourcing financial data, please contact MIRC staff for more information.

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