WSJ By The Numbers - Sept.18

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic and business indicators based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

The best performers received raises averaging 9.9% in 2005, compared with 3.6% for average performers and 1.3% for poor performers, according to a survey by Hewitt Associates.

More than 95% of companies offer a chance to earn annual bonuses to executives, while 80% offer them to managers, 68% have plans for professionals and 54% award them to clerical and technical workers, according to Mercer HR.

Only about 75% of eligible employees participate in their companies' 401(k) plans, reports Hewitt Associates. Nearly one-fourth allow employees to purchase products at a discount, while 19% offer discounts on movie or theme-park tickets and other entertainment events, Hewitt reports. (Ten Ways to Get the Most Pay Out of Your Job - WSJ)

That has contributed to an increase in the number of Americans without health insurance to 46.6 million (15.9% of Americans) last year from 45.3 million in 2004, according to the Census Bureau. National Health Expenditures (NHE) is about 16% of GDP, at $2 trillion annual rate. Per capita health expenditure amounts to over $6,000 according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (Health-Care Consultants Reap Fees From Those They Evaluate - WSJ)

Leading health benefits consulting firms include Mercer, Hewitt Associates, and Towers Perrin Medco Health Solutions, Caremark Rx and Express Scripts are the big three companies in the PBM field. The leading drug wholesalers are AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. 

46.6 M
Without Heath Insurance
The business compensation per employee-hour soared almost 8% in the year through June. Adjusted for higher productivity, labor costs jumped 5%, a near six-year high. Yet business margins are at a 40-year high. (How Stock Options Muddle The Relationship Among Wages, Corporate Profits and Inflation - WSJ) 8%
Business Compensation Growth
In the five years since Apple introduced the iPod, the device has nabbed  more than 75% of U.S. retail sales of new digital music players in the second quarter. More than 60 million iPods have been sold since the product's introduction. Overall, the device accounted for about a third, or $1.5 billion, of Apple's total $4.37 billion in revenue in the quarter ended July 1. 

Meanwhile SanDisk has quietly captured nearly 10% of the U.S. market for digital music players as of the second quarter, up from 3.1% a year earlier. (IPod, TheyPod: Rivals Imitate Apple's Success - WSJ)

60 Mil.
iPods Sold

More than half the CEOs of the 50 largest US companies by revenue graduated from public colleges. Some 10% of CEOs currently heading the top 500 companies received undergraduate degrees from Ivy League colleges, according to a survey by executive recruiter Spencer Stuart. But more received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin than from Harvard. ('Any College Will Do' - WSJ)

Ivy CEOs

Adobe has 25 million users of Acrobat and 500 million users of the free Acrobat Reader. (Adobe Keeps Acrobat 8 Target Date - WSJ)

  • Flash Player and Adobe Reader software combined are installed on more than 600 million connected PCs and devices worldwide. 

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents make up nearly 10% of the content on the web. 

  • More than 90% of creative professionals have Adobe┬« Photoshop┬« software on their desktops. (Adobe Fastfacts pdf)

600M Adobe Readers
In the 1990s, investors who follow analysts earnings revisions as a guide would have annualized returns of 4.8 percentage points better than investing in the overall index, according to Hartford Investment Management. From 2000 to 2004, the same strategy would have given an investor average annualized returns that were 9.3 percentage points worse than the overall index. But since the start of 2005, the strategy has generated average annualized returns 5.9 percentage points better than the index. (Listen to Your Analyst - WSJ) 5.9%
Gain from Analyst Calls
Today, more than 60% of all credit cards issued in the U.S. are tied to a rewards program, according to industry estimates. Visa created a program last year that mines data from 65 million cardholder accounts and uses it to customize offers. (Card Rewards Sweeten, At Merchants' Expense - WSJ) 60% 
Credit Cards with Rewards

WSJ By The Numbers - Metrics 2.0

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