I am wondering how to compare companies from the sales perspective. If I take a look into the balance sheet of Coca Cola) and take a look at the sales, they are pretty clear to understand. If I take the same look into JP Morgan Chase I am very much confused, since I do not find any sales. (JP Morgan Chase) So how can I compare a banking company to a classical business company in the given cases? AFAIK a bank has products which they sell too, but this products are similar to the sales on the Asset side of the balance sheet. Or am I wrong? But can I simply compare the "Total Assets" of JPM vs. "Sales" of KO? I think not?

Hope someone can help me out of the dark.


If the links are not working, please go to DOW 30 list (if this link is also not working go on ValueLine click on "Browse research" and now click on "Dow 30".) Now you can click e.g. JPM and you will find on the top right corner "PDF reports" on which you can download the above linked PDFs

  • I'm guessing that this is a product company (foods) versus a services company (banking). The latter has no inventory, and arguably no "sales". Assets are things on hand that were not sold, and is a different question entirely.
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 0:47
  • keshiam, get this point and so far it is clear, but independently both companies have to create earnings. But on what basis? Means, Coca Cola based on sales and Banking based on ???what???.
    – cilap
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 10:55

2 Answers 2


The question isn't sales but profits. Banks traditionally profit by making loans. Just as with a physical product, there are costs involved, income produced, and the difference between the two is gross profit. From there you can get net profit, and from there you can look at efficiency or profit per share or whatever other metric floats your boat.

Or you can just buy index funds, get average rates of return, and not have to think about it.


If you are looking for an investment, like Keshlam said, profits are probably the most important thing. Keep in mind though that great companies already have lots of profit priced into their stock.

Other companies can make profit but if they grow more slowly than expected then their stock drops because it was priced for growth. Take Netflix for example, they beat the consensus earnings and revenue predictions but their stock still dropped 10ish% because they had far less growth than expected (I believe 2.7mil new customers instead of 5mil)

Also other things to consider would be risk/reward and tons of other factors. The reason why ETFs are so popular these days is because they mitigate risks of picking bad stocks. On the whole, I would probably say don't invest in either CocaCola or JP Morgan. Not because they are bad stocks/companies but because you don't know enough about them and investing to make an informed decision yet. I would recommend reading some books on investing such as The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. This is probably the most widespread intro to value investing book out there.

If you need other recommendations HMU

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