Tear Sheet

It is a one-page overview of the specific business.

A tear sheet, often called a fact sheet, is a one-page document that includes important financial details about a business and a description of its management and services.

In finance, it offers a one-page summary of the company with data like 52-week high and low, market price, enterprise value, market capitalization, revenue, analyst recommendation, EBITDA, workforce size, valuation, and share price movement, etc.

The name is derived from an ancient custom in which stockbrokers would tear a sheet from their summary books and present it to investors as a stock recommendation.

To help limited partners (LPs) understand investment performance, venture capitalists produce these on each company in their portfolio and deliver them to LPs weekly or monthly.

They are referred to as these sheets because, in the past, S&P published summary books, and stock brokers would shred pages from those books to distribute to clients. But, of course, everything is now accessible online. Therefore, it could be any online page that includes a company's summary information.

Many reliable online and print sources for stock analysis include Morningstar Professional, Valueline, Mergent Manuals, and S&P Capital IQ, among others.


    For instance, Mergent manuals, formerly Moody's Manual, offer details on over 22,000 domestic and international publicly traded corporations. Long-term investors strongly suggest Value Line as it has the best-structured tear sheets.

    Understanding the concept

    A fact sheet for a fund business, or any one-page piece of marketing collateral, is sometimes referred to as a tear sheet. For example, before the internet, Standard & Poor created one-page summary sheets for publicly traded corporations, where the word first appeared.

    Every page is a summary separate from the main book. These, sometimes known as "fund fact sheets" in the mutual fund business, provide details on past performance, important holdings, and asset allocations.

    Financial advisors and brokers frequently issue them to give prospective investors a better understanding of potential investment options.


      In addition, the sheet often contains details about the firm, including market capitalization, earnings, the company's industry, and a graph or chart showing share price history. It can be given one at a time, collected in a folder, and given to the client.

      The trick to the teaser is to provide prospective customers with enough information to stimulate their curiosity without divulging too much about the business.

      In M&A, after signing a non-disclosure agreement, potential buyers can obtain the company's confidential information memorandum. Therefore, the M&A advisor should eliminate any less serious or financially unqualified interested parties.

      While these have origins when stockbrokers would deliver individual pages from the S&P summary book to present or potential clients, most of the information is now gathered online.

      Consequently, it is a summary of a business's core competencies.

      Tear Sheet vs. Prospectus

      When assessing a mutual fund, a tear sheet differs from a prospectus as it is only one or two pages long.

      It will typically include a summary of the investment, the investment manager's benchmark, a historical performance graph, a few statistics (such as three-year or five-year alpha and standard deviation), and details about the fund company managing the investment.

      A prospectus for a mutual fund is a significantly lengthier document. It includes information about the fund's investment goals and approach.


        It will also include a brief description of the proprietary investment strategy employed by the fund and its performance to date. It will also include a commentary on how the investment strategy has performed compared to other current or past strategies.

        The prospectus also contains details on the fund company, the portfolio managers, historical performance data, and other financial data. By calling, writing, or emailing a fund business directly, you can get it directly from them.

        The prospectus must be given to the investor at the moment of investment in a fund or earlier. The provision of this sheet to a potential investor is not necessary, even though many brokers or fund providers use them to sell their products. On the other side, the prospectus must be provided as per the law.


        The information that should be provided ultimately depends on the analysts; the list below is merely intended as a guide. Any specific items that analysts deem significant can be added to the general components outlined here.

        1. Financial Profil

        The sheet's top portion contains general information about the company's stock, including the most recent closing price, 52-week high and low, market capitalization, the number of shares outstanding as of the most recent reporting date, enterprise value, the stock's beta, etc.

        The main goal is to have a solid grasp of the company's valuation and the price range that the stock trades in.

        2. Recommendation

        It displays how many equity research analysts are keeping tabs on the stock and their projections for its performance.

        To produce an equity research report and provide advice on when to buy or sell, analysts conduct a thorough analysis of the firm, considering its valuation.

        Popular analyst firms include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray, Jefferies, Credit Suisse, Barclays, etc.

        1. Estimates

        The analysts' mean projections for sales, EBITDA, and EPS are provided in this section. Additionally, it displays the top and lowest estimates based on analyst research reports.

        2. Valuation Ratios

        As it evaluates the main ratios for comparison, it is crucial from an M&A standpoint. It provides ratios based on estimates for the previous year, the current year, and the following year, such as P/E, EV/Revenue, and EV/EBITDA.

        3. Employee data

        It includes data on the total employee count, growth, and revenue per employee. Due to their greater reliance on human capital, product companies often have more revenue per employee than service industries.

        4. Financial Summary

        It presents a panoramic picture of all three parts of financial statements. It includes the cash flow statement, balance sheet, and income statement. Sales, gross profit, EBITDA, pretax income, and net income are only a few of the general statistics important for a rapid review.

        Details concerning fixed assets, cash, total assets, long-term debt, current obligations, and shareholders' equity are included in the balance sheet.
        It also includes a breakdown of cash flow from operating, investment, and financing operations, which is important for comprehending the business's cash flow.

        5. Stock Performance

        It displays the stock's return over one month, three months, six months, and a year.

        6. Profitability

        Different industries emphasize different profitability metrics, such as net income. For easy analysis, a comprehensive snapshot of the same is provided.

        The type of return generated on assets and equity is also provided with a 5-year average to shed light on past performance.

        1. Sales Mix
          This displays the geographic mix or the percentage of overall sales a region contributes to the company.
        2. Price
          It includes the change in stock price over two years, trade volumes, and 50-day and 200-day moving averages.
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        How to Prepare?

        It can be prepared in various ways by different organizations; some preparation parameters are as follows:

        1. Obtain the data from the company's official source.

        The information's primary and supporting sources must be used to create the sheets. The facts and data must be official to provide the clients with accurate information. Data needs to be obtained from reliable sources and should be in a position to substantiate if required.

        Having the data listed from unreliable sources would lead to investors losing confidence and potentially losing investors.

        2. Determining the valuable information

        Due to the nature of the data and its significance from an investing standpoint, the preparer should ascertain the important information known to the investors after gathering the data.

        Since it is a one-page summary, what information is included is important, as it would potentially direct investors to invest in the business.

        Having unwanted or less important information might not convince investors of the business opportunity; hence owners should give enough time and effort to prepare them.

        1. Summarizing the valuable information

        The material should be correctly summarized after being gathered so the reader can understand it and use it to make investment decisions. Data summarized should present a story to the investors and accurately reflect the relevant qualitative and quantitative data.

        2. Presentation

        The sheet should be displayed correctly and clearly after summarizing the data. Information should be presented to make sure everything is clear. Having visuals or graphs instead of a lot of financial data would help investors easily read and comprehend the presented data.

        Tear Sheets in the Venture Capital World

        They are crucial in venture capital. Whether you're a startup founder or a partner in a venture capital firm, it's critical to comprehend what it is and how to make one that works well for your fund or business.

        For those in the VC industry, it remains a crucial piece of collateral. These are typically provided every month or quarter to help LPs understand how their investment is progressing.


          When creating one, there's no need to overthink it or use excessive creativity; just provide LPs the high-level details they need to model scenarios and comprehend the condition of your company.

          The inclusion fields will be slightly different for investment firms than for portfolio companies. Depending on the nature of the firm, you may not need to include every field stated below. Still, the following list should offer a general outline for the fields that LPs will be seeking out:

          The following are typical fields that should be present in (most) tear sheets:

          • Briefly explain the fund's overall structure (the origin, story, founders, etc.)
          • Investment thesis, i.e., a one-sentence statement that summarizes your investing philosophy describing the primary factors that guide your investing strategy.
          • Overview of Financial Performance
          • Summary of Terms for the fund (i.e., minimum investment, management fees)
          • Portfolio composition is broken down by sector or industry
          • Team information (founding & general partners)

          For startups & portfolio firms:

          • An overview of the business and a synopsis of the startup (the origin, story, founders, etc.)
          • A mission statement, i.e., a one-sentence statement outlining essential values and the vision
          • Describe the top-level highlights of investments.
          • Overview of financials, tables, data, and graphs, if any
          • Overview of KPIs with quantitative data such as headcount, sales, average contract value, and net promoter score)
          • The team behind the startup (directors, founders, etc.)

          Sample Tearsheet Template

          One important group looking at the tear sheet is the LPs (limited partners) or investors at a venture capital firm. When communicating with LPs, you want to leave a positive impression.

          As a result, it's crucial to think professionally when creating them for the companies in your portfolio and to utilize them to convey concise information about those organizations. When they are put together well can greatly influence LPs.

          Detailed information about a corporation should be included in the sheet. This should show the shares' total amount invested, gains and losses, sector, and a price history chart.

          Anything that would give the reader a fast overview of the company and an idea of the future earnings should be included on the sheet.

          When creating them, analysts should be careful to include both metrics or quantitative data and qualitative data about your companies.

          The following are a few metrics to consider:

          1. Revenue
            Understanding revenue and revenue growth over time is a simple assessment of a company's health. Although not a true reflection of the business overall, it offers LPs an idea of where the business is.
          2. FTE Headcount & New Hires
            Although this is often regarded as non-sensitive information from portfolio firms, it nonetheless provides LPs with insight into the stage of the business and its development trajectory. It also shows how a business is spending money.
          3. True North KPIs
            These may vary depending on the sort of business. The key performance indicators that direct the company's operations daily should be listed as the true north KPIs.
            Other KPIs outside revenue targets include active users, customer net promoter scores, active clients, and average contract values.

          It's crucial to protect the privacy of portfolio companies, and it's a good idea to get their consent before sharing information with limited partners. Sharing the same amount of detail across all firms is also a smart practice.

          A summary of investments is a key component that should always be present on the sheet. In addition, the following are usually included:

          1. Total Investment: Reminding LPs of the total amount invested in a firm and how it stacks up against others in the portfolio is helpful.
          2. Date of Initial Investment: This provides context for when to anticipate a return and a sense of how long it has been since the initial investment.
          3. Investment Multiple: This gives LPs a sense of the projected return in the future.

          Consider including the following qualitative points in your template instead of the metrics:

          1. Tagline: This is a simple approach to introducing or reminding an LP of the company's mission.
          2. Sector: This specific static attribute aids in giving context to LPs who have invested in many funds.
          3. HQ Location: Aids in keeping everyone informed about the portfolio's location.
          4. Narrative: It is a perspective on recent achievements of the portfolio company. As always, it's crucial to avoid disclosing private information, but LPs should be informed about recent newsworthy events that are open to the public.
          5. Asks: Depending on your relationship with your companies and LPs, it can be appropriate to communicate "Asks" from portfolio firms with LPs. As an illustration, Company A is searching for recommendations for candidates for a Head of Engineering position in Berlin.

          Key Takeaways

          • A tear sheet in finance is a one-page overview of the specific business.
          • It often includes a graph showing previous performance and important underlying data.
          • Most documents are now given online, and various summaries are referred to as tear sheets.
          • The mutual fund prospectus, which mutual fund companies must provide to their investors, is often much lengthier than a tear sheet.
          • An investment proposal's essential financial and other terms are usually outlined.
          • It is a tool investors use to reach preliminary and conditional agreements on those important conditions and serves as the framework for creating investment contracts.
          • The provisions of a tear sheet are not meant to have any legal force, unlike term sheets where conditions related to exclusivity, expenses, and break fees are mentioned.
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          Researched & Authored by Frank Pereira | LinkedIn

          Reviewed and edited by Parul Gupta LinkedIn

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