What Is a League Table?

A league table is a ranking of companies based on a set of criteria such as revenue, earnings, deals, or any other relevant metrics. The rankings are organized into lists, which can be used for investment research purposes or as promotional material for the companies on the list. League tables are produced by many different research organizations for various functions and can measure an array of company metrics across varying industries.

Key Takeaways

  • A league table is a ranking of companies based on certain financial metrics.
  • League tables are common in investment banking but are also used outside of finance, such as in sports, academics, and science.
  • In finance, league tables are used for investment research or as promotional material for companies on the list.
  • League tables are used by potential clients in deciding which company would be the best fit for their business needs.

Understanding a League Table

League tables are not just used in finance but are used to compare colleges, sports teams, scientific data, and other statistics as well. For example, a league table of a college basketball team might list stats from each game, including the name of the opponent, points scored, points allowed, the number of team fouls, and whether the result was a win or loss.

Some of the most well-known league tables, however, are those that track the activities of investment banks, primarily tables that tally the deals done by the various banks. Deals can include underwriting deals, mergers and acquisitions, and advisory services.

League tables can also be used to rank companies by market share within a specific industry. Essentially, if there is a statistic somebody wants to use to rank companies and they can find the necessary data to analyze, a league table of the top-ranking companies in that category can be created.

Example of a League Table

A league table put out by a financial information provider may show all of the merger and acquisition deals that each bank has managed during a yearly period, illustrating the data in terms of the combined dollar value of the deals as well as the share of the merger and acquisition deal market for the period.

Below is an example of a league table comparing the revenue and the percentage share of market revenue of four different banks. This will be the primary manner in which a league table is represented. You will have a list of the companies being compared and the statistics of the financial metric they are being compared on.

Company Revenue Share of Market Revenue
Bank A $7,100,010 42.07%
Bank C $5,983,393 35.45%
Bank D $2,780,393 16.47%
Bank B $1,012,929 6.00%
Total $16,876,725 100.00%

In practice, league tables can include a host of information related to a company, such as market capitalization, earnings, and market share. Analysts using spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel can then rank or sort the table based on any of the variables. League tables are used by potential customers in deciding which bank could be the best fit for their business needs.