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.

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 League Tables

League tables are not just used in finance but also 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 in finance are those that track the activities of investment banks. The deals conducted by investment banks are often tallied up by value and/or fees generated. There may also be a ratio breakdown of the deals, which can include underwriting deals, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and advisory services.

A league table put out by a financial information provider might show all of the M&A deals that each bank has managed during a yearly period, illustrating the combined dollar value of the deals as well as the share of the M&A deal market for the period. This information can be valuable for clients considering investment bank services, as well as to investors keen to analyze investment banks against their peers.

League tables are produced by research organizations for various functions and can measure an array of company metrics across different industries.

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 utilize 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 and shared.

Example of a League Table

Below is a basic 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.

League Table Of Banks by Revenue and Market Share
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%
Example of a league table for banks A, B, C, and D.

Special Considerations

In practice, league tables can include a host of information related to a company, such as market capitalization, earnings, and market share. Analysts can then rank or sort the table based on any of the variables.

While league tables can be useful in identifying a shortlist of companies using a few key metrics, it is important to dive into the actual financials of each of them before making an investment decision.