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A standard against which a security's performance is compared. A benchmark is usually an index of securities of the same or similar class. Stocks are usually compared against stocks; bonds against bonds, etc. Another type of benchmark considers securities according to industry: a telecommunications stock may be compared to other telecommunications stocks. Likewise, mid-cap securities may be benchmarked against other mid-cap securities. Some indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, are considered to be benchmarks for the wider economy.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
benchmarkingthe practice whereby a firm studies the ‘best’ PRODUCTION and MARKETING processes used by immediate competitors and firms from other similar industries so as to identify possible ways for the firm to improve its own methods. Benchmarking usually involves a number of steps: selection of critical processes that may need improvement; in depth study of other firms who perform these processes particularly well; adaptations of the processes identified so as to facilitate their implementation by the firm.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
benchmarkingthe process of measuring aspects of a firm's performance and comparing this measured performance with that of other firms. Benchmarking can help a firm to discover where its performance is deficient and can suggest means of improving competitive performance.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005