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Company and Industry Research: Researching Public Companies

Doing Research on Public Companies

Public companies sell stock to the public and are held accountable to their stockholders.  They are required to report of
many aspects of their business.  It is often easier to find financial information about public companies than for private companies.


Company Profiles/Corporate Affiliations

The following sources can provide background data about a company,  including directory information (names of officers, descriptions, SIC/NAICS codes, sales range, number of employees, ticker symbol) and current, historical, & projected financial information (income & expenses, various ratios, competition, place in the industry, segments).

Mergent Online has fifteen years of financial information on publicly traded companies only, including over 25,000 domestic and 12 million international companies traded on the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ.  MergentOnline can be searched either by ticker symbol or company name.  It contains a company profile, history, news, ratios, annual reports in PDF format, company financials, competitors, executives, segments, etc.  It can also be used to create comparison reports.

Mergent Intellect profiles over 20 million U.S. and international companies, both public and private, in its database.  Mergent Intellect is frequently updated and contains comprehensive intelligence on publicly traded companies, including financial statements, competitor lists, and company description narratives.  Mergent Intellect is especially useful for finding subsidiary information with its Family Tree feature.  Mergent Intellect also provides mainly directory information on privately owned companies.

Business Source Premier (provided by EBSCO) contains abstracts and full text articles from business journals as well as company profiles provided by Datamonitor, a database of 5000 of the largest worldwide companies.  These reports contain information on the key facts, business descriptions, history, major products and services analysis, SWOT analysis, top competitors, locations and subsidiaries.

Value Line Investment Survey profiles 1700 stocks in 90 industries.  These profiles include timeliness and safety ranks, projected annual return, historical financial statistics, and other information.

LexisNexis Academic Universe’s Company Dossier (in the "Get Company Info" area, just click link for "Company Dossier") Allows the user to search for company information in several business sources such as S&P’s Corporate Descriptions, Hoover’s Profiles, Stock Reports, and directories of public, private, and international companies. LexisNexis provides SEC filings back to 1988; allows one to search the text of EDGAR filings for company name. 

MSN Money Central  (public website)  Stock Research homepage - find current information on public companies:  quotes, charts, news, stock screener, and more.

The Motley Fool (public website)  Stock Investing Advice - The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community.  The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for individual investors.
   

 

The following are some excellent print sources which can be found in the Reference section.

LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations: Who Owns Whom (SCH REF HG4057.A217 2011) provides information on major public and private companies in the US and the world.  This two volume set arranges companies alphabetically by parent company.  Who Owns Whom can be used to determine any foreign affiliations a company may have. 

If you are researching a subsidiary, remember companies are not required to report on subsidiaries.  Larger companies or conglomerates provide business segment reports in their annual reports or 10Ks.  Some divisions have their own web sites with further information.

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys (REF HC106.6 S74), available in print only, is updated four times each year.  It provides industry basics and company information.  The library has reports from the most recent two years available at both campuses.

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