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Company and Industry Research

Online Resources for Industry Research

The Library subscribes to the online resources below to assist in doing industry research. If you are using these databases from off-campus, you will be required to log in with your NetID username and password (the same you use for email and Blackboard).

How to Find Information on an Industry

Each industry has its own customers, suppliers, and leading competitors.  Each industry is also affected by factors such as geography, climate, regulation, and the overall economy.  As you read about your industry, make note of the unique factors affecting this industry and its strengths and weaknesses.

The Value Line Investment Survey includes industry reports as well as company reports. In addition, most analyses include a discussion of current political, economic and technological developments that may affect the outlook for the industry.
Yahoo Industry Center   Current performance information for over 210 industries.

Reuters - Search for a stock, then click on the "Financials" tab.  Scroll down to locate Company, Industry, and Sector ratios, including P/E Ratio, Price to Book, Dividend Yield, Quick Ratio, Currrent Ratio, and Return on Equity.

Industry Insight:  Global Edge  A product of Michigan State University; This is your source for international business-related resources, statistics, risk assessments, and events for 20 distinct industry sectors. You will find a wealth of information for each industry.

Identify & Classify the Industry

Many business publications and databases use industry codes to organize data. American companies are grouped into industries according to their Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC), established by the Office of the Budget & Management. In 1997, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) began to be used along with the SIC code.  Begin your industry research by locating the codes for your industry.  The NAICS site has three conversion tables to navigate between the 2007 NAICS and 1987 SIC classification systems.

Older conversion tables (2002 NAICS to 1987 SIC) and tools for 
keyword searchability for 1987 SIC (e.g. 'footwear') can be found online.

These products from the U.S. Census (NAICS) and SEC (SIC) can also be found online. 

SEC Filings

SEC Filings

The 10-K report is an "EDGAR" system report filed by companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  In the Business Overview Section (Item 1) companies must discuss the state of competition in their industry.  Use the following sources to read the 10-Ks for one or two leading companies in your industry.

United States Security and Exchange Commission ( hosts the EDGAR database, and provides a wealth of educational information, including a complete list of filings available through EDGAR, and instructions for searching.