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SST4993 - Senior Seminar  

Research guide for completing Senior Seminar Corporate Research Assignment
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2013 URL: http://libguides.weber.edu/sst4993 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Company Profiles and Financial Information

Company Websites

  • Great place to begin for getting an overview about a company
  • If company is public it should include a section for investor information
  • Will often include information such as news about the company as well job postings
  • Much of the information is meant to promote the company

Business Source Premier - Company Profiles Link

  • Provides in-depth profiles of public and private companies, be sure to click on the company profiles link at the top

Morningstar

  • Provides company information including financials, stocks, bonds, and the Morningstar Analysts reports

Corporate Affiliations (from LexisNexis)

  • Provides information on corporate hierarchies for nearly 850,000 companies
  • Includes information on parent companies and subsidiaries

LexisNexis Academic

  • Click on Companies Tab on the left side of the home page
  • Click on link to Company Profiles
  • Several sources are available, two possibilities are U.S. Private Company Reports, and U.S. Public Company Reports 
  • Click here for a video showing how to find information about a private company
  • Click here for a video showing how to find information about a public company

International Directory of Company Histories

  • Online Multi-volume set (more than 100 volumes) providing in-depth histories of leading companies

Mergent Online

  • Provides financial records for U.S. and Internationally based companies
  • Information is available in all currencies
  • Archived information available

Yahoo Finance

  • Provides stock information for U.S. and foreign companies

Switchboard.com

  • Helpful for finding businesses in a particular area

Hoover's Handbook of Private Companies: Profiles of Major U.S. Private Enterprises Reference Area: HG4057.A1.H662

  • Provides background information for larger U.S. private companies, may include some financial information
 

Industry Information

Industry and Market Research Databases


  • Mintel Market Reports - Provides reports and analysis of U.S. and International consumer markets including Market Size, Market Drives, Retail Channels, and more. User profile required before access the database.

 

Company Research Tips

A few Questions to Ask Yourself when Beginning Company Research


  • What company are you researching?
    If you need help in selecting a company, try the Fortune 500 web site. This site lists the Fortune 500 companies in order of Fortune 500 rank and provides links to their homepages, a company snapshot, industry information, and other information pertaining to the company. Since these companies are large publicly held companies, it will be relatively easy to find information.
  • Is the company public or private?


a
. Determine whether the company is publicly held, privately owned, or a subsidiary of a publicly held organization. Remember, information is more easily found for publicly held companies.


b. Public Company stock can be bought on public stock exchanges. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that public companies disclose financial information to the public. Therefore, there is a lot of financial data and disclosures about public company practices.


c. Private Company stock is typically owned by the principles in the company (founders, family members key employees, etc.). Financial disclosures do not have to be made to the public. The best strategy is to search for a company web site, news sources or inquire directly to the company. Click on the tab for Private Company Information for more information about resources in this area.

Beware of 'hidden company names' when researching a company. If you cannot find any information on a public company after searching by company name, try potential variants of the company name or use the ticker symbol. Here are a few examples:

  • DuPont: The company's name is actually E I Du Pont de Nemours & Company. For companies with initials in their name, try searching both forms. Another example is E. W. Scripps.
  • IBM: is actually International Business Machines
  • AT&T: really IS AT&T (but used to be American Telephone and Telegraph Company)
  • The Gap: Some directories will list this company under the T's, while others will list it under G. If a company has a 'The' at the beginning of its name, try both.
  • Alcoa: Commonly known as 'Alcoa', it's proper legal name is Aluminum Company of America. Some directories list it under 'Alcoa', and some under its proper name.
  • Using punctuation: Some databases don't mind periods or commas- they simply ignore them. Others are more picky: if you don't include punctuation, you won't get results, OR including punctuation gives you no results. Again, if you're unsure, try both.
 

Industry Research Tips

Some Questions to Consider for Industry Research


  • What are the industry trends and areas of growth?
  • Who are the leading companies in the industry?
  • What products and services are in the greatest demand?
  • What new technologies are impacting the industry?

Some of this information can be found in some of the sources under the Industry Information tab.

Private Company Resources

Corporate Affiliations (from LexisNexis)

  • Provides information on corporate hierarchies for nearly 850,000 companies
  • Includes information on parent companies and subsidiaries


Hoover's Handbook of Private Companies: Profiles of Major U.S. Private Enterprises Reference Area: HG4057.A1.H662

  • Provides background information for larger U.S. private companies, may include some financial information

LexisNexis Academic

  • Basic background available of many private companies
  • Click here to see an example of finding information on a private company.

Switchboard.com

  • Helpful for finding businesses in a particular area
      
     

    Private Company Search Tips

    Researching private companies can be a complex process. Private companies are not required to submit financial data to the SEC, and as a result, information on these companies is not readily available.  

    Private company stock is typically owned by the principles in the company (founders, family members key employees, etc.).  If a stockholder wishes to sell his stock, he may sell to anyone he chooses, but typically, it is offered to existing stockholders. There is no marketplace to buy and sell shares of private companies.  Financial disclosures of privately held companies do not have to be made to the public. These companies do not publish annual reports or share information about themselves to major business publishers. This is also true for subsidiaries of publicly held firms.  The parent company reports information as a whole, making information on the division or subsidiary harder to find.

    Often, there is not much to distinguish a small private company from its owner.  It is a good idea to search not only the company name, but personal names as well (owners, employees, etc.).  A great place to name search is news sources (local newspapers, etc.).  Another way to find information on private companies is to look for other companies that they might be affiliated with and search these company names.

    • First, use a directory to verify company name, address, and phone number.  Some directories will include additional information such as company size, number of employees, sales, products and services, and SIC.  If you cannot find your company in one of the directories listed above, it may be because it is very small or a subsidiary of another company.
    • Search newspaper and journal indexes, especially those covering a company's hometown publications.
    • Search trade journals and industry newsletters relevant to the company's line of business.
    • Look at the company homepage. Most companies have their own home pages. If you are trying to locate information about a company, use their name in the URL address. For example:   http://www.ford.com for Ford Motor Company 
    • Look at public company financial reports, especially those you think might be affiliated with your company.

    Industry Classification

    • North American Industry Classification System
      Provides common industry definitions for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This new system is replacing the countries' separate classification systems with one uniform system for classifying industries. In the US, NAICS will replace the Standard Industrial Classification system (SIC). Provides information about new industries and sectors as well as correspondence information between NAICS and SIC.
    • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code List
      Allows a search of the 1987 version SIC manual by keyword, access of descriptive information for a specified 4-digit SIC, and examination of the manual structure. The SIC manual may be searched by keyword or by SIC code from this site.
     

    Utah Business Information & Directories

    Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

    • Provides access to various resources for starting and running a business in Utah

    Utah Business Directory - Reference Area: HF5065.U8U78

    • Directory of businnesses throughout the state arranged by cities and categories

    Subject Guide

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    Ed Hahn
    Contact Info
    Stewart Library Room: 144

    Phone: (801) 626-8662

    Reference Desk: (801) 626-6415

    edwardhahn@weber.edu
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