It is easier to find information about public companies (those that sell stock to shareholders) than about private companies (those that are privately owned by an individual or a group). Public companies in the United States are required by law to file documents with the Securities and Exchange commission (SEC). These include the 10K (annual)and 10Q (quarterly) reports. In addition, public companies issue an annual report to shareholders.
When looking for information about a company, consider both information from the company itself (e.g., the company website, SEC filings, press releases, etc.) as well as information about the company written by others (e.g., newspaper articles, analyst reports, articles by professors, etc.).
Finding information about a company includes the following steps:
If you already have a company but don't know what code(s) are associated with it, try the following databases.
If you only have the SIC code but the resource you are using only provides NAICS codes, you might want to try and convert your SIC code to the NAICS code. You can use the following documents to help.
The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), developed by the S&P Dow Jones Indices, was designed in response to the global financial community’s need for accurate, complete and standard industry definitions. The GICS structure consists of 10 sectors, 24 industry groups, 67 industries and 156 sub-industries.
Search these two databases using the company or industry search to find company financials and industry overviews.
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique companies use to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a way to analyze both the positive and negative factors related to planning and competition. Use the database Nexis Uni and the pdf guide to help you find SWOT reports on a company of interest.