Public or Private?
Before you research a company, you need to determine if it is publicly traded, private, a subsidiary or division of a larger company, or even a brand rather than a company.
- Look up the company name in Mergent Online which includes the D&B Private Company database.
- Use the Get Company Info box in LexisNexis Academic. You will be taken to to the Company Dossier which includes hierarchy, brands, and competitors.
Financial information and investment analyst reports are important when researching a company. Any company with stock traded on an American exchange is required by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file reports of vatious types. See a list of the types of reports filed through EDGAR at the SEC.
The following library resources may be easier to use than the EDGAR database. EDGAR does not have investment analyst reports.
- Mergent Online - Use the tabs for comprehensive company information with historical financials and corporate history. You can also search images of the original Mergent/Moody's Manuals going back to the early 1900s.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic - From the left menu, expand the Companies link. Select Company Profiles and SEC Filings. Of all library resources, LexisNexis offers more Company Analyst and Securities Reports but requires more steps to access them.
- Business Source Complete (EBSCO) - Look at both Company Profiles from the Browse Menu and the Company Information menu or tab.
- Value Line Research Center Online - From the Research Hub menu, select Investment Survey. From the left menu, select Lookup Company.
Private companies are not required to file financial information. In the Company Profiles and Company Iinformation menus in Business Source Complete and LexisNexis Academic you may still find find market research, news, history, and other pieces of competitive intelligence. Private companies may publish annual reports on their websites.
Ultimately, the best way to find information on a private company is by searching for articles.
Includes business information from forty-two local markets and forty-six industries. Users can locate Companies news under the News tab. For locations not covered by a BizJournal, try Regional Business News
A company name is always a good keyword. Run a keyword search and then refine your results from the left menu.
Find corporate social responsibility and sustainability news and reports.
Select the Search the News box using your company name. After you run your search, use the left menu to view groups of results in order to narrow your search.
Look for Press releases and links to (generally favorable) articles. You may find blogs, white papers, videos, and research. Annual reports may be in an investors section.
If you need to see how a company fits within its industry, see the Industry Research Guide for more information.