Company Information

An introduction to company research. The guide divides corporate research into 3 types of typically needed information (basic data, corporate events and corporate analysis) & lists & describes the sources that best provide that information.

Key Questions to Start With

Publicly Held?

  • Traded on the exchanges
  • Required to provide ongoing detailed information in filings made with the Securities & Exchange Commission

Privately Held?

  • Owned by a closed group
  • Not required to release information and can be more challenging to research
  • Can range from small businesses to large well-known companies (Hallmark Cards and Mars Candy, for example).

Affiliated with Another Company?

  • Linked or related to larger firms
  • Several are household names but are difficult to research until one establishes its relationship to the larger company (e.g., American Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) is owned by Disney)

Location of Company Headquarters?

  • Search local and regional business sources (newspapers, business magazines, etc.) especially if the company is small and/or only does business regionally.

What Does the Company Do?

  • The sources listed in the boxes to the right also answer this question, which will help you identify and search appropriate trade literature for more in-depth information.

Public or Private: Finding the Answer

 

Company Affiliations: Where to Find Them

Company Headquarters: Where to Find It

Use these databases to find headquarters information:

Words To Know

Affiliates: Companies owned less than 50% by another company

Brands: A tradename used to identify a specific product, manufacturer, or distributor. "brand"  A Dictionary of Business and Management. Ed. Jonathan Law. Oxford University Press, 2009. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  CUNY Baruch College.  14 December 2011 

Headquarters: The main office, where the board of directors meets and works. "headquarters." Dictionary of Business. London: A&C Black, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 14 December 2011.

Market Share: The portion or size of one company's product sales/revenues in proportion to the entire market. Usually expressed as a percentage.

Parent Company: A company that holds shares in other companies in a group (usually, but not necessarily, its subsidiaries)."holding company"  A Dictionary of Finance and Banking. Ed Jonathan Law and John Smullen. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  CUNY Baruch College.  14 December 2011 

Private Company: A company which is not a public company and which is usually not allowed to offer its common stock or ordinary shares to the general public."private company"  The Handbook of International Financial Terms. Peter Moles and Nicholas Terry. Oxford University Press 1997. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  CUNY Baruch College.  14 December 2011  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t181.e6008>

Public Company: A corporation which is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and where ownership is usually widely dispersed (cf. private company). "publicly held"  The Handbook of International Financial Terms. Peter Moles and Nicholas Terry. Oxford University Press 1997. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  CUNY Baruch College.  14 December 2011  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t181.e6107>

SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission): Government agency established in the wake of the Stock Market crash, to regulate and make publicly available, the activities of companies selling credit or equity to the public.

Subsidiary: A company which is controlled by another. Technically a company owned 51% by another; in practice effective control dictates what might be a subsidiary (cf. controlling interest; equity accounting)."subsidiary"  The Handbook of International Financial Terms. Peter Moles and Nicholas Terry. Oxford University Press 1997. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  CUNY Baruch College.  14 December 2011  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t181.e7469>

Ward's Directory

Sometimes, the easiest and quickest place to find basic information is in a book. This directory provides name, address, type of business and corporate affiliation quickly and easily.