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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.
Last Updated: Jun 2, 2014 URL: http://guides.newman.baruch.cuny.edu/company Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting
Started
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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

 

  • Business Insights: Essentials
    Provides a lot of information about companies. The database includes both public and private companies.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Contains directory/financial information on both public and private companies in "Business" section.
  • Wards Business Directory
    Ward’s Directory contains a listing of companies and provides thumbnail but crucial information on listed companies. The company’s address, SIC code, NAICS code and approximate size is provided as well as whether it is private or public and if it is a subsidiary or affiliate of another company.
  • ReferenceUSA
    Detailed information on more than 14 million U.S. businesses, 210 million U.S. residents, 855,000 U.S. health care providers, 1.5 million Canadian businesses, and 12 million Canadian households.
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
    Includes directories of public and private firms. Some basic information on each company is provided (much more detailed information on public firms can be found including stock pricing data).

Company Affiliations: Where to Find Them

  • Corporate Affiliations
    Provides detailed hierarchy of companies and their relationship to other companies, i.e., what companies are owned and the level of ownership. Descriptions of subsidiaries and affiliates are included in the database as well as a listing of brand names and products sold by the company. Can search for parent company, subsidiary, affiliate, etc. Also searchable by location (e.g., Swiss chocolate manufacturers with offices in the United States), industry, etc.

Company Headquarters: Where to Find It

Use these databases to find headquarters information:

  • Business Insights: Essentials
    Company and industry information: profiles, news articles, chronologies, rankings, SWOT analyses, market share, market size, etc.
  • Comfind
    Search engine to find a company's corporate website.
  • ReferenceUSA
    Detailed information on more than 14 million U.S. businesses, 210 million U.S. residents, 855,000 U.S. health care providers, 1.5 million Canadian businesses, and 12 million Canadian households.
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
    This database combines eleven of the S&P investor information products on a single platform. It includes Bond Guide, Corporation Records, Dividend Record, Earnings Guide, Industry Surveys, Mutual Fund Reports, The OUTLOOK, Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, Security Dealers of North America, Stock Guide, and Stock Reports. Updated at least monthly.
 

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.

Cover Art
Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies
Call Number: HG4057 .A4465, 2nd floor, Reference

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