The best place to find a short company history is in this collection: International Directory of Company Histories
You can find it online in this database:
A mission statement is a company blueprint that defines the core values of the firm.
Many companies have a written mission statement that they post on their website.
If you don't see a link to the mission statement on the company homepage or their "About Us" page, do a Google search that looks for the word "mission" or the word "values" or the word "vision" on the company website. For example, type this mission site:ibm.com in the Google search box if you are looking for IBM's mission statement. IBM's mission statement is found in a page that outlines "Our Values at Work."
If the company doesn't have a formal mission statement, look for an interview with the CEO that articulates the company's goals.
Read interviews with the company CEO to gain an understanding of the company's core values and current strategy.
Read the CEO's "Letter to the Shareholders" in the company's latest annual report.
Watch the CEO and other officers in investor conference webcasts on the company's website.
Build a profile of a company with one of these databases:
What Business is the Company in?
Companies typically define their business in the opening section of their 10-K report. In this report you can expect to find:
- Description of the company's product lines and business segments
- List of subsidiaries and geographic locations
- Discussion of company strategy
- Mention of contracts, raw materials used, and supplier or distribution channels
- Names of the competition and discussion of competitive factors in the market
- Mention of research and development or intellectual property issues that are important to company operations
- Key government regulations in their industry
- Outline of risk factors to consider in evaluating the company's business