Your objective is to build a company profile. Answer these questions:
Many databases profile public companies in easy-to-read short reports. These database include profiles of international and U.S. companies.
Read articles about the company. Use a variety of sources including trade journals and business magazines like Forbes, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Read the latest news from the Wall Street Journal.
Critical information for researching a company can be found on the company's Investor Relations pages. What can you expect to find?
Annual Reports and SEC Filings
Companies post their latest Annual Reports and SEC filings (the 10-K, 10-Q and others) here. If you are looking for older historical reports, go to the SEC website at SEC.gov which makes available all reports filed since 1986.
Press releases are the official statements of the company about key events. Coming from the company's PR office, these releases provide the company point-of-view. They are not neutral statements, nor do they offer unbiased analysis.
Earnings Conference Calls
CEO and CFO discuss the company's quarterly results in conference calls with analysts and institutional investors.
Transcripts or Videos of Investor Conferences
Company management make presentations at investor conferences sponsored by major banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup. These often focus on new products or services.
U.S. companies file an annual report, the 10-K, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Foreign companies listed in the United States, trading as ADR's, also file an annual report, the 20-F, with the SEC. All reports filed with the SEC are available on the SEC website in their EDGAR database.
SEC filings are also available in many databases including S&P NetAdvantage and Thomson ONE.
Use WestLaw to search the Text of SEC Filings. From the home page choose "EDGAR Filings and Disclosures
Fill in the Search form with your keywords. Scroll down and enter the company name or ticker. Scroll down and choose "All 1934 Act Results" to search the 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K and other key filings.
Examine the Results. Use the search bar on the left to search within the results if needed.
Your search terms will be highlighted in yellow in the results
Select a document and jump through the pages to see your search terms.