CUNY SPS: Introduction to Business Resources

Company Analysis

You can establish a baseline of information about a company by examining what the company is saying about itself on its website, in its annual report, SEC filings and press releases.

All U.S. public companies must file an annual report, Form 10-K, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  In the “Business Overview” section of the 10-K, companies discuss their competitive environment. In the “MD&A” section, they discuss the financial condition of the company and risk factors that might affect company performance.

Financial analysts from banks or independent research firms examine the financial performance of industries and key public companies.  They identify strategic issues as well as provide financial forecasts and investment advice.

Newman Library has many databases for doing company research.

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

Featured Database

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Company Factsheets

Build a profile of a company with Business Insights or Mergent Online.

Find a stock profile of the company with ValueLine and S&P NetAdvantage.

Stock Price Charts

The Wall Street Journal

Search for the latest news about your company from the Wall Street Journal in one of these databases: