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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Digital Business Research for BUS 101

Company Research Resources

Company Profiles in Subscription Databases Often Contain the Following:

  • Revenues (either estimated for private companies or from filings)
  • Top Executives & brief bios
  • Lines of business –

aka Industries (either NAICS or SICs)

What it does ( makes, services or both)

  • Designates if private or public (subsidiary, branch, parent)
  • Competitors (either designated by company or within SIC)
  • Option: financials and background/history
  • Some may have investment analysis
  • Ability to compile lists within an industry, geography, sales range, or stock index

How to Find Company Information

Company Research Flow Chart

Visual depiction of a BIS Librarian's suggested search strategy for finding company information.

Company & Industry How-to Search YT Playlist

BIS has created a series of YT clips on how to find information on companies using some of the databases mentioned in this guide.  They are designed to get you started in determining if the company is public, private, subsidiary, plus ways to compile list of companies within industries.   The Industry YT's are how to search for basic industry reports.  

Click HERE to go to the BIS Playlist on YT.   The clips are very short and will aid you in navigating through these complex databases.  Remember that a lot of these reports are not found for free on Google, Yahoo, or Bing.  

Nexis Uni

In order to download articles, make sure to enable pop-ups for advance.lexis.com

To search for company profiles, select the company info box on the home page and select Company Profile from the drop-down to search for a company by name.

 

Mergent Online

To find company reports, use the "company search" window on the left side of the home page. You can limit your search to companies in a specific country. Make sure the "International Company Database" box on the left side is checked. Then, click on the "Country" drop-down menu on the right side, select the name, and click search.

Once you have found a company and reached its "company details" page; click the "filings" tab. You will see a table containing details of the company's recent filings. The icons in the "view documents" tab will provide you with various formats for viewing the filings.

 If the filing you are looking for is more than 90 days old; you will need to use the EDGAR searchfunction. In the "company search" section; select the Government Filings tab near the top of the page and enter a company name or ticker symbol. 

In the "filing date search" section; specify a time frame for your search. Finally; in the "filing type" section; specify what type of filings you are interested in. (Again; Form 10-K is the government-required annual report for publicly-traded companies.)

Mergent Online also has financial ratios.   Chad Boenniger at Ohio State has a good video describing how to search the database for individual companies or creating reports which compare ratios of company peers within industries for checking your work when making ratio calculations.  

 

PrivCo

Users can search by Company/Investor name or website in the top search bar

More advanced search options can be found under the Advanced Search heading, which can search private companies, investors, funding, mergers and acquisitions deals and private equity deals, and can be further narrowed down by location, date, industry and other factors.