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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The iMBA's Guide to Digital Business Research

Company Research

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

What You Can Find for Free and Why Library Databases

Free Company Websites:

  • Lists products or services
  • Contact information
  • May have background/history
  • If public, may have latest filings or news
  • Not likely to have financials          

Library (Subscription) Databases:

  • 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
  • Ability to compile lists for competition           

The following library databases below are for finding information on international companies:

Emerging Markets Information Service

To find information: first select a country or multiple countries; then click on company analysis, industry analysis, or country analysis tab; and type the name within search box.

Kompass.com

Kompass.com (free)

Global directory of over 2 million companies, 860,000 trade names, and over 4.5 million executive names. This is an excellent source to look up addresses for international or small companies that are typically not covered in the general company information databases. Includes supplier listing for products and services. Brief profiles, emails, and even product catalogs are available for some suppliers. More in-depth information or advanced features are subscriber-only.

To search for company information, click on "Search our directory", and use the search box below. You can search for company names or services, and limit the geographic region.

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 search function. 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 name or keyword in the top search bar.

Under advanced search options, found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the left hand side, you can search by term, geography, keyword, revenue, ownership, and more.

 

 

Value Line Investment Survey

Value Line Investment Survey

Includes reports about stock performance, historical trend data and projections for over 1700 companies, as well as evaluation and analysis of industries. For your convenience, the printed reports are divided into 13 folders. There is an index folder to aid in locating the reports.

Each report is one page in length and includes: estimates for 3-5 years, quarterly sales, EPS, and dividends; projected price, appreciation, dividend yield expected, insider decisions to buy or sell, and Value Line ratings for timeliness, safety, and beta. Beta is based on the NYSE Composite Index over a period of five years, and they are adjusted for their long-term tendency to converge toward 1.00.

Reports are available online back to 1997.  Click on Historical Archives under quick links on the right side of the screen to search for the historical report PDFs. The History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library and Oak Street Facility also have microform of historical reports.

To start a quick search for company information, use the search box on the top right corner.

Need More Help?

The Business Information Services Staff can assist you in getting started with these and other resources.  If you have any questions, please e-mail  BIS@library.illinois.edu.