This guide overviews how to locate company reports.
Before you begin your search, determine if your company is public or private. Private companies are not required to report financial information (annual report/10K) therefore the data available may be limited. Read your assignment closely to ensure that the company you choose---and the amount of information available---meets the assignment requirements.
If you plan to research a private company, you may need to piece together information from many different types of sources, such as general industry reports, news articles, press releases, or personal interviews.
Publicly traded companies in the U.S. are required to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Two of these documents, the Annual Report and the 10k, can provide a wealth of knowledge about a company. These financial statements are designed to inform the public (shareholders, investors, analysts, etc.) about the performance of the company.
Companies will host these reports on their corporate websites (be aware that these sites may differ from their user-facing websites). When navigating these websites, look for an “About," “Company Information,” "Financial Reports," or “Investor Relations” link. If you are having trouble finding your company's public records, reach out to a librarian for help.
Example: Boeing Financial Reports
CityU Library subscribes to a number of specialized business databases that carry high-quality company reports. Keep in mind that you may have to search in multiple databases to determine which database offers the most relevant and substantial reports for your company or industry.
Pro Tip: Two key pieces to look for in a company report are SWOT analyses and top competitors. You can find more in-depth how-to guides for finding these items here:
Magazine, journal or news articles on your company adds recent data on trends, consumer behavior, advertising, mergers, pricing, etc. Articles are especially useful for finding information about private companies. You can find this type of information by searching the following databases:
When searching, combine your company name plus any relevant keywords. Make sure to limit your search by date and source type using the filters (located on the left-hand side of the results screen).
Looking for news and information on local, Seattle-area businesses? Check out Puget Sound Business Journal via the National Business Journal Portal linked above.
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